I just tallied up my earnings vs my spendings for July, because I'm looking at going to Pumpers and then NPPL DC. As I sit here staring at these massive numbers, it occurs to me that if I didn't have a paintball hobby, I could afford a whole bunch of stuff. In this case, I'd have enough money for an apartment for myself for a year (and subsequently get in-state tuition for a grand total of a $20,000 savings) I put all the money I've spent on PB this summer towards an apartment.
I make 250 dollars a week, roughly. Thats a $10/hr job where I choose how many hours I work.
As of the 1st, I had $550 in the bank. By August 8 (NPPL DC) I would have made a total of $1500.
Only $75 of that a week goes to spending money. Thats $40 in gas (not nearly enough living in NH), and $20 in food for the week. The other $15 goes to things like hair cuts and random necessities.
The rest of that money goes to paintball. All of it. So 1000 of the 1500 i make in a month goes to paintball. Keep this up, thats $12,000 of the $18,000 I make annually, or 2/3. This is me being conservative about playing, and not counting any gear I may buy (which easily totals around $1,500 a year).
$12,000 is a whole year of community college. I could graduate with my associates with no student loans whatsoever- or do the apartment thing and save $20,000 off my education. But instead, I spend it on paintball.
Think it's a waste? I think that back in the day, knowing this, I never would have started. Now, it's too late.