Special Report

The Most Expensive Hobbies

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6. Gaming

With the huge popularity of gaming among young people, it can be easy to forget just how expensive a hobby it is to get into. The latest Microsoft console, an Xbox One X, costs $349. The upcoming PS5 will likely cost $400-500. This does not include the games themselves — new games for a major console typically cost around $60.

A number of highly successful game franchises are popular for their online play, but that often isn’t free either — Xbox’s online service costs $20 per month, while Sony charges Playstation users $60 for a year of access, or $10 for a single month subscription.

7. Cosplay

Conventions like the various Comic-Cons around the U.S. attract fans of movies, video games, comic books, and more — many of whom don the costumes of their favorite characters in a practice known as cosplay. Cosplayers separate themselves by matching the look of their character down to the last detail. The most dedicated cosplayers spend dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars designing and fabricating their looks.

Many sew their own clothing and build their own weapons and armor out of everyday items — the materials for which tend to cost several hundred dollars. For more intricate costumes, some cosplayers outsource masks, weapons, and other difficult pieces to professional crafters, making it all the more expensive.

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8. Astronomy

Amateur astronomists need one major piece of equipment to get started — a telescope. These instruments that allow users to see far off celestial bodies typically cost hundreds of dollars. Even the most basic children’s telescopes are over $50, and even a beginner adult’s telescope starts at around $200. Popular Mechanics recommends that new astronomers acquire lenses, filters, and eyepieces to enhance their viewing experience — which can tack on hundreds of dollars more.

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9. Horseback riding

Simply learning how to ride a horse can be prohibitive, with lessons typically costing at least $45 per hour if not much more. If you want to own the horse so you can ride it whenever you like, that is a much more costly proposition. Equine groups estimate the cost of owning a horse, not including the purchase price or stabling, is at least $2,500-$3,600 a year. This includes veterinary care, horseshoes, food, riding supplies like saddles, and more.

10. Scuba diving

Scuba diving allows people to explore underwater environments for an extended time, but it requires a lot of know-how that is not easily acquired. Scuba certification is not technically required, but it is highly recommended for safe diving.

Certification comes in three parts — an online general knowledge course that usually costs just under $200, several pool diving lessons that tend to run around $200, and an open water course for around $350. After getting certified, divers need a considerable amount of gear, including a tank. These typically cost close to $200, if not more, though they can be rented for less. Divers also need to buy or rent a mask, wetsuit, and flippers to be fully ready to go scuba diving.