Special Report

The Most Expensive Hobbies

Grant Suneson, Samuel Stebbins
Source: Axion23 / Wikimedia Commons

16. Car collecting

Collecting is a popular hobby, as many types of collections — like stamps, baseball cards, or patches — can be done at little cost. Car collecting, however, is not cheap. Many high profile car collectors have a taste for pricey vintage American muscle cars or European sports cars. Even for individuals with smaller budgets and less expensive tastes, the average sale price of a used car in the United States is around $20,000, and is usually much higher for rare vintage cars or classic sports cars.

17. Archery

The first investment for a hobbiest looking to get into archery is a bow. There are a variety of bows popular with archers, including the two most common: recurve bows and compound bows. A basic starter kit for a recurve bow, the type used by athletes in the Olympics, costs about $200 and up, while a compound bow, popular with bow hunters, can go for around $300 and higher.

18. Model rocketry

All across the world, amateur rocket scientists enjoy building their own projectiles and launching them into the sky. Many hobbyist rocketeers choose to use kits to make their rockets. These kits come with the rocket components and cost up to $120. There is also launch support equipment, like stands, that can run about $100 as well. These rockets are designed to be launched over and over again, but they require fuel, which can cost $15-25 per launch as well. Of course, there are more intense hobbyists who choose to build their own rockets from scratch, but this can be even pricier and more dangerous if the rocketeer does not have the proper experience.

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19. Hunting

Hunting is a hobby that can require a high initial investment of both time and money. Those looking to get into the sport are often required to take a hunter’s safety course, depending on state laws. Upon completion of the course, a licensed hunter typically needs to purchase tags for the type of game they are hunting. These costs do not include the price of a firearm, ammunition, and appropriate outerwear. Just as different game may legally require different tags, hunters will often need to have different firearms for different types of game: a large caliber rifle for larger mammals, for example, or a shotgun for fowl.

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20. Record collecting

With the advent of MP3 files and online streaming services, listening to music has never been easier. However, for many audiophiles, the reduction in quality inherent in these formats simply does not cut it. As a result, and perhaps often out of a sense of nostalgia, many have taken to the antiquated technology of record players. Though listening to records will include imperfections like clicks and distortions, many would argue that the analogue sound is richer and warmer than digital audio. Obtaining a record player and speakers to listen to records can cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars, but higher quality equipment can cost thousands. After that, buying records to listen to will add up. Records vary widely in price, from a couple of dollars to well over $40, with rare albums worth much more.