18 Popular Hobbies That Have Become Too Costly to Pursue

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By Jonathan Trent

Having a hobby you love is extremely important in life. It helps you to learn new skills and relax. Yet many hobbies have become significantly more expensive to pursue, including equipment or membership fees. These are 18 popular hobbies that most people simply can’t afford anymore.


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Golf has often been considered the ‘rich man’ sport, and it’s no surprise why. Golfing as a hobby will see you paying for membership fees, training, uniforms and, of course, the clubs and balls. As an affordable alternative, you might want to hit up your local Crazy Golf!


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Even if you’re trying to budget and share costs, traveling has easily become significantly more expensive in recent years. According to CNBC, the cost of airplane tickets alone has risen by 25%. And if you’re solo traveling without anyone to share the costs with, it can seem even more impossible!


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Sure, everyone can take a good photo these days on their phone camera, but if you’re serious about photography as a hobby, it’s going to cost you. Even though digital options have made many things easier, it’s still a hefty amount to invest in a high-quality camera, lenses, and equipment.

Gourmet Cooking

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Gourmet cooking takes the foodie pastime to the next level, enabling you to source improved ingredients and try more complicated recipes. Yet, thanks to the rising cost of food – CBS reports that the cost of food rose by 0.4% in only one month in early 2024 – gourmet cooking is now a fanciful dream.

Art Collecting

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Art collecting used to be a more casual hobby, where you could enjoy the process of finding unique pieces or even bargain paintings. Nowadays, there is more competition when it comes to the best pieces, which means it’s swiftly become an exclusive hobby amongst the rich.


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An average-income family would once have been able to enjoy this hobby if they budgeted effectively. Not only that, individuals might easily be able to rent smaller boats instead of buying their own. Yet increasing fees such as marina charges and upkeep mean this is a very costly hobby indeed.

Wine Tasting

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If you’re a lover of wine, then wine tasting is a no-brainer hobby for you. Unfortunately, it might also now be out of your price range. If you’re looking for the best tasting experiences, you often have to travel to exclusive locations and book private tasting sessions, all of which can run up a high bill.

Scuba Diving

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Thanks to rising prices, scuba diving is an experience best left for vacations rather than a regular hobby if you don’t have savings to spare. Scuba diving relies on high-quality technical equipment as well as certification, and even the costs to be taken out on a boat have to be factored in.

Mountain Climbing

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Hitting the right walking trails is often free. Yet with mountain climbing, you have to invest more in high-quality equipment and gear, all of which may be increasing in price. And if you don’t live near the best mountain climbing spots, then you have to pay for the travel to get there, too!


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Taking flying lessons used to be surprisingly affordable if you budgeted for it. Nowadays, it’s swiftly become a hobby only for the rich. This is thanks to training fees, insurance costs, and prices for hangars and fuels, to name a few.

Auto Racing

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Any car lover will know it can easily become an expensive hobby, yet auto racing, in particular, has become far out of reach financially. Even at a beginner level, if you’re looking to race cars, you’ll need to pay all the associated expenses, including race entry fees and required equipment.

Home Brewing

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Home brewing beer is no longer the money-saving pastime it used to be. According to the Home Brewers Association, the availability of ingredients, time and labor, electricity needed, equipment costs and bottle expenses must all be taken into consideration. This makes home-brewing often a hefty initial payout.

Equestrian Sports

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Keeping a horse can now be considered something only the rich do, but it used to be affordable. If you want to pursue equestrian sports as a hobby, then you need enough funding for riding lessons, stabling, equipment and farrier services, not to mention vet bills for your horse.


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Cycling is a popular fitness hobby, but if you want anything more advanced than a basic bike, you’re looking at a high price tag. If you’re a passionate cycling enthusiast, you may not be able to afford all the high-end bikes, safety equipment, bike maintenance, or travel costs to the world’s best cycling routes.

Antique Collecting

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Florida Today explains that “demand, availability and quality” all affect the value of antiques, and these can fluctuate all the time. This means antique collecting can be a very unpredictable hobby in terms of high investment cost. Those who are serious about this hobby will often be up against competitors for the best pieces.

Hot Air Ballooning

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Hot air ballooning has become increasingly popular over the years, as many tourists in particular enjoy a scenic ride during their travels. Looking to hot air balloon as a personal interest means you have to factor in the costs of owning and maintaining a balloon and paying for the fuel.


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Skydiving can be a one-time experience for some people. Yet, for others, the buzz can mean they look to actively skydiving as a hobby. Learning to skydive so that you can do it regularly can be extremely expensive, however, factoring in the necessary equipment and plane costs.


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Yachting has very much moved into a costly hobby only for the elite. Faced with the price of even just renting a yacht instead of owning one, as well as crew salaries and docking fees, this pastime is reserved for those with plenty of savings to make the ocean their second home.