Trim The Fat Tuesday: The Hobbies

This week is  quick and easy because we are super busy with tech week for our latest theatrical endeavor:


This is not unrelated to this post, by the way. We're going to save a little money this week by

Adjusting our hobby budget to reflect changes in interests. 

We keep a pretty detailed budget for the household, and our current line item for "hobbies" is set for $97.50 per month. This was based on our actual spending on things like road races and triathlons (Kirk), figure skating lessons (me), and production fees for local plays (both of us). (The kids are not included in this, as their lessons and activities are a separate item in the budget.)

Since we're adults and no longer actually need to be so very well-rounded in our ongoing education, this is an easy place to cut back. It's also an easy place to double check and make sure the budget reflects our current reality.

Turns out, it doesn't. I have stopped skating in recent years in favor of spending more time doing plays and musicals; ditto for Kirk on the road races. Our actual spending so far this year on hobbies has been just $532.94 over the 10 months of the school year, or an average of $53.29 per month. We're not on a track to reach our full budget, so I can safely and painlessly trim some money out of that line item and add it to our savings.

I'm not going to cut back all the way to just $53, though--we're doers, and we are always picking up new skills and trying new things. I want to make sure we can still feel free to explore current and developing passions, so I'm only going to carve out $15 per month so far. That leaves us plenty of room to learn a new instrument or take a beekeeping class or go back to yoga or whatever strikes our fancy in the coming year.

Savings per month: $15

Total savings for June: $699.50 (this month's savings plus the savings already in place from previous months!)

Total savings in 2014: $2583.50

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