Buying Stuff as Part of Doing Stuff

I realised long ago that I have a real tendency when I’m embarking on a project, a new hobby, or some plan to improve a skill to equate the act of buying stuff, spending money on equipment, materials etc with actual progress or hard work.

I’m sure capitalism is mostly to blame and online shopping only makes it worse. I think I maybe get it from my Dad, who regularly starts new hobbies and projects, laying out money in his excitement to get into them.

I’m definitely not as bad as him but I recognise the temptation. I never spend lots on something I don’t know that I’ll continue with and I do occasionally manage to dissuade myself from an unnecessary purchase but i often succumb on a small scale.

Just this morning I resisted buying some items before I play Dungeons and Dragons with my girlfriend’s boys for the first time. I recognised that I have no idea if they’ll like it or not and given that I’m not particularly interested in the game for myself it makes no sense to be stuck with a pile of stuff when they quietly ask their Mum “do we have to play this game again?” But the temptation to acquire was very strong.

I also find myself sliding towards the idea of giving a drum teacher on Youtube some cash on Patreon as an alternative to putting in the hours of work practising.

So, how do you compare? Do you find yourself chucking money at brand new hobbies, buying all the gear rather than doing the actual work or are you someone who recognises they can do without fancy equipment and make do with homemade alternatives?

Tell all etc.

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Can’t remember the last time I had a new hobby.:frowning:

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100% guilty of this. Spent quite a bit on new running shoes, felt like I’d basically run a 5k by virtue of doing so. I have not yet run a 5k and am a long way from doing so because running is hard and I’m bad at it.


I had a mate once who was awful for this. During sixth form a bunch of us got the idea to take up fencing (swords, not garden walls) and went to a club at the local leisure centre. They supplied all the kit, but he went and bought his own gear. Of course we all got bored of it after a few months. He’s done that with everything - he took playing American football at uni and got all the kit, and he’s gone through phases of photography, tabletop gaming (building all the scenery and stuff), motorbikes… current thing is barbecuing I think.

Don’t think any of my hobbies really need much in the way of gear (outside of an on-off homebrewing phase), but still end up spending too much money on beer / games / whatever my interests are.

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Used to be massively opposed to this, basically avoiding taking up a hobby that involved any kind of expenditure (i.e. most of them) even if it was something I could afford. Guess I got it from my parents as they’re pretty frugal

Am much less stingy about it now and enjoy stuff way more as a result

Interesting to hear the other side of this.

There’s a healthy balance clearly. I totally understand shying away from things that will cost money if funds have been tight traditionally for a family.

Have a very, very hardline stance on not buying gear until I’ve been doing something for years and definitely need it (ie, I keep getting in situations where I really need it).

This is the same for almost everything, but guitar pedals are a different story.


I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your Maxi-Grip Technical Hammer there.

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100% this - I keep buying more games for the Switch, even though I have a backlog of literally hundreds of hours to play through and only a few hours a week to play. So why do I do it? I think each one is a little promise to myself in the future, a small piece of optimism about what might be.

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So, you’re saying that you wouldn’t have bought that Dungeon Masters’ Screen for £11.89 prior to the first game with Emily’s boys, right?

got a mate who took up… tap dancing, pole dancing, saxophone and darts (not at the same time) within a year
:laughing: :roll_eyes:


Yeah. I am weirdly tough on this kind of thing though. Presumably comes from being relentlessly skint until I was about 25 or something. Don’t think it’s normal or necessarily good.

You can’t really fail at buying stuff.

You can fail at doing stuff.


Well, if it keeps consumption down that’s not a bad thing and just because something’s the norm it doesn’t make it desirable. We could probably all do with a little of your steel.

I have this mate too. Photography? Bought a hugely expensive camera on hire purchase, a bunch of magazines… never got any further with it.

I think it might have something to do with our generation having access to endless debt and nobody to tell us “no”.


And similarly, I love the researching stage of buying stuff, the hours I put into youtube reviews of my emulator handheld, looking at different models, figuring out which dropshippers were more reputable, working out the better value options. Weirdly soothing even though I don’t like spending money or acquiring stuff…

Think there are a couple of things in play as well.

The usual markers of adulthood are harder to achieve now so we try and fill our lives with experiential things instead.

The internet gives us greater access, and - to an extent - has demystified a lot of creative pursuits, so they can seem more achievable/accessible.

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Anyway I’m off to become a twitch DJ


I’m ok for this except with guitar pedals. I like to feel like I’m getting good value for money, so never go nuts on top end stuff for any of my hobbies and aim for best bang for the buck.

I played a rubbish bass for years until I got my really nice one and wish I’d done it sooner, though, because I’ve never been disappointed by it and don’t even think about buying another one.