Hey everyone, as previously mentioned, I said I would cover a few extra topics beyond finances, reaching FI, and documenting any life experiences or decisions I’ve learned from. One of those extra topics is remote control toys! I was first introduced to r/c as a kid with a small Ford GT for my birthday. I drove that car everywhere, until it wore out. Since then, I have had a few r/c trucks, but then I found my niche in the hobby. I’ve been flying r/c planes on and off for over a decade now and drones for about a year. Aviation has always had a special place in my heart, so it only makes sense that I would end up playing with r/c planes and drones! I started out with a few commercially purchased r/c planes, but in an effort to reduce costs, I looked around for ways to build my own planes! I very quickly found some videos on YouTube from the guys over at Flite Test and was hooked pretty quick. The short summary is that I started using their designs, then my own designs and built these planes out of foam board that you can get from the Dollar Store. It’s really hard to beat an r/c plane that whose air-frame only costs about $5 to build from scratch and takes about as much skill as assembling a diorama in a 3rd grade history class! Over the past few years, I’ve probably built, tested, and refined a dozen different designs and all together spent less than $300 on it. The best part is, if I resume making those, it’s only going to cost the few dollars to buy the foam board and hot glue since the electronics can be transferred between air-frames. But, I’ve put those on the back burner for a bit now and migrated towards drones because beyond being a fun toy, they have more utility in their design. Meaning, I can get some higher quality images with drones and could even go as far as making some money with them if I choose to pursue that. Someday, health and time permitting, I may do that. But for now, it’s primarily for some serious fun and enables me to get some neat shots for the blog.
So, being that my newest drone (the DJI Mavic) is pretty new to me, I’m still experimenting with its many features. I am still beyond impressed with its capabilities and would highly recommend it to anyone else in the market for a drone of this caliber. But, with it being new and almost uncomfortably expensive, I’m a bit nervous about damage, even just minor scratches. Just last week I had a fairly minor unplanned incident with a small branch of a tree and cracked a propeller (which turns out to be incredibly easy to replace). Talk about a moment that’ll make you suddenly sweat for a second though! So, what do to about it? Well, buy an adhesive “skin” to protect the surface from scratches and/or minor dings. And being from Wisconsin, what better skin to get than a cow pattern! If you think that’s just ridiculous, you’ll be glad to know I’m not going to milk it any more than that!
Some of you might be thinking something like, “that’s an expensive toy for someone advocating for frugality and purposeful consumerism”, and you’re absolutely right! It is expensive, but as I’ve said before… a happy life requires a delicate balance of more than just your finances. For me, one of those extra things that gets balanced with finances, relationships, health, frugality, purposeful consumerism, and others… is satisfying hobbies. Remote control toys being one of those hobbies! You too should have a category like that if your budget allows! It could be r/c toys like mine, travel, premium coffee, a fancy gaming computer, a sweet car, or spoiling your significant other with whatever they like! Point is, life is more than just saving your hard earned dollars! Enjoy what those dollars can enable you to do, and share that satisfaction with those around you. Beyond being enjoyable and maybe even getting you into a new social sphere, I can almost guarantee that a carefully planned hobby or “splurge activity” can provide significant mental health benefits too!
So what about you guys? What are your things you justify splurging on in your budget? What are your favorite hobbies? Any fellow r/c enthusiasts out there?
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