Not all hobbies are expensive. However, not all hobbies are inexpensive either!

Actually more than the hobby, it is your personality which impacts the money that you spend on any item (or hobby).

This is not a post supporting running or decrying running. I do not want a bunch of people saying ‘How running will save lakhs of rupees in doctors’ fees’.

Let me talk about a hobby like running.

On the one hand you have many women in our villages who run/ walk about 16km EVERYDAY to get water for their homes. On the other hand you have this YUPPIE runner who cannot step out of the house unless he has about Rs. 45k worth gadgets on his body!

What makes a hobby expensive? Well of course it is the gadgets – Cap (Rs. 2500), Flares (Rs. 9000), Headphones (3000), Tee shirt (Rs. 3000), Watch (Garmin 610 Rs. 25000) Running shorts (Rs. 3000), Water bottle (Rs. 4000), Socks (Rs. 500), Shoes (Rs. 15000).

That sums up to a nice Rs. 66,000 spent on equipment. Then having spent all this, you of course need a coach – a reasonable cost for a coach is about Rs. 25,000 a year – and you find coaches from Rs. 12,000 onwards.

Now the other cost. Rarely does a runner run near his house – so assume some fuel costs to reach the venue of the run. Even on a sharing basis, there has to be some costs – so assuming Rs. 150 per running day would mean about Rs. 30,000 a year.

Assuming you run about 5 races a year, the entrance fee for that would be Rs. 4000. The travel costs for 3 races outside your city can be assumed to be Rs. 9000.

So here is our total cost:

Equipment – 66,000 + Coach 25+fuel 30+race 13= 1,35,000 PER ANNUM.

This is assuming that there is no INTERNATIONAL EVENT. In case you go to a gym, well, add that amount also! Currently I am ignoring your Gym going expenses….

Now take this over a 40 year period, adjust it for inflation, and you will realize that it could be nudging Rs. 2 crores over its life time!

Is this the ONLY way of enjoying a hobby?

Hell, no. You could run with almost zilch gadgets, do not need to use a coach, do not participate in paid races, and run near your house.

All this will mean you will spend say Rs. 2000 a YEAR instead of Rs 1.5 lakhs! Go and make your choice.

Surely most of us would be somewhere between 2k a year to Rs. 1.5L a year….take your pick. Adjust for inflation at 10% p.a. and sum up the amount.

Over a 40 year period, that is YOUR total hobby cost. Over your life time 🙂 Soch lo, bas.

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  1. Nice analysis and good long-term perspectives presented. The fad for gadgets and paraphernalia is so very true. Many of runners (by hobby) I know don’t want the regular shoe any more…they’ve ‘graduated’ to the vibram five-fingers..

  2. 4000 Rs for water bottle? Subra, you have exaggerated the costs…
    this is just one example..

    what is required is just one good pair of shoes… everything else
    is luxury….

  3. Cap (Rs. 2500), Flares (Rs. 9000), Headphones (3000), Tee shirt (Rs. 3000), Watch (Garmin 610 Rs. 25000) Running shorts (Rs. 3000), Water bottle (Rs. 4000), Socks (Rs. 500), Shoes (Rs. 15000). –

    All the above are exaggerated costs
    Cap – 200
    Headphone – 1000
    T shirt – 400
    watch – 1000
    shorts – 400
    water bottle – 20
    socks – 150
    shoes 2000

  4. akp

    did u read the 3rd line from the bottom? or u were in a hurry to comment? btw if u can get me a Garmin for 1000 (Rs. I presume) i would be more than happy to buy.

  5. Read the Status Message that proceeded this article (unless the article came first), and I like the breakup. Wonder how many people actually do the Maths!
    Incidentally, I am not sure about the bit about saving on doctors’ bills- though running keeps some diseases at bay, there are people who have spent more treating running related injuries than I have on normal illnesses.

  6. what about the attitude it bring in you? how about it affecting your professional life as well in a positive way?? Gadgets like what you speak off except for the shoes are expected to last for easy 8 to 10 year period, so basically it means its all the first year investment. Tell me a single event in India except for a hight altitude or ultra event that costs Rs 4000?? quite a bit of exaggeration indeed.

  7. Sankar

    when Subra says 4k i guess he means all the expenses of going for a run – the airfare, trainfare, hotel stay. That way 4k looks very much on the lower side. Also he has just tabulated the costs, it is YOUR call. Do u expect him to say ‘Revenues from running = effecting life in a positive way = Rs. 39,000?’ NO RUNNING GADGET LASTS that long. My Garmin lasted about 5 years. Garments 2-3 years and shoes 18-30 months depending on agree more with Subra

  8. Subra, you missed Protein(Whey, Pea, bars), hydration(F&U,Gatorade,..), neutrition cost, massage/recovery spends,…flight charges,…abhi itna fast bhag to… TMM to banta hi na. What, not doing TMM ? …blasphemy…
    Its India’s latest and mine, most expensive hobby.

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