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45 of the Most Expensive Hobbies in the World & How to Afford Them

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The 45 Most Expensive Hobbies In the World

Ballroom dancing

Contrary to what we see on the TV shows, engaging in ballroom dancing takes more than just spending a couple of weeks learning a routine. You will need to spend big bucks on learning the intense movements that encompass both physical and emotional storytelling.

According to HobbyHelp, you’re looking at between $50-$200 per hour for lessons, while the costs associated with the competition can run as high as $30,000-$100,000.

Sky diving

This experience produces an adrenaline rush that most people dream of having at least once in their life.

If you’re interested in the magical hobby of sky diving, be prepared to part with as much as $24,000 per year to jump twice a week.

Scuba diving

While some love to explore the skies, others revel in discovering the secrets of the deep.

If you want to make a hobby out of scuba diving, this experience will cost you about $3,000 per trip—more if you plan to travel to exotic dive spots.

Exotic pets

The vast majority of rich people these days seem to want something more than your ordinary dogs and cats as pets. Instead, they are using white lion cubs, tigers, octopuses, etc. to fill the role of man’s best friend.

If you want to engage in such a hobby, you can get an exotic pet for between $150,000 and $315,000. Oh, and don’t forget the license to own such a pet, as well as training, professional handlers, and all the paraphernalia required to keep your wild animals happy, fed, and safe.

Yacht racing

If you happen to have a yacht lying around, yacht racing might seem like an attractive past time. This is a favorite engagement of the rich and famous.

But, considering that boats in this category range from between $2 million to around $800 million, depending on the level of luxury involved, this is one costly hobby!

Mountain climbing

Few hobbies offer the thrills you can get from climbing the highest peaks in the world.

If you want to engage in mountain climbing and climb towards the Everest, you’re looking at a cost of starting from $35,000, which includes the guides who will ensure your safety and success on your journey to the summit.

Ice sculpting

Sculpting ice requires a lot more than just skill and talent. You will also need high-ticket, specialized equipment that will allow you to easily cut through the ice to bring out the art within.

Also, there are expensive courses to complete, and you’re looking at about $375 for a single block of ice!

Model railroading

Contrary to what many believe, model railroading is quite an expensive hobby. With a single piece of a set costing up to $300, can you imagine what you would pay for the entire thing?

If your heart is set on this hobby, get ready to fork out some real moola for an impressive train set.

Car racing

Although it looks exciting, this hobby can quickly burn holes in your pockets. Cars used in such races usually range from between $3,000 and $20,000.

There’s also the cost of maintenance to consider, as well as the car’s racing fee.

Collecting cars

This is a super expensive hobby that involves collecting not just cars, but also all types of parts and tools to keep them running. Not surprisingly, only a few of the richest souls engage in this pastime.

Collectible cars start from about $300,000 and range to models worth millions.

High stakes poker

High stakes poker is an attractive game with a high entry threshold. It’s an exciting pastime that only the rich can afford. You’ll have to be skilled at the game, and willing to lose all the money on the table.

High stakes games can start with $300-$600 blinds and include a $100 ante.

Hot air balloons

If you’re not afraid of heights or shelling out thousands of dollars, this hobby could be perfect for you. That is if you can spare about $45,000 for a hot air balloon.

In addition, you’ll need about $3,500 for the flight institute that you must attend, as well as money to pay the crew.

Traveling the world

Most people dream of being able to see more of the world than the little corner they were born in. If you want to travel the world, you can expect a cost of about $20,000 to $30,000 for each person traveling the world for a year.

FrugalForLess, states that this figure can be much lower if you’re willing to sacrifice on luxury and comforts.

Antique collecting

This is an amazing hobby that is practiced by a lot of people. However, most rare antiques come with an extremely high price tag.

You’ll need about $10,000 or more to get your collection started, which puts this type of hobby way above the reach of many ordinary folks.


Horse riding is typically a hobby reserved for the wealthy. With an average horse costing about $5,000 to $100,000, not to mention its maintenance, you can see why equestrianism has a reputation for outrageous price tags.

Country clubbing

This is a great way for destressing and relaxing. As reported by CountryInc, if you want to be able to enjoy yourself at the local country club, then be prepared to part with between $5,000 and $250,000 per year in membership fees.

Not everyone can afford this, which is why these clubs remain so exclusive.

Home aquaria

While most homes have had a fishbowl or tank at one time or another, full-scale home aquaria takes things to a whole new level.

You can get a decent-sized aquarium set up for about $2,000, or you can get the Dinosaur Gold Aquarium for $4,8 million and keep rare fishes, octopi, etc.

Flying a plane

Almost everyone has a fantasy of being able to fly like a bird. Since we can’t grow wings, the next best thing is to invest in flying lessons so you can pilot a plane yourself.

Aviation lessons will set you back about $7,000. A license costs $5,000, and you can buy a plane for between $15,000 and $200,000.

Art collecting

As a collector of art, you will need to spend quite a bit of money on acquiring pieces from noted artists and up and coming talent from around the world.

Pieces of art like that fit your collection can be worth anywhere from $250,000 to millions.

Speedboat racing

Last, but certainly not least, we have the popular hobby of speed boat racing. If you feel like forking out between $50,000 and $600,000 for a speedboat you might crash the first time you race it, then this is definitely the sport for you!


With popular television shows such as Game of Thrones, Arrow and Vikings, archery has gained a lot of attention. However, it needs inclusion on this list of expensive hobbies. 

To get started, you’ll need to invest in a bow. The two most common types of bows are recurve and compound.

A basic starter recurve bow, like those used by Olympic athletes can cost upwards of $200. Compound bows that are often used by bow hunters can cost $300+.


Downhill skiing is one of the most popular hobbies, but it can also be one of the most expensive. The equipment cost alone including skis, helmet, ski boots, goggles and appropriate outerwear can easily cost $1,000 or more. 

If you don’t have your own equipment, there is usually the option to rent what you need at the mountain. But, be aware that boot and ski rental can cost $25 to $45 per day. When you add this to the cost of a daily lift ticket, which can cost $40 to $80, just one day of skiing can cost more than $100. 

Drone Racing

As the name suggests, drone racing is flying drones around a course trying to beat other unmanned robots to the finishing line.

Drones first became commercially available in 2010, but the best models have had consistent improvements in recent years.

While in theory, you could use any drone to race, a top of the line one like those used in Drone Racing League events can cost $500 or more. 

Classic Car Restoration

Many people love the idea of taking a wreck and making it into a beautiful classic car, but it has to be one of the most expensive hobbies. 

In addition to the costs of restoration which can run to $40,000 or more, you need to understand that not all cars appreciate in value in the same way.

So, while a Pontiac GTO can triple in value when restored from a wreck, a Shelby GT 500 could cost $150,000 or more to restore. Yet, it may only be worth $117,000 to $160,000 in mint condition.


Many people would argue that cooking should be on a list of cheap hobbies. While this is true if you merely want to make a basic meal, if you want to get more into cooking it will cost you more. 

If you want to make bread, you’ll need a mixer that can knead your dough. Cake decorating requires a variety of tools, and so on. You only need to browse a kitchen supply store to see how expensive having cooking as a hobby can be. 


We all need to shop for necessities, but if you consider shopping as a hobby, it can be expensive. When you are constantly keeping up with the latest fashion trends or buying the latest gadgets, you could end up spending $10,000+ a quarter. 

Of course, there are ways to save money by shopping around and making price comparisons. But, if you add up the cost of your purchases, you may be surprised at how much this pastime is costing you. 

Collecting Sneakers

Many people consider shoes as just something you need to wear when you leave the house. However, there are those who have taken their love of footwear to a whole new level. Sneakerheads consider this footwear as art that is worthy of collecting. 

A pair of designer sneakers can cost thousands of dollars. For example, the 2019 Nike Air Max 97 Air Sole can cost $4,000 to purchase today. 

As this niche has grown, estimates suggest it has created a $1 billion resale economy. 

Model Rockets

Hobbyist rocketeers build projectiles and launch them. You can buy kits containing rocket components that can cost $120 or more. You’ll also need launch support equipment such as stands that cost approximately $100. 

Fortunately, rockets can be launched more than once. However, you will need to consider fuel. This can cost up to $25 per launch. 

If you get really into the hobby, you may want to build rockets without a kit. This is potentially more dangerous and can be a lot pricier.

Record Collecting

Although many people have moved over to online streaming or MP3 files, audiophiles still prefer the quality of records. 

Whether it is due to nostalgia or a preference for the warmer, analog sound, record player technology is still around. 

You can pick up a record player for $200 or $300, but higher quality equipment can run into $1000 or more. 

Once you have a record player and speakers, you will need to buy some records to play. These can vary a great deal in price. You can expect to pay $30 to $40. But, rare albums can cost $100 or more. 


Conventions attract fans of comic books, movies, video games and more from around the country. Many of these attendees get really into the spirit of the event and cosplay as their favorite characters. 

Cosplayers aim to match the look of a character to the last detail. They can spend hours and up to $1,000 to achieve the desired look. 

While many cosplayers make their own costumes, more intricate pieces need to be outsourced to professional craftspeople. 

Trap Shooting

Trap shooting involves using a shotgun to shoot clay disks flying through the air. This sport can be done at designated facilities such as gun clubs or state parks. You’re likely to find that you’ll be charged per shot. 

If you have sufficient land to safely shoot on your property, you can buy the necessary equipment, but it can be costly. Shotguns can cost up to $2,000. You will also need a launch mechanism that can cost approximately $3,000. 

Once you have made this initial investment, you will also need to purchase shotgun ammunition and clays. These are relatively inexpensive and can typically cost $10 per 25 shots. 


Golfing is a popular spot with over 24 million golfers in the USA alone. Before you consider this hobby, you should be aware that it can be one of the most expensive hobbies in America.

You can expect to spend at least $300 for a bag of clubs. You’ll also need to add to your bag and replace clubs as necessary. 

Additionally, you will need to pay to play. The cheapest option is to book a public golf course tee time. This costs an average of $36 per 18 hole round.A more costly option is to become a member at a private golf club. These can be quite exclusive and may involve one time initiation fees and membership costs of up to $100,000 per year.


Fencing is an Olympic sport that has grown from historic roots. The aim of the sport is to strike your opponent using a blunt weapon and avoid being hit. 

There are three types of fencing weapons; sabre, foil and epee. Each weapon has different styles and disciplines. 

To get started, you’ll not only need a weapon, but full fencing gear. This can approximately $200 or more. This equipment will  not last forever, so you will need to replace it quite frequently. Coaching fees can also run to $400 per day. You’re likely to have one to one coaching and practice sessions.


Polo has long been considered the sport of the upper class and wealthy for good reason. It can cost $8,000 a year just to be a member of a Polo club. 

As a player, you will also need a polo horse that could set you back $20,000 or more, with maintenance costs of $1,500 per month. 

While playing polo may not be the most expensive hobbies in the world, it is easy to see why it is a favorite of royalty and the upper classes. 


Biking is a healthy form of exercise and a great hobby. There are different types of biking including road biking, downhill mountain biking and single track biking. Each of these requires a specific type of bike.

Bikes can cost up to $10,000 or more, depending on the performance and quality. You will also need a helmet, bike rack and appropriate outerwear. 

Fortunately, once you have this equipment there are minimal costs to enjoy the hobby. The only exceptions are if you sign up for races and need to pay an entry fee or you ride down ski mountains and use a chair lift. 


Sailing is a fantastic way to explore the beauty of the world. The average cost of a new 26 foot sailboat is approximately $80,000, while a 36 foot cruiser will set you back $150,000. 

You can save money by buying a used boat. For the above examples, you could expect to pay $20,000 and $40,000 respectively. 

To enjoy this hobby, you will also need to consider the annual maintenance costs. For most boats, this will be up to $7,000 per year. Bear in mind that if you are sailing to different countries, you will need to pay for visas and other traveling expenses. 


As with poker, Blackjack has a potential to make you money or cost you a fortune. Like all card games, the more money you have at stake, the greater the potential of winnings. 

Bear in mind that blackjack requires gambling skills and luck. So, you’re likely to find this hobby costs you more than you win. 

Cigarette Boat Racing

Cigarette boats provide the experience of flying over the water. This type of boat can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour. But, this thrilling experience comes at a cost. 

The average price of a cigarette boat is approximately $1.2 million. The 2018, super powerful Mercedes Benz boat was released with a price tag of $2 million. 

You will also need to factor in the cost of storage, insurance and even racing lessons. If you want to race in high profile events, you will also need to pay entrance fees. These can cost $1,000 or more per event. These costs all add up to make cigarette boat racing one of the most expensive hobbies. 

RC Planes

RC planes are a great hobby if you like the idea of building your own aircraft and operating it by remote control. You’ll need the creativity and knowledge to build the craft and fly it. But, once it is in the air, you can wow your family and friends. 

You can buy ready to fly RC planes for up to $200. If you want to build your own, the costs of a basic one start at $700. 

As you become more skilled in developing planes, the costs can skyrocket. 

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Wood Working

In the past woodworking was typically done with basic tools such as axes and some elbow grease. Modern woodworkers typically use expensive machinery to make more accurate projects.

Even if you’re just getting started, you’ll need a power drill and hand tools. The cost of this basic kit can cost up to $300 or more.

If you start to invest in lathes, sanders, power saws and other equipment, you can expect the cost of your hobby to increase to $10,000 or more.


For an average Joe, a smartphone camera is sufficient to take selfies and pictures of gatherings with family and friends. If you want to take this further into a serious hobby, you’ll quickly find this is not sufficient. 

An entry level digital single lens camera (DSLR) can cost $200 or more. You may also need to upgrade your lenses for specific types of shots such as portraits or distant zoom. These can add up to $1,000 or more. You will also need a bag to carry all your equipment, a tripod and other accessories. 

While you may add to your photography kit after this initial investment, you can enjoy your new hobby for little to no cost. 

Motor Gliding

Motor gliders are fixed wing aircraft with or without engine power. This allows you to fly sustained flight without propulsion thrust. 

If you like the idea of owning a motor glider as your hobby, you need to be prepared for it being one of the most expensive hobbies. You’ll need to spend approximately $500,000 to buy your own little glider. 

Don’t forget, you will need to factor in insurance, lessons and storage costs. This can add up to $100 per hour. 


Gaming is a popular hobby, particularly among young people. So, it is easy to forget how costly it can be as a hobby. The latest consoles can cost $400 to $500 and this does not include the cost of the games. Brand new games for major consoles typically cost $50 to $60. 

Additionally, many game franchises require that you access online play to get the most out of the game. This is not free and you can expect to pay up to $20 a month for a subscription. 

Finally, you may need a number of accessories to ensure comfortable game play. From gaming chairs, which can cost $400 to $500 to additional controllers, hard drives and headsets, you could expect to pay up to $1000 more for your set up. 


Many of us enjoy looking up at the night sky, but if you want to distinguish between those dots of light, you will need a telescope to get started. 

A telescope will allow you to see celestial bodies in more detail and get amazing insight into the sky. 

A basic beginner’s telescope can typically cost $200, but this can be rather limited. You may need to upgrade with new lenses, eyepieces and filters to enhance your viewing. This can add up to $500 or more to your equipment cost. 

If you want to capture images of what your telescope shows, you will need a decent DSLR camera and compatible telescope. 

Another consideration is light pollution. If you live in a town or city, the lights from your neighbor’s homes, street lights and even passing cars can prevent you from getting a good image on your telescope. So, you will need to take your equipment to another area where there is little to no light pollution. So, you’ll need an equipment bag, tripod and other accessories. 

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Paintballing involves competing in designated areas using paintball guns. Rather than shooting ammunition, the guns fire paint pellets that tag the opposing team. 

This is a great option for parties, but many people take it one step further as a regular hobby. You can rent equipment at the paintball facility, but if you’re playing regularly, you may want to buy your own. 

A paintball gun, hopper, compressed air tank and protective face mask are required kit. This can set you back $200 or more. You will also need to pay approximately $20 for 1,000 paintballs. 

If you really get into the hobby, you may need to invest in knee pads, and other protective equipment such as gloves. This will help to protect you when you’re crawling around the terrain trying to avoid the opposing team. This can add $100+ to your equipment costs.

How to Make Extra Money to Afford Expensive Hobbies?

Here are some creative money-making strategies for engaging with the 45 most expensive hobbies in the world without selling your soul (and kidneys) to do it.

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How to Afford Expensive Hobbies:

Not all the hobbies on this list can be accessible to everyone, but there are some ways that you can try the ones you want to experience without breaking the bank.

Outlined below are some of the best money-saving tips that you can use to enjoy the adventure of your dreams.

– Rent the equipment you need, rather than buying it.

For most hobbies, especially things like scuba diving and skydiving, it makes more sense to rent the fancy gear instead of splurging on a kit of your own.

Find out more information about renting the equipment you need from your local shops or instructors.

– Search for deals and discounts.

For anyone who wants to get a high-priced experience without the accompanying price tag, it’s always a good idea to search for discounts first.

Look to sites like Groupon, where you are likely to find amazing deals on the types of activities you want to try.

– Buy used equipment.

If you absolutely must buy equipment, one of the most frugal things you can do is avoid buying brand new items.

You’ll probably be able to find significantly discounted prices for pre-owned gear.

– Don’t get optional gear.

It’s easy to fall prey to gimmicks that will have you splurging on bells and whistles you don’t actually need to pursue your new hobby.

If you manage to stick with the hobby, you can always treat yourself later on.

– Borrow whenever you can.

Although we’re not advocating that you become a chronic borrower, you’ll still be able to contact fellow adventure enthusiasts to borrow some of their equipment once in a while.

Best Way to Spend Money Is To Buy Experiences

If you’re ready for some amazing adventures, then use this list as your ultimate resource for pricey pastimes!

Looking for ways on how to make money from hobbies? Check out 64 Surprising Hobbies That Make You Real Money

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Kate Starr


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