Tag Archives: costs

Monday 107: The Cost of Hobbies

Monday, 19 June 2017

Here chez 182 we have hobbies.  Mr. 182 brews beer and builds rockets.  I like photography, writing, and drawing.  Time permitting, I also design things and clothes, and sew them.  Certainly brewing beer and building rockets have more out-of-pocket expenses than drawing and writing, but the payoff is the same as my less expensive hobbies:  we both enjoy doing them, we are happier people for doing these creative endeavors, our minds work, our bodies move.  The benefit of a hobby is more than just about spending money!

Having time to do something you like is sometimes hard to find.  Setting time aside to do something you enjoy is wothwhile – it gives you something to look forward to, useful products emerge – you cannot argue about the value of good, inexpensive beer!  – and there is a sense of satisfaction and raison d’etre which work does not always provide.

Hobbies are also a good way to connect with others with similar interests.  Sometimes this is through online groups, but even better is when you join local groups with real, live people!  Isolation is an issue for many people, especially older people when they retire and kids move out of the house.  Fostering an active community and being part of one is significant for health reasons, physical, intellectual, emotional.

Hobbies also help cope with stress.  Doing things, rather than being a receptacle for the TV’s antics, helps the mind sort things out on a subliminal level.  Many times when I am frustrated or trying to figure things out, I “put it on the back burner” (of the stove), and let it simmer.  While that is going on, I do something else.  Often, solutions present themselves after immersing myself in creative activities.

The mind is an amazing thing.  Right side and left side connect through the corpus callosum, and each half has its duties, both of which are completely different.  Getting them to work in harmony is wonderful – like a piece of art in itself.

Altogether, hobbies are worthwhile investments in yourself and those around you.  Creativity fosters new ways of thinking.  Rocket parts cost money.  Brewing costs money.  Drawing and sewing and photography cost money.  How much is spent depends on what is needed.  The budget should always allow for such activities.

The costs of not having hobbies is far greater . . . there is a loss that goes beyond the dollars saved that cannot even be measured.



Monday 163: Graduation Time

Sigma Beta Delta

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Student has graduated!  A MS in Computer Information Systems has been achieved after a long slog, completed with a 4.0 average, and membership in Sigma Beta Delta, an invitation-only for business and administrative majors.  We are very pleased.  While this does not ensure better employment, there are definitely advantages to having a degree as to not having a degree.  There is also an eye toward four more classes to get a post-graduate certificate in Data Analytics – this is on top of the BS and MS in Computer Information Systems, which is essentially a combination Computer Science / Business degree.

Education is expensive, especially if a private school is being attended.  The Student has worked during both undergraduate and graduate degrees.  It is a real pleasure to see the hard work and effort come to fruition.  What was rather a shocker were certain costs for graduation, such as the cost of a gown – about $100.00.  The gown itself is made of acetate, something you really don’t want to iron as it can melt and lose its shape rather easily.  It was a wrinkled nightmare.  The stole for Sigma Beta Delta was folded.  We could pay for dry cleaning, I guess, to  have them pressed, but we decided to buy a $30.00 clothing steamer to do the de-wrinkling; the clothing steamer can be used for other things, too (I just have to figure out what!).


And, of course, graduation of this magnitude needs to be celebrated.  We went overboard!  Family and friends came over for a party.  Food and drinks for one and all!  Presents for the graduate!  Party time was planned for and money set aside for it and presents, so there is no financial shock there.

What a great day it was!

Monday 174: Hobbies

Monday, 29 February 2016

Frugal living – without fun – without pleasure – is living hell.  The mind becomes dull, the spirit dies, and life becomes filled with a litany of “thou shalt not.”  This is where hobbies and interests need nurturing, sometimes with a bit of cost.

The question is, how much do you need to spend?

The other half is a beer brewer.  He makes kick-ass beer and seldom loses a batch.  We have beer on tap almost all the time, and usually a variety.  All costs considered, the beer we serve is probably about $1.00 – $1.50 a glass (and that’s a generous glass, too!).  He grinds his grain, freezes his hops, and has built a lot of his own equipment, such as his brew rig.  There are two refrigerators for brews – one to ferment, and one to serve.  The latter fridge has pull taps, once more, built by him.  If he were to brew monthly, extra costs may come to $10.00 – $20.00 for yeast and specialty ingredients.  And, he is a happy camper.

What Once WasFor me, I really don’t need to buy anything, except, when I do it, film for photography.  I am learning to process my own black and white film.  Color film can be developed locally for $5.00 a roll without scanning – I can do that at home.  My freezer has rolls of film in it, ready to go.  I don’t need any new cameras or equipment, as I have all I need  . . .  but that doesn’t preclude wanting!

Besides hobbies, there are other things which we need:   books to read (library), travel (a drive up the coast to see what spring is bringing, or finding a new place for a long walk), time with friends and family.  Costs here are variable in terms of money, but invaluable in memories.

Enjoy yourself!

The overall point here is that, despite budgeting, life is to be lived and enjoyed.  Moments are to be savored.  The mind, the spirit, and body are all interconnected – a failure to create health in one leads to illness in all others.  The holistic approach means to recognize everything is connected, from the dollar saved to the dollar spent.