Rising costs forcing many to ditch their hobbies

Millions of people in the UK are being forced to turn their back on their hobbies because they can no longer afford to carry on with them, according t…

Millions of people in the UK are being forced to turn their back on their hobbies because they can no longer afford to carry on with them, according to new research from Santander Current Accounts.

The survey found £18.4 billion is being spent on hobbies each year, which is the equivalent to £384 per person with a specific interest.

However, nearly a quarter of individuals (24 per cent) said costs have risen by up to 25 per cent in the last year, with more than a third (36 per cent) agreeing they have increased.  

One in ten people have had to give up their hobby entirely because they cannot afford to do it anymore.

The most popular pastime in the UK is reading, with 30 per cent enjoying sitting down with a good book. Watching TV is second, with 23 per cent of people pitching themselves in front of the box, while travel (22 per cent) and gardening (16 per cent) are also major pastimes.

Matt Hall, head of banking at Santander, said: "It's interesting that reading as a hobby has stood the test of time, despite the growing popularity of television. Their popularity is perhaps because they are relatively low cost."

There's no doubt people have a strong appetite to enjoy more of their interests but a lack of funds is stopping many from doing so. 

Indeed, two in five (41 per cent) of those with hobbies said they would like to take up more activities if they had the money, but people are in fact being forced to reduce them.

However, while household finances may be restricting the amount of money invested in hobbies, people are still putting time into them. Almost a third (32 per cent) admit to spending more time on their pastimes than they do socialising and just under a quarter (23 per cent) say the same in comparison to time spent with their family.

Sadly, the results also show a number of childhood hobbies being left behind. Collecting stamps is the most popular activity individuals enjoyed as a child, cited by 26 per cent, and this is followed by team sports (20 per cent) and playing a musical instrument (13 per cent).

Indeed, being involved in a sport is now the main hobby for just five per cent of people, while playing a musical instrument is being done by just four per cent. Stamp collecting is still being enjoyed by two per cent of participants.

All of these activities cost money and people just do not have the funds, with rising living costs, stagnant incomes and high amount of personal debt.

"From our research we can see some people are giving up their hobbies due to cost, which is obviously a shame for them," Mr Hall added.

Interestingly, looking for money saving tips and deals was listed as a pastime for six per cent of respondents. This at least shows many are looking for ways to improve their finances so they can continue to embark on the things they love, whether it be travelling or simply curling up with an interesting read.

By Joe White

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