Budgeting for Pricey Pursuits

Motorcycling, sailing, snowboarding—my favorite sports aren't exactly cheap. And if you knit, garden, ski or scuba dive, I’m sure you can relate.

A pricey hobby is worth every dime—but you still have to control your overhead.

Kenia on bike
Easy Rider: Kenia on her '94 Kawasaki EX500 Ninja

First step: I monitor everything from buying gear to oil changes. (Yes, the chart is geeky. But I'm also an engineer.)

  Motorcycling Sailing Snowboarding
Start-up Costs $1800: First bike
$350: Jacket, gloves, boots
$160: Beginners' Sabot sailing class $200: Snow pants & boots
Snowboard: FREE (gift!)"
Activity Costs $200: 1 track day
$20: Gas for 1 weekend ride
$350: Weekend yacht charter, moor fee, food & drinks $500: Tahoe trip (all expenses)
$300: Mammoth trip (all expenses)
Maintenance Costs $400+: Oil changes, tires, parts
$150: 6-month insurance premium
$75: Annual DMV registration
None! $5: Board wax

How do I pay for all this? I follow the 60% budget solution—4% of my gross income goes toward fun and travel, and 2.5% goes toward a new motorcycle. It also helps that I’m single with no kids (for now!), and that I live in California, where I have easy access to my activities.

Travel in groups. I split yacht rentals with 9 other people. We carpool on snowboarding trips, split a rental condo, and eat in.
Volunteer. I teach a sailing class every summer, so I sail for free!
DIY. I do most of my own motorcycle maintenance.

Break it down. What are your expensive pleasures, and how do you pay for them?

Kenia Perez works
in the aerospace
industry in California.