I was talking to an acquaintance the other day when he mentioned that his wife spends upwards of $500 per month on clothes.

Yes, I’m serious.  

I immediately wondered how that was possible.  After all, I probably spend somewhere near $500 per year on clothing for the four of us.  Maybe a little more, but you get the picture.  Spending $500 per month (or $125 per week) on clothing is insane.

But it isn’t out of the ordinary.  Look around you and you’ll likely find people doing other crazy things with their money – like having an $800 car payment or eating at restaurants every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We all know how avoiding expensive hobbies like shopping can make a huge difference in your bottom line.  Imagine what my friend’s wife could do with that $500 she’s spending monthly to cover her ass.  Here is what I could do with that money:

  • Put $6,000 in my health savings account
  • Max out my Roth IRA
  • Buy groceries for one year (spending $500 per month on my family of four)
  • Put $6,000 in my kid’s college savings

The list goes on and on.  For that reason, I think some expensive hobbies (like shopping) are incredibly overrated.  For the amount of money people spend on pleasure, they could often retire years earlier, save for college, or save for some sort of dream goal.

5 Expensive Hobbies that are a Waste of Money

Of course shopping isn’t the only American pastime that breaks the bank.  Here are five more expensive hobbies that are overrated:

WARNING: This post is full of sarcasm, but feel free to be offended.

Running in Organized Races

I’m going to slap the next person who tells me they paid $100 to run in the Color Run, Mad Person Run, Glow Run, Crazy Run, etc.  (No, those probably aren’t the real names)  Newflash: Running a 5K is free – you do not have to pay someone for the privilege.  Just get out on the street and start moving.

And if you feel the need to roll in the mud afterward or carry a glow stick, please know that no one is stopping you.

Being a Sports Fan

Loving your favorite sports team doesn’t have to be expensive, but we often make it so.  Let’s face it.  Team Jerseys are what- $100?  And heaven forbid you actually want to go to a game.  If you do, you’ll likely have to hand over a hunk of change for that crappy seat in the nosebleed section.  And don’t forget to set aside some money for tailgating with your friends before the big game.

No thank you.

Collecting Things

I remember when people were convinced that Beanie Babies and Longaberger baskets were a good investment.  Based on that lie, plenty of people I know spent thousands of dollars on casserole dish baskets, adorable weaved trashcans, and candy dishes.  Now I often see Longaberger baskets at garage sales for a few bucks….and Beanie Babies are often free!

If you want to save money, try eliminating silly expensive hobbies from your life - like playing golf, going to bars, or attending organized events.5 expensive hobbies that are a waste of money

Travel

I admittedly love to travel, but it can be a huge waste of money if you don’t take advantage of credit card rewards.  Some of the vacations I’ve paid for with rewards would cost upwards of $6,000 or more without points and miles.  If those trips weren’t free or almost-free, those funds would essentially be wasted.  Yes, experiences are worth money- but there is a limit.

Of course, some experiences are definitely worth more than others.

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Going to Bars/Going Out to Eat

I recently paid $8.00 for a mixed drink on the Carnival Sensation and forked over another $6.50 the next week for a mango colada in Mexico.  I shudder at the thought of how much money I have spent at bars since I turned 21, and how much money people continue to spend at them today.

Going out to eat can also be a huge waste of money if the conditions are right.  I can’t tell you how many times we have shelled out $40 or $50 for a meal that wasn’t any better than something I could make at home. We try not to eat out very often, and part of the reason is because it usually is just not worth it.

5 Quick Ways to Maximize Your Money

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The Bottom Line

There is nothing wrong with having a hobby (or several hobbies), but it shouldn’t be to the detriment of your financial goals.  If you have an expensive hobby you don’t want to give up, there’s nothing wrong with saying so.  Just don’t pretend that it won’t hurt you in the long run.

If you can’t afford it, chances are it will.

What expensive hobbies do you think are a waste of money?