How much do you spend on audio gear (or other hobbies)?

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by itsikhefez, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. itsikhefez

    itsikhefez Rando

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    Over the past few years I've gotten better jobs and higher salaries, but I still get pretty guilty if I want to spend non-trivial amounts of money ($800-1500) on additional audio gear.
    I don't hoard stuff.. I usually sell with minimal loss whatever I don't use.
    I have some other hobbies that could get expensive (cycling, photography), but I only spend on those every few years.

    Ideally, we hold on to things for a few years so the cost is amortized.. but there are phases of exploration where we want to try out a bunch of things and may spend more (where I'm at now)

    Situations differ.. (marriage, kids, mortgages, other debt), but in general, how much are you OK spending on audio (or other hobbies), as a percentage of your gross annual income?
     
  2. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    You have your salary that your wife knows about.
    And then you have 'bonuses' that only you knew about.
     
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  3. Ntbm3

    Ntbm3 Acquaintance

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    haha, it's all relative... I have been a car guy my whole life and have dropped more money in consumables from track days than I have ever spent on audio. Tires... pads.. rotors... fuel! I don't want to think about it. Let alone the financial disaster of buying, modding and selling cars. Makes audio seem like a financially sound decision!

    Still feel guilty and struggle to justify equipment at a certain price level....

    But it is getting easier :)
     
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  4. dumbo

    dumbo Almost "Made"

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    Underwater camera gear most years but this year I bought more audio stuff.
     
  5. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

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    I save abt 5% of my earning every month to save up for my audio purchases.

    This is off-balance-sheet and the wife doesn't know.
     
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  6. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    Down to zero 'til something out of warranty quits working.
     
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  7. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Friend

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    Simple rule of discretionary spending: Can I replace it without batting an eyelid if it goes up in smoke? Yes, buy it. No, don't.
     
  8. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

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    Thats my rule for investment.
     
  9. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    IN the last five years I was buying a lot of things, building my main two channel setup, and then decided to go into headphones. So I was spending paying for gear, and paying for some of my stupid decisions, maybe $4k a year for the last 4 years. Which by other people standards may be not much, but I has never expected to spend so much when I started. But this is the first time I am pretty satisfied with what I have and it has been like that for almost a year, which is strange.
    I think I will set my budget for $1k a year unless something breaks.
     
  10. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Too much damn money that I'm embarrassed to say. It's a problem that you spend more on hardware than music.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  11. spwath

    spwath Collegiate hijinks master

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    80% of my income goes to Audio gear and random crap on Craigslist, but I am a college student with no bills to pay and a meal plan.
     
  12. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    I was like you once. Then when you get out of college and get a real job, it becomes 80% real life/20% audio. : /
     
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  13. Chops

    Chops Acquaintance

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    Sounds like me. In the past 2 and a half years, I've spent a third of what my 2016 Nissan 370Z cost me initially just on go-fast parts, wheels, tires, engine mods, full exhaust, full suspension, tune, full brake system upgrade, small sound system, LOTS of fuel. I've spent about that same amount again on my home system over the past 3 years.
     
  14. itsikhefez

    itsikhefez Rando

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    Interesting replies. Alot of the answers are subjective, but I was curious about real numbers. We can talk in percentages, since income is private info for most. Right now, my total gear costs around 5-6K.
    Some Genelec monitors, Buffalo DAC, HD800S, HD650, ZMF Aeolus on the way, Torus power conditioner, BH Mainline and 2 other DIY amps, cables etc.
    Obviously not a scientific measurement, but would that be reasonable to hold on to if I were making 50K? 100K? 200K? 300K? Or, 10%/5%/2.5%/1.6% of gross yearly income?
    At what limit would you be comfortable spending and keeping gear?
     
  15. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    I do want to spend more on this hobby, but the problem is balancing out my other interests. Like cars, exercise, sports, music (I'm also a pianist), cooking, scotch, etc. I'm not sure what the exact percentage is that I spend on audio, but I do know that my budget for all my hobbies combined is about 30%.

    I shudder to think what would happen if I were to get a serious gf/get married. Oh the budget.....
     
  16. scapeinator1

    scapeinator1 Once You Go Black You'll Never Go Back

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    The way I think about it is. I set out with a specific budget and I ended up with a system (dac, amp, headphones) that I like that was within that budget. And then I'm done until I the next time I happen to have some cash that wouldn't be better utilized on something else more important or in savings.

    I'm an advocate for spending once and sticking with what you have for a while.
     
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  17. fp627

    fp627 Friend

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    Have many hobbies and interests also but I look at most of it this way:

    How much do I realistically need to spend on the hobby/interest as a whole to be happy/satisfied? I have a rough idea of what I will eventually get when I go into something. Ex I like knives, but $2-3k on all of my knives (kitchen, field, utility, etc.) and associated equipment (whetstones, case, etc.) combined is more than enough for me based on what I know. I'm not there yet either. On the flip side, there are knives out there that $3k still can't buy and I've already spent more than $3k total on audio.
     
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  18. loncher

    loncher Rando

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    As much as I can.
     
  19. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I really hope those above mentioning hiding money from their spouses are joking. We shouldn’t condone that, hence my dislikes.

    My wife and I allocate a fixed dollar amount every month as “fun money” to use on whatever we want. I use most of mine for audio. This monthly amount has gone up a bit over the years, to a couple hundred now. I find doing it this way makes me move much slower with gear acquisitions and avoid FOMO. We also spend a few thousand of annual bonus on stuff we discuss. One year I used a portion of that for my Yggdrasil. Other years it’s stuff like furniture or a trip.

    One of the most influential blog posts I ever read was about the idea of paying yourself a lower fixed salary every month and automatically saving the rest (including future raises, unexpected bonuses, etc.). I implemented that concept early in my career and don’t regret it for a second. I’d way rather save for retirement and retire early than have a fancier car or more unnecessary toys now.
     
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  20. FallingObjects

    FallingObjects Pay It Forward

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    My current plans are to use at least 20% of whatever income I take home for investments/savings/retirement, and after paying off bills and other necessities, spend the rest, following Warren Buffet's advice of "Don't save what's leftover after spending, spend what's leftover after saving."

    I generally try to buy stuff that will last me at least a few years, and churn through things until I find something I like enough to keep. At current rate that ends up at under $500 a year in the long run, plus occasionally needing to fix something like a dead tube or buy new pads.

    Neat side read that sorta shaped how my spending habits have changed over the last few years: The "Boots Theory" of spending from Terry Pratchett's book Men at Arms.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Vimes#Boots_theory_of_socio-economic_unfairness
     
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