Brief background. My wife hates spending any money, particularly on herself. She worries that the roughly 600€ she spends a year on her gardening passion (seeds, shrubs, plants etc) are unjustifiable (but only to her - I really appreciate what she does in the garden). She says she feels better about it, knowing that I regularly (and very reluctantly) have to spend about 500€ a year on servicing and repairing my 2 heavily used bikes. My other interests (playing the piano, drawing, walking our dogs, and following current affairs) mercifully cost virtually nothing at all.
It would be interesting to hear if you know (or even care) roughly how much you spend on your interests, and whether your other halves (where relevant) know - or care - about the amounts being spent? My wife knows of one woman who didn’t let on to her husband that she had 9 horses… another worried at how to meet an £11,000 repair bill on a horsebox her husband was unaware she even owned!
For many years in the UK I spent all my spare cash and holiday entitlement following a certain football team around the UK and Europe, as well as a financial cost it was also partially responsible for the ending of my first marriage. I would imagine that at the time (80’s/90’s) we’d be talking about £200/£300 per month.
It was clearly an addiction as it consumed my life but looking back now I wouldn’t actually have changed a thing as I made some life long friends and visited places that most people would never go to unless it was for football.
My only hobby now is the farm renovation, it quite literally takes up all my time, the two renovations have taken up the last 9 years
My hobby used to be cars, I had a fleet of 13 at one point including a Jaguar XFR-s 5L V8, a 6L V12 BMW 760Li and a BMW 850 5.4L V12, quite a few classic cars as well, but nearly all gone now as they are in the UK.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, for both of us. Even when I was flitting far and wide throughout Europe, other people, who benefitted equally but differently, paid all my expenses. Even now on a very reduced and occasional sortie the same applies.
Oh, just remembered, €8.99/month on Netflix, though under review at the moment due to 90% lack of decent content. Even British films and series have American sutitles.
@George1 wish my ex wife had been as financially conscious as yours but on the positive side, I now have the resources to pursue what I love and that’s outdoor and general keep fit activities, for which I’m now pretty much kitted out, art and my guilty pleasure car, which cost me too much last year to get back on the road and now thinking of selling as just don’t use it enough. What I’ve very much noticed since moving over to France is that my values have really changed and I now take so much more pleasure from the simpler things, versus the previous life of consumption and never really having any quality time. I keep receiving offers to go back to work, but no amount of money on this planet would drag me back now
I hate to think what we spend on the garden……Much less now, but it is the one thing where there is never any disagreement about spending money.
The other luxury spend is on travelling to see/hear/watch things, and just go places.
I do pilates, Qi Gong and singing - all with local associations so not that expensive. I also like making things - huge range of techniques and media - and although mainly using found materials there is generally some sort of spend.
OH buys books and subscribes to journals etc.
But we live within our income, so that’s my benchmark. Having spent all of my life up to now being careful, and saving, I have now reached a turning point where I spend rather than save.
I”m off to a memorial service tomorrow for a friend my age. And have two other friends who are unlikely to survive that much longer. It focuses the mind, I am not suddenly going to splurge money on useless stuff, but neither am I going to worry about the rainy day which I may not be around to see.
I own, breed( occasionally), and show my Deerhounds. As well as three cats. And five guinea pigs. It used to be between seven and seventeen Deerhounds. We feed predominantly fresh, they require a suitable vehicle, show entries, vet, and the rest. They have been my life since I bought the first one at 18. I’m now 56. Houses have been bought purely on grounds of suitability for the dogs and large gardens. Husband’s have been picked purely on grounds of suitability for the dogs. I have no idea what it costs, and I don’t care. My garden has been another hungry mouth to feed, but that’s pretty much established now. Planting an orchard does not come cheap. But I consider it an investment on so many levels.
There are of course books and papers, but since we have bought Kindles that has reduced somewhat. I like the free to read offerings from so many new authors. I am a silversmith in my spare time, but silver does not cost the earth, and I specialise in finding silver cutlery at vide greniers to melt down and use.
I love my garden George and can relate to the amounts your wife is spending. When we first came out here fifteen years ago we had money in the bank from the sale of our house in the UK and I thought nothing of going to our local (wonderful) garden centre and spending 100+€ on trees and shrubs to begin to fill up what was a blank canvas of a large garden and field beyond. (It had been a second home and so they weren’t really into growing much). At the time I think I must have been one of their best customers and I got some quite good vouchers out of them, which of course went on more plants!
Over the years though, I’ve greatly reduced my expenditure. Had to! For three years all my spare money was going on keeping our lovely, lovely Airedale alive, with visits to acupuncturists, osteopaths and so on in addition to the pills she was taking - we were able to give her quality of life and so the money was very well spent.
The gardening has evolved. These days I take cuttings of everything because the garden is so big. I love that there are now entire sections of borders that have been planted with (free) daughters and granddaughters of shrubs and roses that I bought all those years ago. I also spread seeds everywhere. I found some Nigella flowering in the gravel our first summer and I now have it everywhere in the garden. Field poppies, the same. Being a real Scrooge, I get great pleasure from my opportunistic planting where stuff just pops up.
Apart from that, for me it’s photography - but that’s not too expensive these days - all digital - except when printing for an exhibition.
For him, it’s books and CDs. Mainly Kindle these days, but there are some books that just need to be held.
Same here. I was originally going to work from home in France for a minimum of another 5 years, from 2018. It didn’t work out for particular reasons and I thought that it would put our move to France in jeopardy. We did the sums though, given out assets and income, and we figured that we could make it work for us. We wouldn’t have a huge amount to live on until pension age … 11 years in the future at that point, but we didn’t really think it would be an issue, and it hasn’t been.
I too have been given offers to work again, it started during lockdown. No thanks