Life’s about to get more expensive.

We’re pregnant! Okay, that was mean. We aren’t pregnant at all. I really need to stop doing that, otherwise you probably won’t believe me when the time comes for a real baby announcement. While there aren’t any babies in our immediate future, our life is about to get a heck of a lot more expensive.

For the first time since I graduated high school, I am going to be in the Pacific Northwest for an entire ski season. I’m freaking pumped. I haven’t skied more than once or twice in a season in nine years. NINE YEARS!!!!

Obviously San Diego living isn’t the most ski-friendly environment. Sure, there is Big Bear, but who the heck wants to drive 4 hours to ski on man-made snow? Not I.


Last night, I hopped on the Stevens Pass website to see what a lift ticket is costing nowadays. The numbers aren’t pretty:

Ugh, sixty-five smackers to enjoy a day on the slopes? Is this a joke? I coulda swore in high school the tickets were like $35. And I think gas was $1.23/gallon too. My how the times have changed.

Frick it. 

I’m going skiing…a lot. Even if that means we’ll be $1,000 poorer this winter because of it. Sometimes ya just gotta spoil yourself, ya know? Now I just have to ask the other half if that’s cool with her. The Nordstrom sale is coming up soon, so my guess is she’s gonna negotiate an epic shopping spree in to this deal. Darn you Girl Ninja and your Jedi-mind tricks!

What are some of your “expensive” hobbies? Do you partake in that activity as much as you’d like (rock climbing, yoga, photography, etc) or do you cut back in the name of frugality? How the heck do you people in the midwest survive a cold winter, but no mountain to ski on?!

Here’s a picture of me getting nasty on some skiboards a few years back:

32 thoughts on “Life’s about to get more expensive.”

  1. Oh wow, I thought our lift tickets were getting expensive at $40 a pop. We have some expensive hobbies ourselves. I am an avid motocross racer and the wife loves snowmobiling. Both are not cheap haha but are totally worth it. We actually went skiing (I snowboard) last year for the first time in 5+ years and had a lot of fun. Before that the last time I snowboarded I ended up with a concussion from trying a double backflip. That kind of got me away from it for awhile. Enjoy the natural snow, it doesn’t get any better than shredding a couple feet of fresh powder.

  2. We’re pretty good about keeping hobbies under control, but our big killer is travelling overseas. We live in London, my family lives in the US and my husband’s family is in Scotland and New Zealand. Plane tickets for holidays and so on rack up fast!

  3. Says it all:

    This aricle has even been linked to (just once. I’m afraid), with the inaccurate comment that yours truly qualifies as an “expert”:

    I spent a huge amount (for me) on art in 2010, but have been cutting back and this year am buying only one fairly expensive (for me) piece that I pay in installments. (Standard practice in the art world is that you can pay over time, but no interest is charged and you take possession only when payment is complete.)

    My previous expensive indulgence would be a nice trip each year, usually to Europe. I’ve been to about a dozen European countries so far. Haven’t done as much of that lately as it’s getting more expensive all the time (in fact I haven’t been out of the country since 2004), but I certainly want to see China, Japan, India, and many other locations some day.

  4. I am an avid musician with MANY instruments. Just recently I purchased a new banjo that was over $2000. BUT, I also use the instruments to make money either in the studio or by teaching lessons. So my hobby pays for itself; literally.

  5. You really do need to stop crying wolf Ninja!

    My hobbies are pretty frugal, (walking/hiking (free except the shoes), reading (mostly from the library or used store), singing in a choir with dues of $140 for the 9 month season) but if I had endless budget, I’d go to tons of theatre, concerts and trips abroad, especially to Italy for cooking classes and wandering the countryside.

  6. My expensive hobbies are World of Warcraft (though at $180 or less a year, that’s less than a few months of cable TV) and fan conventions. The conventions run me a $200-400 for the extended weekend for the pass, room and board, costume supplies, food, and general fun stuff funds. Since I only go to 2-3 a year, it’s an acceptable cost to me to spend the weekend with new and old friends, spend time in the costumes I’ve crafted, do photoshoots and everything else.

  7. I lived in Iowa for 5 years before moving out to Oregon a year and a half ago. I actually decided to learn how to snowboard while in Iowa. But you’re right, it sucks snowboarding on hills with firmly packed snow/ice. ha ha. Mt Hood is so much better!

  8. I have two expensive hobbies:

    1. Riding my motorcycle (which I am going to sell soon and probably buy another bigger one)
    2. Coin Collecting – while not that exciting to some it can get pretty pricey when you are looking for certain rarer coins. I guess the good news is there is a small chance I can get my money back some day if I were to ever sell my collection.

  9. We both play World of Warcraft, so it amounts to $14.99/month if we pay month by month, $41.97/quarter or $77.94 every six months if we do it twice a year. Plus the cost of expansion packs average $40-60. We don’t do much else for hobbies/entertainment, other than Netflix at $8/month. We are home bodies and do work around the house and have a 14 month old so we are busy.

  10. Try out backcountry skiing (or alpine touring, sometimes that’s how it’s called) : no more lift tickets, and you get to go to places where no one goes !

    I have expensive hobbies : mtbiking, climbing & skiing. But once you have the gear, they are not that expensive anymore. Except ski lift tickets… that’s why I like my touring skis 😉

  11. Haha – day passes are something like $85 where I live. We ski, too. The annual cost isn’t too bad, now that we own all of the necessary crap.
    Besides skiing, there’s road biking, mountain biking, and (only occasionally now) figure skating. Those sports are mostly costly for the gear, once you have it they’re not too bad.
    Oh – woodworking. Yup. Power tools and wood are expensive. The current project was $1700 at Home Depot :-S

  12. Shooting. I have more guns than I need and most of them are $600+. Not to mention optics, ammo, cleaning supplies, accessories…etc. It probably costs me $2000 – $4000 depending on if I buy a gun that year or not. I can justify it in my budget by putting it in the “health” section :).

  13. A daily pass at Vail (about a 2.5 hr drive without traffic) is over a hundred dollars, and most tickets in the front range mountains of Colorado are up in the $85-$115 area. It’s murder, so locals buy passes and get locked into a particular mountain or set of mountains owned by the same company for most of the season. Definitely my most expensive hobby, though I just picked up a yoga membership too to keep my knees from dying on the ski slopes.

    I just had my ski first day at Arapahoe Basin on Sunday :D. Only area open in the country (albeit, with one trail and one lift)! Check out and see if Warren Miller films will be near you – it’s a bit of a pricy ticket for a film, but you get lots of coupons and freebies with the ticket so it usually pays for itself.

    • Also, if you haven’t skied much in a few years and might be interested in new equipment, check out and see if there are any demo days near you where you can try out lots of different equipment for little or no extra cost (instead of a $40+ a day rental for nice gear). They’re usually in November or December. Even if you aren’t upgrading gear this year, you probably will eventually, and it’s good to keep up on the trends and know what is worth snapping up used later or something.

  14. I tend to maintain an expenisve hobby year round. Wakeboarding in the summer, which could cost 550 for a boatclub membership and then there’s gas and gear or 50 a pop to go to the cable park. In the winter, i make several trips to snowboard in Colorado, California, and Utah and as u said the lift tickets r not cheap! Going to Costa Rica in November to pick up kite surfing, yet another expensive sport! But its all worth it! 😉

  15. Car audio as I have mentioned before. The good thing is you buy it once and it pretty much performs for you for several years. Head unit 500, then upgraded it for 200, and one more time for 200, speakers for 500, subwoofer for 500, amps for 800, install labor for 300 = $3000 total cost / 7 years = 428.57 per year. Kinda expensive since I’m about to drop another 1k on a new subwoofer… Oh well, gotta enjoy life while you can, right?

    Dining out is a whole other story, however…

  16. About 14 years ago, I started taking flying lessons; even soloed in a Cessna 152! But about 8 months after that, I hit the Big Ol’ Wall of Love that became my husband. I had to stop the lessons because they were so expensive, and we were saving to pay for our wedding (back then, the pilot instructor’s time and plane rental cost about $100/hour, with only about 40 minutes of it being actual fly time).

    I really suck at skiing… I mean… REALLY suck at it!

  17. Ninja, first of all let me say that I am Jealous because I live in IL and it is really flat here. Secondly, I am wondering if Girl Ninja skis with you? My wife does not ski, and there is no way that is going to change in the immediate future. I am always wondering how I can justify a ski trip. Any ideas about lodges or activities the wife can do while I hit the slopes?

  18. I used to own a condo in Mammoth with some friends. At least I went skiing for 2 weeks a year. The rest of the time, we rented out and made a little money.

  19. Golf. A good walk ruined, paying to get frustrated…call it what you like, but I love it. It can be spendy, though. There are ways to save money buy booking online, but I would said I pay – on average – 30-35 bucks a round and play 30-40 rounds a year (thanks to the PNW for only allowing 4-5 months of feasible golf weather each year). I am cheap in other respects (never really get a cart unless it’s a must, I keep my equipment forever (but there are some invariable costs every few years) and I get golf balls for free from my in-laws who live on a 10th green. Plus there’s the cost of beer on the course 🙂 But I just love every second of it and it’s an investment in happiness.

  20. My favorite expensive hobbies are running and hanging out with friends.

    Running has $100 for shoes ever 300-500 miles, new clothes every weather change, and soon I want to start competing in races which are ridiculously expensive. From $75 and up.

    My friends. I can’t even. I spend a lot of time and money with them, but I love them so it is worth it.

  21. My hubba hubba hubby golfs… he grew up playing some amazing courses, so he is picky… 100 ish for green fees, cart rentals, 50 bucks for a dz balls (he HAS to use a specific kind, beer and snacks, asst other junk like gloves, new clubs, etc.

  22. I used to paintball but after having 3 kids I decided my weekends were better spent with them. I would like to do it again but right now I dont miss it that much. It was very expensive though. Would you be able to get a season pass that will end up costing a lot less in the long run since you will frequent the slopes this year?

    • I was wondering if they had season passes too. I looked it up and they have a season pass for a new pass holder (looks like you can renew each year at I’m assuming a cheaper rate) for $599 +tax (if you purchase it before the end of this month. $799 +tax if you buy after the first of next month. If you are going skiing more than 10 times I’d say it’s worth the initial cost.

  23. Ah snowboards!! I love those things but can’t find them in any stores and refuse to rent each time I go to the ski hills.

    How much is a season pass? I’m sure that it’d be worthwhile to buy one if you go often

  24. Photography is a pretty expensive hobby that I would like to learn more about, but I have a plan to make it more affordable, and maybe even tax deductible 🙂
    Travel is a really good one. I am really glad I lived in every continent before I got married and had kids. It is true it gets a lot more complicated after that. Still a forced sabatical from travel is totally worth it. I love my little kiddos!

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