I live in a family with generations of quilters. I’ve known how to sew since I was a little girl, but never really took an interest in it until recently. Let me tell you, quality fabric with attractive patterns can be quite expensive. Fabric for just one quilt for a full-sized bed costs $37. It might not sound like much, but making several quilts a year can get quite expensive.

Your hobby might not be quilting, it could be golfing or movies or socializing, but it can still get expensive. It pays not only to have a budget that guides your spending, but to “post-budget” where you look at what you spent during a month. If your hobbies are taking up more than 5% of your budget, it’s time to re-evaluate. You have a few options

Make money from your hobby

The easiest way to offset the costs of a hobby you love is to figure out how you can make money from it. With quilting, I can easily start selling the quilts. That would cover the cost of making quilts and give me some extra money to save.

Find a way to do it cheaper

If your hobby was reading and you found you were spending hundreds of dollars on books each year, you could start spending more time in the public library. Or, find some friends who also reads books and trade with them. Purchase used books instead of new books. Sell books after you’re done with them. Or donate them and deduct them on your income taxes.

Do it less frequently

Another way to lower the cost of your hobby is to do it less often. Instead of going to the movies every weekend, go once a month.

Hobbies are meant to be fun, but it won’t be fun when your hobby makes you go broke. Spending thousands every year won’t help you reach your financial goals (unless your goal is to be broke). So you have to make some tough decisions when it comes to spending money on hobbies.