With two major additions to our budget in the last two months, a mortgage payment and all the costs associated with a baby, maintaining my own hobbies falls to the bottom of the list. As a new mom, though, it is crucial that I keep these interests going, lest I lose my pre-motherhood identity.
My longtime hobbies include baking, photography, fitness, and writing. The last one requires time, not money, and I have maintained that hobby rather well over the last eight weeks. Baking, photography, and fitness, however, can take a chunk out of my monthly budget. I have kept both my sanity and my budget intact by using the following tips:
Borrow Fitness DVDs
As I wrote previously, I dropped my gym membership, cutting over $60 from my monthly budget. In addition to my daily runs and walks, I have begun working my way through Jillian Michaels’ fitness DVDs. My abs are stronger, and my endurance has increased. My local library maintains a reasonably good collection of workout DVDs; so, I can use all of these for free and for up to nine weeks. If the library does not have what I want, I could also request the DVDs through Netflix, a service I have in my budget in place of cable. Netflix also features many fitness DVDs in their streaming service. By not investing in fitness DVDs that will just gather dust once I tire of them, I save around $10 per DVD, and I get to try as many as I would like.
Free Online Photography Tutorials
Over the years, I have spent several hundred dollars on photography classes, and just a few weeks ago, I still primarily shot photos using the “auto” function on my camera. I have wanted to take more classes, but both time and money are barriers to this desire. I found a series of tutorials called “31 Days” that have taken me through how to use the camera, take better photos, and how to edit in Photoshop. What’s your passion? Google “free tutorials” and the name of your hobby, and you will find a plentiful list YouTube videos and more. By working through these free tutorials, I get better at my favorite hobby, and I save the several hundred dollars a class can cost.
Pinterest for Recipe Ideas
I love baking, and I love cookbooks. I have a great collection of beautiful cookbooks that I rarely use. Joining Pinterest has given me a wealth of new baking ideas at no cost. Raspberry Buckle! German Chocolate Upside Down Cake! Each week, I try out several new recipes. My baking has gotten more interesting without shelling out $25-$40 on colorful new cookbooks.
My post-baby identity has to include the time I want to spend with my son, but I have found ways to fit my favorite hobbies into both my new schedule and my new budget.