Another good frugal living tip I hear is to get cheaper hobbies. I know a lot of people with very expensive hobbies – Golf, Boats, ATVs, Gadgets, Photography, and Mountain Biking come to mind. Each of these involves pressure to buy the latest and greatest widget to “take you to the next level”. Like getting the newest Super-Mega-Big-Bertha, or the latest Shimano XGVRSTQ++ titanium alloy components, is really going to help your game all that much.
My expensive hobby of choice? Snowboarding. I try to keep things under control; my equipment was bought off-season, and is now 6 years old. But it’s still expensive. Lift tickets now average $50 a day, gas for the 3 hour drive to get there, hotels for multi-day trips, food on the mountain…
So I’m brainstorming cheaper hobbies. So far I’ve got basketball in the park, hiking, geocaching, sewing, coaching or referreeing sports, and making arts and crafts. Walking my dog is also free and very relaxing (when he’s not chasing a squirrel into oncoming traffic).
All this came to mind because I’m going snowboarding tomorrow =) There is simply nothing like riding up the lift, breathing in the crisp mountain air, and then gliding down on freshly groomed slopes on a deserted Monday when everyone else is at work. Oh the wonders of being a student again!