5 Very Expensive Hobbies

Whether it’s occasional app gaming, scrapbook making or coupon clipping, just about everyone has a hobby. Not only do these pastimes provide a pleasurable diversion to occupy your time, but they reflect your personality and your interests. As an activity you do in the pursuit of leisure, hobbies are generally not things you perform as business ventures or as occupations (although sometimes, a hobby can turn into a career) — they are for your entertainment. Along with this enjoyment, however, comes a monetary cost.

Some hobbies, such as biking, involve a large start-up cost and little in the form of maintenance costs. You purchase a bike, helmet, pads, water bottle, repair kit, and maybe a pump at the outset. Along the way, you may decide to go out and buy a few additional accessories, but the majority of your costs are upfront. Other hobbies, such as model building, involve ongoing costs for the continual purchase of materials and supplies. You need to maintain a stock of wood, paint, brushes, nails, and glue, for instance.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates our spending on entertainment items like hobbies to be around $630 per year, which equates to around $53 per month. Many of the most expensive hobbies can cost thousands of dollars and involve both large upfront costs and regular maintenance costs. Of course, hobbies like yachting and flying on a private jet are particularly expensive, but such hobbies are generally reserved for those who earn a lavish income. This list of expensive hobbies contains those types of activities the average person may choose to partake in.

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1. Gaming

Depending on the degree to which you devote time and resources to this hobby, the cost of PC gaming can range from a few hundred dollars for an initial investment to upwards of $13,000 (for the Yoyotech XDNA Aurum 24K) for a gaming PC alone. In addition to an initial investment for a gaming rig, you also have costs associated with maintaining and upgrading your PC, custom accessories, membership fees, and costs for games. A big hit release game in new condition costs around $60.

If console gaming is more your style, you’re still looking at a pretty large upfront expense, with a the cost of a newer console running anywhere between $200 (for a PS3 or XBox 360) to in excess of $400 (for a PS4). You also face costs similar to those PC gamers face, like membership fees, which can place around a $10 to $20 per month dent in your wallet, as well as accessories like new controllers, which cost around $40 each.

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2. Hobby robotics

Robots are taking the world by storm as an increasing number of robots are sold to the public. The International Federation of Robotics reports that in 2012, entertainment robotics sales hit $524 million in the United States.

Whether you collect and purchase parts individually or you purchase robot building kits, hobby robotics can be a costly activity. If you opt for robot kits, like a Lego Mindstorm Product, each one (on average) costs between $350 and $450. You also need a computer with the proper software to program your robots, which may require an additional expenses.

If you go the alternate route, you have to purchase equipment ranging from motors to circuits to nuts and bolts. The expense of these products can add up quickly into the range of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

3. Traveling

If you have the desire to backpack through Europe, it is going to put a dent in your wallet. Costs for airfare, hotels, meals, train tickets, cab fare, shopping, and sightseeing add up quickly. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics publishes data on domestic flight costs. The average cost of a flight in the U.S. was $381.05 as of 2013. In cities like Los Angeles and D.C., you’re looking at a higher cost of around $414 and $386, respectively.

Forget to pack something in your suitcase? Being away from home and all of your personal belongings, items like that allergy medicine or headache reliever also add up as additional costs, as well.

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4. Classic car restoration

The car itself, parts, and time are among the major costs associated with this hobby. A publication by Cars Direct reports that you can buy a classic Mustang or Camaro, in driving condition, for $5,000. If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, a junkyard classic car can range from $100 for a bare chassis to $2,500 for a whole car.

To transform this classic clunker into a beaut, it’s going to cost you. Parts run around $10,000 to build a show-quality car. But, if you’re looking for something you can drive around, as opposed to something show-ready, your cost may be a bit less. You also may have to put out a bit of money for a paint job, any body repairs, and finishing details.

5. Sailing

The price tag on each sailboat varies dramatically based on its size and features. For a midsize sailboat, Mint Life reports the average cost at $20,000 for a 2010 J-22 model. In addition to the cost of the actual boat itself, you have upfront costs, such as insurance, licensing, and safety equipment.

While many people consider the upfront fees, sometimes those who dream of owning a sailboat fail to consider the ongoing expenses. You’re also looking at regular fees for sail cleaning and repair, docking and storage fees, and gas.

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