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Remember when we all used to have hobbies? Whether it was bike-riding, collecting stamps, knitting, painting… we all had stuff we did after school other than watch cat clips on You Tube.
Fast-forward to now, and most of us don’t have time for hobbies. According to mental health initiative Beyond Blue, men in particular are too consumed by work and family to fit anything else in!
Unfortunately this means life becomes very beige… and lonely. We need to make time for fun… the kind that doesn’t come in a bottle or on a flat-screen. But grown-up hobbies like golf tend to be major money-drainers.
So how do you make hobbies work for you financially? Rising Tide’s founder (and notorious penny-pincher) Chris Browne has some tips:
- Corporate Triathlons
Get the work crew together and enter a triathlon. Indulge in your love of swimming, cycling, running and Lycra. You’ll meet loads of potential clients, grow a strong staff culture (helping you retain staff) and enhance your business brand – making you money in the long run. Check out the BMW Triathlon and the Fitness First triathlon series for ideas.
- Holiday Homes
Buying a holiday home can be a huge expense, but the initial outlay quickly leads to priceless family memories. To make it financially viable, look into neutrally gearing your shack or purchasing on or next to a golf course.
Trust us – this is best way to beat the black dog. Plus it’s addictive and quickly becomes a great hobby. Many businesses (like Rising Tide) align themselves with charities such as the Sacred Heart Mission in St Kilda – where they regularly volunteer. Again, this enhances your business – but it also enhances your life, which is worth more than money, right?
- Learn An Instrument
Buy second-hand on Gumtree and learn via the web. Jam with your friends in the garage like you did at school. Cheaper than going to gigs – and hey, there’s always the chance you might get discovered one day!
- Grow Your Own Food
Growing or catching your own food saves money in the long run (after the start-up costs of buying a rod or creating a garden) plus it’s a great way to teach kids about where food comes from (Top Tip – it doesn’t grow in already-diced and sliced in plastic bags).
- Knit Your Way to Happiness
It’s the hipster’s hobby of choice, and you can do it on the couch! Knitting also results in super-cheap and warm clothes for winter – and could become a potential money spinner. If you don’t believe me, check out www.etsy.com and look at all the micro-knitting sites that are doing great business, selling everything from kids’ clothes to tea cosies.
If you’re into sports but don’t want to devote yourself to one particular hobby, look into a flexi-membership such as the one Maroondah Council in VIC offers. For a fee, you gain access to a whole bunch or recreational facilities, such as golf courses, pools, gyms and basketball courts.
- Become A Bookworm
FACT: Libraries are awesome. Not only because they provide free educational entertainment for the kids through programs like Story Time, but because they’re havens for people craving a peaceful spot to indulge in their quieter hobbies, such as reading or writing memoirs. Plus most now have fast, free Wi-Fi – meaning you could while away a day making websites or writing your mummy blog in blissful library-standard silence!
How do you make your hobbies work for you?