Hobbies: Do you need to go all-in?

My Wise Friend

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine whose husband wanted to learn to play the guitar. Wisely, instead of just buying him the guitar, she instead got him a rental one and some lessons so he could decide if he actually liked it. He did and then he bought his own.

My Unwise Friend

Or, I had a friend a few years ago who was buying a bike. She wanted quite literally all the bells and whistles, but I had a feeling that she would actually rarely use it. I cautioned her and said, why don’t you just get the bike, helmet, bell and water bottle holder? See how it goes and then buy some more stuff if you ride a lot. She half-listened to me, and in the end, I don’t think she actually ever rode her expensive bike more than a few times.

Try Before You Buy

I like the idea of the try before you buy, especially as it relates to hobbies. Why not just start small and rent for a while if you can. Or, buy a cheap used one and see how often you actually use it. Or, get the basic new model but resist the temptation to buy all the extras until you know you’ll get a lot of use out of it.

Maybe it’s a lot like life. Testing the waters first, for just about anything isn’t a bad way to go.

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