Most people’s hobbies cost them money. They’re something they “cut back on” when times get tough. When you’re hobby is going out to dinner every week (or multiple times per week) it obviously has to be dialled back a lot if you’re wanting to put as much money as possible into killing that mortgage.
This train of thinking though is yet another example of how many people never even know that there are other train tracks of thought to go on. They are on their set track of having a hobby (let’s be real, eating out is a hobby!) and that these hobbies all cost money. Whether it’s buying fancy shoes, always upgrading your computer (guilty) or collecting any number of random things it all has to cost money.
In fact there are multiple different train tracks, so let’s see how you can do both: have an awesome hobby and mutilate that mortgage!
Hobby Track 1
As I alluded to above, the first type of hobby is what most normal, average Joe’s sit on for their whole life. Hobbies that take up time and that always cost you something. I mean, what else would we use our “disposable” income for!?
These hobbies are always costly and essentially have zero benefit. Maybe it’s binge watching every TV series on Netflix. Perhaps you have an huge, awesome collection of board games, sneakers, football cards, stamps or whatever the latest collectables fad is.
Whatever the case is these hobbies are really not what you want to have in your life. Typically they cost you money, they take up space in your house making it more likely you’ll ‘need” a bigger house next time which also costs you more money. They also take up huge amounts of time and although they might give you some form of pleasure during the moment, they don’t really contribute long term to your wealth, health or life.
All this time, effort and money is thus taken away from killing your mortgage. It also usually ends up making you essentially do things twice. You’ll work to earn money, spend it on the hobby, then have to work a second time to earn more money that then can go into your mortgage. Thankfully though there’s a few other different tracks you can go down if you know about them.
Hobby Track 2
This next level of hobbies if you will is where you chose or do something that is essentially free and develops a usable skill. Maybe you spend your hours studying the basic and then advanced forms of modern day finance and investing. This is essentially free (reading online) and helps you to develop a really good understanding of how finance works for the future.
This can then be used to possibly help you with your work, help you with your current personal finances, maybe help you start a business or get you a better return when you start investing. Whatever the case it’s a hobby that doesn’t step on your mortgage repayments and benefits you in some way.
If finances aren’t your thing maybe read up on and become a budding expert in another field. EV’s, space ships, mobile phones, AI, Blockchain, there are thousands of super exciting fields out there and if you chose wisely you can find something that not only interests you, but will help either solve a problem you have or elevate you above others when you work later.
These hobbies don’t just have to be about reading things either. You could learn to speak a new language which, while there is a fair bit of reading involved, also involves speaking, listening and talking in general to other people. A lot of the time those wishing to learn a new language think you have to pay for expensive courses but at least for the first year or two you can make great strides simply by using free online resources like Duolingo, Memrise, free flash card apps, YouTube videos/channels and more.
You can even volunteer for certain things if you want a hobby that’s more sociable. This is (obviously) free to do, involves groups of people usually and also has been shown to be one of the most rewarding things you can do to become happier. Finally there’s the simpler at home hobbies like Yoga or Pilaties that you can try too. There’s tons of free online resources for these as well but even if you pay for lessons or other sports, I’d still consider this to be a “neutral” cost overall for reasons I’ll explain later on in this piece.
Hobby Track 3
Finally we have the top, best level for a hobby. This final stage is where you get the best all round results and it actually helps accelerate your life. This is because these types of hobbies are not just “cost neutral” or free, but actually earn you income.
As said time and again, there are two main ways to pay off your mortgage faster: save more or earn more. There is a limit to how much fat you can cut from your budget but there isn’t any limit to how much money you can earn.
When it comes to hobbies Track 1 costs you time, money and effort. Track 2 costs you time, is free usually and is beneficial to your life. Track 3 however greatly helps your life and should earn you a growing income over time.
Maybe you turn your love of board games into a budding drop shipping side gig business. Another common path is to fix peoples computers on the side if you’re into IT. You can even take it a step further and do full blown consultations with others looking for expert opinion / advice on the area you’ve learned all about. Some fields like finance require special certificates in order to do this but a lot of others don’t.
Whether you mainly stick to Track 2 or take the next leap to Track 3, the main point to take away from this piece is that hobbies shouldn’t cost you money and contribute to negative impacts on your life like making you unhealthy or fat.
They should instead be free (or near free) and help you develop your knowledge and capabilities over the years as you get better and better. One other common hobby is also sports which do usually cost money, but I’d still consider them generally a “neutral” thing as if you don’t do sport and don’t stay fit and healthy then it ends up costing you a huge amount long term.
If you keep getting fat from never doing any exercise you have to buy new clothes. You are more likely to end up having costly medical issues, your energy levels go down, you look less attractive which can then all lead to more issues like depression and so on.
So while hobbies don’t necessarily have to always earn you tons of money – this can often take the fun out of it! – do makes sure they’re not contributing to otherwise bad behaviours. Shopping, eating out constantly, partying every week, watching TV for hours on end, buying otherwise worthless collectables should all be phased out.
In 10 years time it won’t really mean much if you have had 100 Beanie Babies sitting on your shelf collecting dust or watched every GOT episode three times over. Instead think of what it’d be like to be able to speak another language fluently, be an expert on nutrition and be earning $500 or so extra every week by doing a couple of hours of consultations with clients on the side.
The benefits include: 1) How to pay off your mortgage faster than 99% of people with one hour a month of work 2) How to get rid of your debt and have the freedom to spend money on the things you love, guilt free 3) Clear outline of how to setup your expenses, mortgage and general finance 4) How offset accounts work and how to get the same result without being gouged by the big banks 5) How to cut through the crap and focus on the things that truly matter when taking down a mortgage 6) How to adjust the strategy so it works for you, even if you have kids, even if you only have one income 7) How to do all of these things and maintain a normal social life (and never be cheap).