Having hobbies in Singapore may cost money, but there are many ways they can help you stretch your dollar.
Hobbies are often considered time and money wasters. But here at SingSaver.com.sg, we think that’s far from the truth.
When handled in moderation, hobbies are not only a great way to recharge; they can also be used to stretch your dollar. Here are some often overlooked aspects of how having a hobby in Singapore can actually be used to save you money:
Time-Consuming Hobbies Can Stretch Your Dollar
If you have a particularly time-consuming hobby, it can actually result in saving rather than spending. For example, if your hobby is painting, there is a high initial cost to buy all the equipment you need. However, painting a portrait of your friend can keep you entertained for several months, without you having to go out and splurge for fun.
The same goes for video games: if you don’t make a habit of compulsively buying games before you finish the ones you have, you’ll find regular expenses can actually go down. Again, that’s because you’re going out less often, perhaps spending whole weekends at home.
Also Read: How to Enjoy Your Hobby Without Going Broke
Music, reading, tennis, and all the hobbies that take effort and time are good at this. All you need to do is repress the urge to spend on peripherals, and focus on the hobby itself. If you can do that, you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to save.
Material Hobbies Often Mean You’re In a Collector’s Market
If your hobby involves collecting physical objects of some sort, odds are there is a market for them. In fact, one of Singapore’s most charming museums – the MINT museum of toys – has millions of dollars worth of antique toys, and comes from the collection of a local engineer (you can visit it on Seah Street).
Comics are also a well known example of this. Back in 2010, a family faced with foreclosure stumbled upon a first issue of Superman, which sold for enough money to pay off their mortgage. Stamps have such a large market for collectors that there is even a fund for investors. (Yes, it’s in Singapore, but don’t get your hopes up as the minimum investment size is supposedly USD $100,000).
Now most hobbyists don’t buy to sell; they buy to collect. But if you ever find yourself in dire straits, collectibles can be liquidated to bail you out. That’s not as bad as having spent your money on expensive meals or hair styling, which don’t leave you anything to resell.
Social Hobbies Let You Develop Your Network
We’ll be blunt: you need to know people to get ahead. Knowing the right people is useful in getting a job, closing a sale, or being referred or recommended to someone who matters in your career. Take a look at the top performers in your office, and you’ll see most – if not all of them – are also the best connected.
Golf is quite well known for this; many business deals are struck on the golfing green. However, social hobbies such as tabletop gaming, football, painting murals, dancing, and so forth also put you in touch with people. This allows you to connect to thousands of people, whom you would otherwise never meet. Any one of them could be a lead to your next job or client.
Hobbies also help you to connect where your culture or background don’t. If you are talking to a prospective employer or customer, for example, you may be able to find common ground if you both share a hobby (consider how chess hobbyists can find a game and a friend in any city, even without speaking the language).
Hobbies Can Be Money-Making Ventures
If you get exceptionally good at your hobby (and you are bound to be at least above average, on the basis of time you spend), you can start making money off it. If you bowl five days a week and have a 270 average, for example, you’re probably in a position to charge for lessons.
Music, painting, and handicrafts are all skills that people will pay for. In this sense, your hobby can lead to a second profession or a viable side-business. Picking up S$60 an hour for music lessons after work (and some people are happy to pay even if you don’t have paper qualifications) is not a bad deal – do it three times a week, and that’s a cold S$720 more per month.
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By Ryan Ong
Ryan has been writing about finance for the last 10 years. He also has his fingers in a lot of other pies, having written for publications such as Men’s Health, Her World, Esquire, and Yahoo! Finance.