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  • Hourly cost of hobbies

    I loved the Tip of the month on the email today! Converting everything to an hourly rate can help compare the value of your different hobbies.

    My biggest hobby is reading/listening to sci-fi books. I spend about $200 a year on my audible for the subscription and add on purchases. It tracks hours listened and I am a shade under 400 hours a year. So it cost me about $0.50 an hour. Great value!!!

    Last year I got fancy bone conduction headphones by Aftershockz as a gift. But the gift was from my kids/wife for fathers day so I can add the $70 price on there and it would increase the cost a little. I consider the power to run it negligible

    I am weird and prefer to buy my physical books rather than use a library but I mostly buy used and not current so my average book price is $5 or so. I am also a slow reader and my books tend to be longer so I would say I get at least 10 hours out of each making the cost per hour the same.

    This does not take into account when I re read/listen to a book.



    I play online chess a lot this past year. Quite a lot actually. Closing in on 4K games. and logged a little over 400 Hours in the past 12 months. It is free other then power consumption which cannot be much


    Unfortunately that is pretty much all I do routinely. The rest of my time is work and kids. The balance will shift and I am sure some more expensive hobbies will come in.


  • #2
    I applaud the effort, but I wonder how WCI came up with some of his cost estimates. I know mountain biking doesn’t cost me $25 an hour, but I am way cheaper than he is.

    Aside from the cost of driving to the trailhead, hiking is basically free.

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    • #3
      Must everything be assessed by the dollar valuation we assign? What about the pleasure derived from these hobbies?

      If it's all about the money in the end, we should give up all hobbies and work during those extra hours!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lithium View Post
        I applaud the effort, but I wonder how WCI came up with some of his cost estimates. I know mountain biking doesn’t cost me $25 an hour, but I am way cheaper than he is.

        Aside from the cost of driving to the trailhead, hiking is basically free.
        Mountain biking doesn't usually cost me $25/hr, but last weekend:

        1. Wife (the doc) left work early on Friday (her block day, so lost income)
        2. Drove the whole family 4 hours to Tahoe (~$40 on tank of gas)
        3. Stayed in a Airbnb at Northstar with friends (~$500/family)
        4. Packed all our food (saved a little?)
        5. Two lift tickets ($148)
        6. Took my son fishing ($10 state park fee)

        Interestingly, the most expensive part of this trip was making my wife take a half day off on her surgical block day... I'm guessing that mtb trip cost me >$300/hr... ouch. That's not even factoring in the cost of my carbon fiber mtb, rack, gear, etc. Then again, I only go to Tahoe a few times a year, so that's not quite fair.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by danesgod View Post

          Mountain biking doesn't usually cost me $25/hr, but last weekend:

          1. Wife (the doc) left work early on Friday (her block day, so lost income)
          2. Drove the whole family 4 hours to Tahoe (~$40 on tank of gas)
          3. Stayed in a Airbnb at Northstar with friends (~$500/family)
          4. Packed all our food (saved a little?)
          5. Two lift tickets ($148)
          6. Took my son fishing ($10 state park fee)

          Interestingly, the most expensive part of this trip was making my wife take a half day off on her surgical block day... I'm guessing that mtb trip cost me >$300/hr... ouch. That's not even factoring in the cost of my carbon fiber mtb, rack, gear, etc. Then again, I only go to Tahoe a few times a year, so that's not quite fair.
          If we start factoring in opportunity cost of lost income, every hobby costs at least $200 an hour, because we could all theoretically be drones who do nothing but work and sleep.

          Screw that.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lithium View Post
            I applaud the effort, but I wonder how WCI came up with some of his cost estimates. I know mountain biking doesn’t cost me $25 an hour, but I am way cheaper than he is.

            Aside from the cost of driving to the trailhead, hiking is basically free.
            I can only imagine that most of the other bikers I see with the spandex clothing and padded shorts have outfits that cost more then my bike. And their bikes cost more then my car!!!

            Even the same hobby can cost a very different amount.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lordosis View Post

              I can only imagine that most of the other bikers I see with the spandex clothing and padded shorts have outfits that cost more then my bike. And their bikes cost more then my car!!!

              Even the same hobby can cost a very different amount.
              I find this phenomenon is as interesting as the variation of pay within the same specialty of medicine

              My husband likes to wash his own car on the weekend

              I found that to be an odd hobby but to each their own. I had foolishly assumed it wouldn’t cost much (soap and water right?) but apparently you can spend quite a bit on car washing hardware and chemicals

              I like to tease him we’ve gone from “drive a beater, get rich” to “I am fairly certain you’ve spent as much on car washing supplies as the entire cost of our first beater!”

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              • #8
                Lordosis, how do you work full time and have kids but have time to write thousands of WCI forum posts per year and play thousands of chess games??

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pysibal View Post
                  Lordosis, how do you work full time and have kids but have time to write thousands of WCI forum posts per year and play thousands of chess games??
                  I rarely sleep. And I am playing chess as I type this. I squeeze moves/ games in everywhere! When I need my eyes for something else I listen to my Sci-FI.

                  But good point another hobby is hanging out here and BSing with you people! That is also free and sometimes increases my wealth!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lithium View Post
                    I applaud the effort, but I wonder how WCI came up with some of his cost estimates. I know mountain biking doesn’t cost me $25 an hour, but I am way cheaper than he is.

                    Aside from the cost of driving to the trailhead, hiking is basically free.
                    How does he spend $25/hour on Mountain biking? I’d have to completely trash my bike every 3 months to come anywhere near that. Buy the bike, use gel in the tubes so flats are rare and you don’t have to replace tubes, and you’re good to go! And yes, other than new hiking shoes every year, hiking is basically free too.

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                    • #11
                      Drive to Colorado, go glamping, seems easy to me. I suspect it's easy to underestimate what you spend on your fun. I am stunned by what the soccer parents are spending on a sport that is so popular worldwide partly because it can be played with rubber bands and no shoes.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HikingDO View Post

                        How does he spend $25/hour on Mountain biking? I’d have to completely trash my bike every 3 months to come anywhere near that. Buy the bike, use gel in the tubes so flats are rare and you don’t have to replace tubes, and you’re good to go! And yes, other than new hiking shoes every year, hiking is basically free too.
                        I’m kinda surprised you’re not tubeless

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                        • #13
                          I am tubeless on my mountain bikes, but I have to add more Stanz every now and then to keep the seal. That Stanz cost adds up over time, so now my groupies buy the little bottles a dozen at a time and share the wealth!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lithium View Post

                            If we start factoring in opportunity cost of lost income, every hobby costs at least $200 an hour, because we could all theoretically be drones who do nothing but work and sleep.

                            Screw that.
                            I do see your point, but also I sort of disagree: we could have done a Friday night - Sunday trip. Instead we chose to start our hobby on a weekday. When you choose to do a hobby does matter, in our case traffic to Tahoe was horrible later in the day. Some hobbies are only open at certain times of the year for example (e.g. skiing) and/or certain times of the day (e.g. golf), other hobbies could be done 24/7 (e.g. Lordosis's chess games / whiskey tasting).

                            Edit: on top of that, and this was my original implication, my wife can't just pick up more OR time easily, OR is shared, times are assigned, and the OR has to be staffed.
                            Last edited by danesgod; 07-01-2021, 12:07 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Some things are better left uncalculated right? Like prepaying vacations
                              Our boat is not as nice as WCI but still..

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