When you and your significant other are creating your budget, you may wonder how much should Couples Allocate for their hobbies? After all, Hobbies make life more enjoyable and can be a great way to meet new friends and grow personally. Yet, some hobbies like skiing are expensive and can cause conflict if you’re not both on the same page about what to spend.
How Much Should Couples Allocate for Their Hobbies?
Chances are, if you research this question, you’ll find differing answers.
Follow the 50-20-30 Budget
Some recommend following the 50-20-30 rule, so use 50 percent of your income on necessities, 20 percent on savings, and 30 percent on wants. Using this formula, you and your spouse could spend thousands of dollars on your hobbies.
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A Flat 10 Percent
Another popular answer is to spend 10 percent of your take-home pay on hobbies. This is more conservative, yet still gives you and your spouse a reasonable amount to spend on hobbies.
What You Can Comfortably Afford
A better but less formulaic answer is to budget what you can comfortably afford. If you are on a tight budget, especially if you’re recently married and recent college graduates, you may only be able to afford a few hundred dollars a year for your hobbies. While that is a meager amount, if it’s all you can afford, that’s the responsible amount to spend.
As your pay increases, you and your partner can allocate more money to your hobbies. You’ll likely only need a few years of steady wage increases before reaching a more comfortable level to spend on your hobbies.
Can the Hobby Make Money?
However, one exception is if your hobby makes money. Then, you may want to allocate a bit more to it. For instance, my dad’s hobby was scouring the countryside for old El Caminos. He would buy one and then spend months fixing it up. This was not a cheap hobby, but while he renovated the car, he’d drive it, so he didn’t need another vehicle. Then, when the car was in pristine condition, he’d sell it and make a tidy profit. True, he spent a lot on this hobby, but he recouped the money he spent and then some when he sold the vehicle.
Can You Create an Income Stream?
Another way you can spend more on your hobby is if you can use it to create an income stream. For instance, one woman I know loved genealogy research. She had a subscription to Ancestry and bought genealogy books and software. Since she and her husband were on a tight budget in retirement, she turned her hobby into a revenue source. She offered to research other people’s genealogies. They would pay her a flat sum, and she would research a certain number of hours and present her findings in a neat package.
If you can create an income stream from your hobby, you can spend a bit more on it.
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How much should couples allocate for their hobbies? Unfortunately, there is no one correct answer. The amount will depend on your finances and if the hobby can make money. While hobbies bring enjoyment to people’s lives, how much to spend on those hobbies depends on your comfort level.
This article How Much Should Couples Allocate for Their Hobbies? originally appeared on Rick Orford - Invest, Earn More Income & Save Money.
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