Bits & Pieces

candy time!

  • Hope you all had a great Halloween with lots of candy. Yum.
  • Happy November! Wait, its already November? Wow! It still feels like October because I’m going to a Halloween party tonight. I suppose that happens when Halloween falls on a weekday.
  • My total Halloween spending this year was $10. I bought some new fun tights and I bought some candy to take to a party.
  • Halloween spending I talked myself out of: new boots for my costume, a hat for a costume I kinda wanted to do, temporary hair color, face paint, and costume appropriate jewelry.
  • Do your hobbies cost you money or make you money? Right now, mine are split. Some make money, some cost. I guess I entertain myself at no cost overall.


  • Free hobby currently: reading the best books for unemployment. I hate not having a job so I’m trying to use the time wisely by working on this blog and reading to better myself and my career.
  • Early this week I wrote about how I used to be afraid to take vacation days. That was silly of me but apparently I wasn’t alone. If you have vacation days left for this year… take them! Go enjoy yourself and unwind. It’s worth it.

take a vacation






Do your hobbies cost you money or make you money?

Over the weekend my friends and I were talking about hobbies. Some of us have switched hobbies in recent years as we’ve grown a bit older. Many of us have been recently seeking out hobbies that are involved in real world activities rather than things that involve staring at a screen. A couple friends have taken up new hobbies simply because they thought they needed manlier hobbies.

Hobbies: Do they cost or make people money?

During the hobby discussion I brought up my blogging and how it actually earns me a bit of money every month. My friends were amazed because most of them are consistently spending a lot of money on their hobbies with no financial return. I started wondering whether most hobbies make people money or just cost them money. Here are a few of the popular hobbies we discussed and my thoughts on whether or not they cost or make money for the hobbyist.

Sports & Exercise

Many of my friends in real life consider sports their hobby. We play recreational sports in leagues and run 5k races on the weekend. Almost all of these events cost money. Usually it’s a small amount from $20-$50 per event, but we all pay something to participate. Similarly, joining a gym costs money every month. There are ways to offset the cost by working out for free and playing sports in the park. You can make money from this hobby by leading running groups or teaching exercise classes.


Reading is my favorite hobby ever. It’s a great way to spend the time and you can learn and grow so much from reading a good book. It’s also a great FREE hobby! You can read almost any book you want for free from the library. With a bit of patience and time you can hunt down and trade and find books you want for free. OR you can buy new books at the bookstore, on your Kindle, or from websites. This is a free hobby, but buying books supports writers and keeps them creating things for you to read.  Ultimately this hobby won’t make you any money but you choose whether or not it costs you money.

Watching TV and Movies

This is another hobby that won’t make you money. It’s a super popular hobby for millions of people though. It generally has some upfront costs to get the content – whether that means paying for cable or just for internet to watch things free online. While this can be a super entertaining way to pass the time it generally won’t make you any money.

Learning A Language

Many people like to spend their free time learning and practicing a new language. This is a fun hobby since it’s interactive and you can use it with other people eventually. It can also boost your career once you achieve fluency in another language. Many job ads these days want candidates to be bilingual. Learning a language can be free by using resources on the web or you can invest a bit of money by purchasing a language learning program. Ultimately learning a new language will make you money so this is a great one to invest in!


Personally, blogging is my hobby. I enjoy writing this blog you are reading right now. It takes up a good amount of my time each day. I also include my blog reading in this hobby which both entertains and educates me. If blogging is a hobby you’d like to pursue, check out my guide on how to start a successful blog! Blogging can potentially make you a lot of money but it is a hard, long road to get there. Most bloggers spend more on their blogs than they make.


Maybe you like to jump into a game at the poker tables or spend your money at an nj online casino or spend the weekend playing nickel slots. As long as you gain enjoyment from gambling while still doing it responsibly then it is an acceptable hobby that generally costs money. Many people enjoy betting on sports games since it adds a bit of excitement to the game they are watching. Again, as long as this is reasonable and money you are willing to lose, then it’s a decent way to add a bit of fun to your weekend. You can also get lucky and win, as my neighbor does on her trips to a nearby casino.


I know quite a few people who consider shopping their hobby and I thank them for keeping the economy rolling! Shopping is rarely going to be a hobby that makes you money. Generally you are buying something that will immediately drop in value as soon as it is used. If you are savvy deals shopper you can reverse this trend by buying things at such a discount they can be resold for profit. However, this hobby is generally something that people do for the thrill of buying, rather than for resale purposes.

How can you make hobbies pay? 

Some of us are lucky enough to have hobbies we enjoy that make us money as well as bring us enjoyment. I’m lucky to enjoy blogging enough that I’ve made it something I love doing that also brings in a bit of income each month. Often you can turn a hobby into a small side business that allows you to do it while also

There are lots of way to make your hobbies pay for themselves and even make you a bit of money on the side. Here are a few ideas for how to do that with other popular hobbies:

  • Gardening – grow extra and sell it to friends and family or on the side of the road
  • Sewing – learn how to make garments or accessories that you can sell to friends or at holiday markets
  • Playing music – perhaps you’re skilled at guitar or violin playing, so turn this into cash by playing at small events and weddings
  • Crafts – if you enjoy making you can always sell your wares on a handmade site like Etsy
  • Working on cars – many people do this for the enjoyment of it but you can work on other people’s cars for a bit of extra cash and practice
  • Woodworking – offer to build items that people in your life need for a fee plus materials cost
  • Traveling – sell your travel photos, act as a tour guide, or write a travel blog with advertisements

Those are just a few ideas of ways to make traditional hobbies pay for themselves and earn a bit more.  Be sure that you are aware of the tax implications of turning a hobby into a money maker. You need to be aware of whether or not your hobby is really a business and what that means for you regarding paying taxes.

Are hobbies worth it if they cost you money? 

Of course hobbies are worth it regardless of whether they make you money or not. Everyone needs to do things in life that they enjoy. You can’t simply work all the time and always be focused on making money. You have to take time to relax and do things you enjoy.

Generally the question to ask yourself is how much is too much to spend on my hobby? Perhaps you can have skydiving as a hobby but you have to limit your jumps to fit your budget each month. Whatever you amount is to spend you have to make sure that it is a limit you don’t exceed. Hobbies can become unhealthy addictions if they take away from money that is used to meet basic needs like rent and food.

Whether hobbies make you money or not you should decide to do them based on how much enjoyment they bring to your life. If you have to spend money to do something but it makes your life 10x more enjoyable… then do it!

Do your hobbies cost you money or make you money? 

Halloween Spending – How Much Do You Spend?

I was shopping yesterday and I noticed how out of control the Halloween displays are in my local store this year. Halloween candy is on display in the front of the store, in the back, on the end aisles. Halloween costumes have their own section. It’s almost as big as Christmas!

Halloween Spending

On average, Halloween spending has been rising rapidly in the past few years.

average halloween spending

“It is no longer just a child’s holiday, and I think that has definitely increased the popularity,” said Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Foundation.

Spending is up in all categories of Halloween spending, not just candy. Spending on candy has increased to $2.23 billion this year, almost double what it was in 2005. Decorations and costumes have seen increased spending as well.

And for those of us lucky enough to have a loving pet, we are expected to spend $350 million this year on pet Halloween costumes. That increase shows the dedication to both Halloween and furry friendships. I admit that I do have a costume for my dog that was given to us as a gift several years ago. It is her costume every year!

Spending on Halloween costumes is expected to reach $2.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and total spending for the holiday is expected to total $7.4 billion, up from a total of $6.9 billion in spending last year.

Here are a few more Halloween spending insights from the NRF:

  • 78% of 18 to 24 year olds will dress in costume this year, up from 73% last year.
  • The average 18 to 24 year old will spend $87 on Halloween activities this year, up from $78.
  • 23 million people will dress their pets in costumes.
  • 33 million people will visit a haunted house.
  • 54 million people will host or attend a Halloween party.

How much do you spend on Halloween? 

This year I plan to spend very little on Halloween. I’m attending a couple Halloween parties where I’ll bring either some candy or a dish that I made. I won’t be handing out candy this year since I won’t be home for trick or treaters. I plan to make a costume out of what I have at home. At most I’ll be out $10 for the experience of celebrating the spookiest holiday.

In the past I have bought actual costumes and I’ve bought a ton of Halloween candy both for trick or treaters and myself. Some years I’ve probably spent close to $100 on the holiday.

I’m curious what other people spend on this particular holiday. Obviously personal finance bloggers probably spend less on a frivolous holiday like this. But who are those people contributing to the billions spent? What are they buying?!?

What do you plan to buy this Halloween? What’s your average spending?