Wednesday Finances- Hobbies and Entertainment

This week’s financial analysis is on the Hobby and Entertainment categories of my spending/budget.  I don’t have many fixed expenses in these two categories, so I pulled up reports in Quicken and did an average spending per category over the last year and quarter, although keep in mind that I didn’t always categorize everything properly.

Here is what I found:

Hobbies: $1218.97 total for the last 12 months,  Average per month $101.58

This mostly included scrapbook items, classes, and tools.  There was also some Genealogy expenses such as; a subscription to Ancestry and purchase of historical records.  I’d like to report that my expenses have significantly diminished to an average of $32.25 over the last three months.  I will continue to reduce my expenditures in this area by not purchasing more scrapbook items and using what I already have.

Entertainment: $1635.67 total for the last 12 months,  Average per month $136.31

This category included mostly book purchases, my monthly Netflix, and a ton of iTunes downloads.  In the last three months my expenses have been reduced to an average of $ 46.51 per month.  I can reduce that even further by eliminating my Amazon On Demand purchases and my iTunes downloads.  I have already began to check books out of the library rather than purchase them and will only purchase books if it is something I’ll need to reference continuously in the future.

I am not surprised that my expenses were that high for these two categories.  I am surprised that I have already began reducing my spending in these two areas without even realizing it.  My goal is to get the expenses down to $10 a month on hobbies and $20 a month on Entertainment.  Is that realistic or am I depriving myself of enjoyment?  I think it is a thin line to walk, and sometimes crossing too far one way can lead to a course correction in the wrong direction!

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