"Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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4nursebee
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"Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by 4nursebee »

[Question revised, see below --admin LadyGeek]

Hello all,
Close to FIRE here, just working some for insurance a few more years. Have time and money to enjoy life and experiences. Taking flying lessons after putting them off twice before. I am considering plane ownership to travel the US. I am curious how others think of budgeting for such things. What are they worth to you? Mentally I am hoping for <$1,000 a month. What do your toys cost you? Do you think of such things in relation to your income or assets and if so are you willing to share? What are your toys or hobbies and what do they cost you? Does your spouse enjoy them or bicker?

Thank you.
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sport
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by sport »

Some hobbies are expensive. Mine is very cheap. When the pandemic ends, I expect it to cost me about $20 per week. It has no effect on my finances.
oldfort
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by oldfort »

$1k/month seems way too low for a plane, unless you have in mind something like a Cessna-150. Most private planes are going to use more than $1k/month in fuel.
neilpilot
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by neilpilot »

Obviously depends on the aircraft and many other factors. Also how much you fly. I owned an older but well equipped Mooney for 30 years and flew it about 2600 hours, averaging 75-100 hours/year. It was a capable and safe, but not flashy or extravagant, travelling machine.

My all in average cost was $12-15k/yr, including maintenance, moderate improvements, gas, and hangar rent. The cost of acquisition wasn't significant, since except for engine O/H reserve the value of the aircraft generally will not depreciate if maintained properly. A newer Mooney with not too much more utility could cost double that.

Oldfort's statement that "Most private planes are going to use more than $1k/month in fuel." obviously depends on fuel cost, the particular aircraft, and how much you fly. Mooney's are especially efficient; I burned 9-10 gph and traveled at 165mph. Fuel at my airport is currently at $3.23/gal, so his "more than $1k/month in fuel" equates to 30+ hours/month of flying. That's way more than most non-business owners will fly. I would have spend under $3k/YEAR at that price.
Last edited by neilpilot on Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
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JupiterJones
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by JupiterJones »

I guess it depends on the plane you buy and how much you fly it, but I feel like <$1,000 a month could be underestimating things, once you factor in the annuals, sinking fund for engine overhaul, oil/fuel, hanger/tie-down, insurance, etc. There are cheaper ways to go, as I'm sure you know. Joint/club ownership, for example.

But if you can afford it--that is, if other "more important" financial obligations are taken care of already and this is truly extra money that has no better place to be spent--then knock yourself out! I'd imagine that the ability to just go flying whenever the heck you want, for as long as you want, without having to book anything in advance or work around other people's schedules, would be amazing.

It helps immensely if your spouse is on board... in this case literally on board. Maybe sign them up for the "Pinch Hitter" course to really stoke their involvement and interest (not to mention assuage fear they might have). Or heck, get them flying lessons too. That way you'll always have a co-pilot, making your flights an order of magnitude safer and easier.

Barring that, try to get them into an absurdly expensive hobby of their own, which removes their right to gripe about yours. :D
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TravelGeek
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by TravelGeek »

My toys (gadgets) are relatively cheap. My wife’s “toy” costs $100/month. Our most expensive hobby is travel. With flexibility and ability to research/plan trips carefully we are able to travel in comfort (long haul business class, comfortable hotels/resorts) at a reasonable cost ($10-15k annually... obviously a lot less this year). No cap ex for that hobby - the airlines and hotel companies spend their money on the hardware. ;)
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by livesoft »

Backpacking: Initial outlay for a platinum set of gear was expensive and it wears out, but rather inexpensive compared to living in hotels or flying airplanes.
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Kagord
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Kagord »

Once you build the plane, say an RV-10 or similar, it's not that expensive and you can do your own annuals. This is assuming the build thing doesn't end in divorce, then it's more expensive.
runner3081
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by runner3081 »

My main hobby makes money on the side :)

Works great.

My other hobby is reading. That is free. Library has all that I need.

Don't really have a desire for toys at the moment.
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Toons
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Toons »

We travel the Country in a Roadtrek ,Class B
We both enjoy it.
We don't question the expenses anymore,
We save ,We invested,
The clock is ticking
:mrgreen:
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btenny
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by btenny »

Skiing. Two ski passes and locker rent and some equipment each year is $1500. So pretty cheap. But we have a second home near a ski area so we pay no travel costs.

Boating. Annual storage - $720, insurance - $250, annual maintenance - $1000, gas $400 (?). So $2500 all in costs. But again I have a dock at my summer home so I pay no dock fees or travel costs.

And a few years ago before I retired completely I actually made money on an annual basis by teaching skiing in the winter. That job paid more than I spent for both my hobbies. Plus back then I also covered my second home rent for six months.

And yes my wife likes to ski and boat so she does both hobbies with me. The costs above cover expenses for both of us.

Life is good.....
oldfort
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by oldfort »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:54 am Obviously depends on the aircraft and many other factors. Also how much you fly. I owned an older but well equipped Mooney for 30 years and flew it about 2600 hours, averaging 75-100 hours/year. It was a capable and safe, but not flashy or extravagant, travelling machine.

My all in average cost was $12-15k/yr, including maintenance, moderate improvements, gas, and hangar rent. The cost of acquisition wasn't significant, since except for engine O/H reserve the value of the aircraft generally will not depreciate if maintained properly. A newer Mooney with not too much more utility could cost double that.

Oldfort's statement that "Most private planes are going to use more than $1k/month in fuel." obviously depends on fuel cost, the particular aircraft, and how much you fly. Mooney's are especially efficient; I burned 9-10 gph and traveled at 165mph. Fuel at my airport is currently at $3.23/gal, so his "more than $1k/month in fuel" equates to 30+ hours/month of flying. That's way more than most non-business owners will fly. I would have spend under $3k/YEAR at that price.
A new Mooney is about $700k. Even some from the 90s are selling for over $150k. If you needed financing for the purchase and wanted one less than 20 years old, I would expect your monthly payments to be over $1k/month.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by sailaway »

Pick the kind of plane you want and work out the costs. How much is storage? Insurance? Average maintenance? Running costs?

Is there some kind of club that seems expensive but could save you money in the long run? We are boaters and yacht clubs seem like a huge expense, but slip fees + dues + mandatory restaurant spend is still lower than a commercial marina, so in just over a year we have already made up the buy in (which we got discounted), as well as the couple of years of dues from before we were able to move the boat to the club.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by neilpilot »

oldfort wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:19 pm
neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:54 am Obviously depends on the aircraft and many other factors. Also how much you fly. I owned an older but well equipped Mooney for 30 years and flew it about 2600 hours, averaging 75-100 hours/year. It was a capable and safe, but not flashy or extravagant, travelling machine.

My all in average cost was $12-15k/yr, including maintenance, moderate improvements, gas, and hangar rent. The cost of acquisition wasn't significant, since except for engine O/H reserve the value of the aircraft generally will not depreciate if maintained properly. A newer Mooney with not too much more utility could cost double that.

Oldfort's statement that "Most private planes are going to use more than $1k/month in fuel." obviously depends on fuel cost, the particular aircraft, and how much you fly. Mooney's are especially efficient; I burned 9-10 gph and traveled at 165mph. Fuel at my airport is currently at $3.23/gal, so his "more than $1k/month in fuel" equates to 30+ hours/month of flying. That's way more than most non-business owners will fly. I would have spend under $3k/YEAR at that price.
A new Mooney is about $700k. Even some from the 90s are selling for over $150k. If you needed financing for the purchase and wanted one less than 20 years old, I would expect your monthly payments to be over $1k/month.
Sure you can spend $700k+ for a new Mooney. My last Mooney (sold last year) was a '65 M20C, purchased in 2012 for $45k. I sold it last year, with 750 additional hours on the engine, for $38k. It was purchased very well equipped (WAAS GPS and 2-axis coupled autopilot) and the only improvement I made was for ADS-B compliance. A very capable and safe IFR traveling maching, well under $150k.

And as I said earlier, I would have had trouble averaging "more than $1k/month in fuel".

BTW a 50% partnership, which I was in for a part of my 30 years of Mooney ownership, generally resulted in 25-30% savings.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by THY4373 »

Travel is my only real hobby (I exercise too but all my equipment is bought at this point so really no cost). I spent $16k on it last year which was higher than past years but that included a couple of pricey trips to Egypt (absolutely amazing) and Norway including the Svalbard Archipelago (also absolutely amazing). Still saved close to 40% of my gross income so I am ok with that level of spend. I am 50ish now and somewhat on coast FI so I figure I might as well knock some stuff off the bucket list. This year thanks to a bigger bonus and no travel (most likely) my savings rate will probably get to 50% of gross income. When travel is safer to resume I'll likely go back to $10-15k per year for travel.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by backpacker61 »

livesoft wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:59 am Backpacking: Initial outlay for a platinum set of gear was expensive and it wears out, but rather inexpensive compared to living in hotels or flying airplanes.
Another backpacker.

I outfitted myself a couple years ago for a thru hike at probably a "bronze" level for about $1300.
Most of the gear can last for years if well-maintained, although many elect to stay abreast of new product developments.

The rule of thumb for "on trail" expenses on a thru hike is about $2/mile, which I found to be pretty accurate.
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ClevrChico
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by ClevrChico »

Biking for me. Cost is probably < $10/year and it keeps me fit. :-)

One can get a really great classic car for about $25k it seems. I like the idea of doing that when the kids are out of the house. For now, I must be practical.
dixdak
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by dixdak »

Backpacking. Thanks to titanium, hip and metal gear, I replaced my 1975 era gear forty years later for around $1500, plus another $1500 for additional family members, upgrades, car camping, and levels of comfort and weight. I dehydrate a lot of the meals, so the cost is just transportation mostly.

I stumbled into accumulating fixed blades made by Western Knife Company, specifically the ones stamped Boulder, Colo. which were made between the 30s and the 70s. There is a nice variety of blades, handle materials, and sheaths. Many are quite beautiful as well as functional. They used early synthetic materials, stag antler, bone, and stacked leather for handle material. Many were used in the war. Price range is $60 to $275 depending on model and condition.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by austin757 »

Flying airplanes is my one "vice" that I very much enjoy spending money on. As long as I invest enough to allow me to retire comfortably using conservative estimates, I think it's worth it. I think an RV-8 or -10 is an ideal plane for cross country and pleasure flights ($100 hamburger). I've never built one, but it's something I can see doing down the road. My real love, however, is for war birds (WWII). My partner and I have thought about buying an old trainer and flying for a while. A P-51 is not in the budget for the time being :happy

Probably the most cost effective way is to either just rent out of your local airport or join a flying club. The downside is you do not have the freedom to just pull up to your hangar, pull the plane out and go fly. Although a positive is not having to worry about maintenance, annuals, insurance etc. The school I learned to fly at (in NJ) charges roughly $150/hr. for a Cessna 172. Pretty reasonable for having the freedom to fly, in my view.

Some airplanes appreciate like real estate, especially vintage aircraft like war birds. While I don't necessarily view it as an investment, I expect to make most of the money back when selling it one day.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by neilpilot »

austin757 wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:12 pm Flying airplanes is my one "vice" that I very much enjoy spending money on. As long as I invest enough to allow me to retire comfortably using conservative estimates, I think it's worth it. I think an RV-8 or -10 is an ideal plane for cross country and pleasure flights ($100 hamburger). I've never built one, but it's something I can see doing down the road. My real love, however, is for war birds (WWII). My partner and I have thought about buying an old trainer and flying for a while. A P-51 is not in the budget for the time being :happy

Probably the most cost effective way is to either just rent out of your local airport or join a flying club. The downside is you do not have the freedom to just pull up to your hangar, pull the plane out and go fly. Although a positive is not having to worry about maintenance, annuals, insurance etc. The school I learned to fly at (in NJ) charges roughly $150/hr. for a Cessna 172. Pretty reasonable for having the freedom to fly, in my view.

Some airplanes appreciate like real estate, especially vintage aircraft like war birds. While I don't necessarily view it as an investment, I expect to make most of the money back when selling it one day.
I’ve flow my own or in a club where the members owned the aircraft. Never rented. I fly to travel, and most rentals as well some club aircraft can’t be taken on an extended trip without incurring additional expenses.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Boglegirl81 »

4nursebee wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:29 am Hello all,
Close to FIRE here, just working some for insurance a few more years. Have time and money to enjoy life and experiences. Taking flying lessons after putting them off twice before. I am considering plane ownership to travel the US. I am curious how others think of budgeting for such things. What are they worth to you? Mentally I am hoping for <$1,000 a month. What do your toys cost you? Do you think of such things in relation to your income or assets and if so are you willing to share? What are your toys or hobbies and what do they cost you? Does your spouse enjoy them or bicker?

Thank you.
I don’t do any flying for fun anymore, but as others mentioned, look into flying clubs. That’s probably what I would do if I had any interest in GA flying these days. Also, get your instrument rating... In my first flying job, I got to fly a C-172 all over the country. It was a blast!

Flying is an expensive hobby, but there are worse ones, like owning horses! I gave up the horse habit a while back, but I may get back into it when I retire. :D
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Sandtrap »

DW: Equestrian trainer rider. 2 German Dressage Horses, Arena, Stables, Tack, Farm and maintenance equipment.
$$$$$$$

ME: ATV’s, Quads, things that don’t bite or poop.
Photography equipment.

No more boats, sports cars, Motorcycles, etc. BTDT.

Things that don’t cost much.
Simple is good.

Has anyone ever parachuted from a perfectly good airplane?
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JoeRetire
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by JoeRetire »

4nursebee wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:29 amWhat do your toys cost you?
I just spent $140 on a new pickleball paddle, so I got that goin' for me... which is nice.
Do you think of such things in relation to your income or assets
No.
Does your spouse enjoy them or bicker?
She doesn't play pickleball. She shops for recreation. We don't bicker about money.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

When I was road racing cars, I budgeted about $10k a year. I instructed at the track, so did not have to pay track fees, which kept the budget low and my racecar was very light on equipment (light car with legos for components). Tires, tow vehicle upkeep, gas and food with a bit of part cost were most of the spending.

These days, I'm only offroading as a hobby. I've kept the costs reasonable, using the Jeep I already owned and only slowly upgrading. I'm spending maybe a grand a year on average. I'll get some of that back when I sell the Jeep as I don't have a problem wrenching to pull upgrades out to recover some of the initial spend. Or I may use the parts on another Jeep in the future.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Raybo »

My passion is traveling by bicycle. I don't camp, which saves weight on the bike but also increases the cost with hotels. I mitigate this somewhat by using hospitality sites where members offer free lodging.

I own 2 bicycles. One is in the US, the other is in the UK (for European travel). The oldest bike, purchased in 2003 for $5,000, has about 50,000 miles on it, so it is down to 10 cents a mile. The new bike, purchased for about $2,000, has about 5000 miles or 40 cents a mile.

The gear includes panniers for carrying stuff, expensive wool jerseys (over $100 each) and biking shorts, racks to hold the panniers, various other bags, tools and spares. Like the backpackers, this is buy once and forget. I'd estimate $1,000. Likely another $500/year for bicycle maintenance/upgrades.

When traveling, I tend to eat out at restaurants and mostly stay in hotels. Hotels and restaurants are usually on the cheaper end; certainly less than $100/day. When I stay with hosts (generally no more than 25% of the time), my costs drop to $0.

Normally, I take one long bicycle trip a year (about 1 month). With airfare, lodging, and food, a tour might cost in the $2,000 - $2,500 range. In lucky years, I get 2 of these in. This year it will be 0.

Since my DW is English, these trips are often combined with family visits, so some of the cost is defrayed.

As an added benefit, I've been riding a great deal (over 500 miles/month for the past several) around the SF Bay Area. While I have ridden in some wonderful places in the world, the view of San Francisco from the Golden Gate Bridge never gets old (though the fog and wind do!).
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by bhsince87 »

We have a pretty firm budget for such things.

Hobbies: $6,000 per year. Includes things like photo equipment, metal detecting, wood and metal working, fishing, various artsy stuff.

Entertainment: $5,000 Things like sporting events, concerts, dinners out.

Travel: $10,000 Potentially includes 2-3 months "snow birding" in the winter.

I consider them to be somewhat interchangeable depending on situations.

Needless to say, the latter two categories have been close to zero spend this year. So they'll just get rolled forward.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by hudson »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:26 pm Has anyone ever parachuted from a perfectly good airplane?
j🌺
HA! Yes 1970-1972...25-30 times for a little extra pay.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by neilpilot »

hudson wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:35 pm
Sandtrap wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:26 pm Has anyone ever parachuted from a perfectly good airplane?
j🌺
HA! Yes 1970-1972...25-30 times for a little extra pay.
Dan Cooper and $200k left a B727 in 71
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by hudson »

Mountain biking is relatively inexpensive. Now I'm guessing a bike would cost a couple of thousand with a few hundred a year to replace worn out parts of the drive train and tires. I had my 2003 mountain bike re-framed and upgraded in 2011 for $1500; I'm still riding it. I haven't spend a dime in the last year.

Backpacking: It probably costs several thousand to get the right stuff for a winter backpack over 6000 feet in the winter. I bought my stuff gradually over a period of years. I'm probably good for 5 years. I bought a 4 season tent this year.

I didn't budget for these items; I just bought them when I could.
I look at the items as necessities.
I need more campfire time!
Last edited by hudson on Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Outer Marker »

4nursebee wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:29 am . . . Taking flying lessons after putting them off twice before. I am considering plane ownership to travel the US. I am curious how others think of budgeting for such things. What are they worth to you? Mentally I am hoping for <$1,000 a month. . . . Does your spouse enjoy them or bicker?
Flying is an expensive addiction, but an amazing life experience. I don't regret any dollars spent on the airplanes I have owned. Agree with others that $1,0000/mo is a little light on airplane ownership. In my area, hangars go for $500+ a month, and the plane is nice enough not to want to tie it down outside. So, $6,000 year hangar, $3,000 annual inspection, $2,000 insurance. Capital cost on $100,000 plane. If you fly 100 hours a year @10 GPH at $6/gal, $6,000 fuel expense. Plus hourly engine reserves. So, figure close to $24,000 a year or $2,000/month to fly your own airplane. Its much cheaper to rent by the hour if you're going to be flying less than 100 hr/year.

The best solution is to find good partners you like. Its pretty much impossible to get full utility out of a plane by yourself. If you've got two partners, take all the fixed costs out and divide by three. My partners have always been my friends as well, and you find yourself going to the same fly-in events, air races, guys fishing trips, so you often wind up splitting the gas bill with your buddy.

Spouses don't tend to mind if they get to experience the fun in flying the plane out to the Bahamas, Maine, Nova Scotia, etc.
Last edited by Outer Marker on Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
austin757
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by austin757 »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:24 pm
austin757 wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:12 pm Flying airplanes is my one "vice" that I very much enjoy spending money on. As long as I invest enough to allow me to retire comfortably using conservative estimates, I think it's worth it. I think an RV-8 or -10 is an ideal plane for cross country and pleasure flights ($100 hamburger). I've never built one, but it's something I can see doing down the road. My real love, however, is for war birds (WWII). My partner and I have thought about buying an old trainer and flying for a while. A P-51 is not in the budget for the time being :happy

Probably the most cost effective way is to either just rent out of your local airport or join a flying club. The downside is you do not have the freedom to just pull up to your hangar, pull the plane out and go fly. Although a positive is not having to worry about maintenance, annuals, insurance etc. The school I learned to fly at (in NJ) charges roughly $150/hr. for a Cessna 172. Pretty reasonable for having the freedom to fly, in my view.

Some airplanes appreciate like real estate, especially vintage aircraft like war birds. While I don't necessarily view it as an investment, I expect to make most of the money back when selling it one day.
I’ve flow my own or in a club where the members owned the aircraft. Never rented. I fly to travel, and most rentals as well some club aircraft can’t be taken on an extended trip without incurring additional expenses.
For sure. If you're planning on using the plane for personal travel or for your small business, ownership is a must.
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Re: "Hobby" Money: Planes, cars, boats etc...

Post by Silverado »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:37 pm
hudson wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:35 pm
Sandtrap wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:26 pm Has anyone ever parachuted from a perfectly good airplane?
j🌺
HA! Yes 1970-1972...25-30 times for a little extra pay.
Dan Cooper and $200k left a B727 in 71
Does make you wonder about hudson....just a little date fudging to throw us off.

I am lucky, my biggest hobby is electronics, so I am using up microcontrollers that cost a buck or two and some components that cost a few cents. Maybe a ten dollar module here and there. Free software for programming. I tend to dream up big projects, build enough of a prototype to 'prove' I can do it, then toss it in the drawer and start over. I dream of fancy scopes and meters, but never actually get a true itch for anything.
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4nursebee
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Costs to own a plane

Post by 4nursebee »

[Thread merged into here, see below (next page) --admin LadyGeek]

I am taking lessons, considering buying in a partnership, rough agreement worked out. C 177 Cardinal. My spouse might be okay with buying a plane but is VERY concerned about ongoing expenses. I am ignorant but have an idea of expensive insurance to start, hanger rental, (not available yet, so outside and cheap), maybe some upgrade depending upon what we want.

For those that own and have owned a plane, how did the expenses work out for you?

Did you and spouse feel they got their moneys worth?

Did you use it as much as you thought? I have big dreams of regular travel and exploring the US>

Thank you.
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Petrocelli
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Petrocelli »

More than a $5,000 watch.
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ScubaHogg
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by ScubaHogg »

Probably much cheaper to join a local flying club
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Elysium »

Just when I thought I have read everything that can be said...let the fun begin. :twisted:
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4nursebee
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by 4nursebee »

The two partners in question weight too much for local club planes.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by LAFiddler »

Long time flight instructor here. Cost of ownership is high, but a partnership in a single is certainly very affordable. Make sure you have financials and scheduling arrangements in writing with your partner. Make sure the partner doesn’t like to cut corners on maintenance. Agree on the mechanic ahead of time.

All that said, my advice to you is this:

Wait until you have your certificate and get a few hours with passengers and on trips you like to take. Rent if you have to.

Plane ownership is all about the mission. You need to know the mission you’re doing, and narrow your aircraft options accordingly. You will not be happy if you buy a 177 and then realize that it doesn’t have the range you need to avoid a fuel stop on that trip you take every month! I see it all the time.

You’ll be amazed with how much knowledge you’ll gain between now and the practical test. Go into the plane purchase decision with that level of knowledge at a minimum. In aviation, there is almost never a deal too good to pass up. You always get what you pay for.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Mel Lindauer »

ScubaHogg wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:50 pm Probably much cheaper to join a local flying club
Agree that that's probably the best way to go for many (most?) pilots. I was a Flight Instructor for a flying club with planes based at airports in Philly, Jersey and Delaware. The club owned several models, so that offered members flexibility (2 seats, 4 seats and 6 seats),depending on the trip needs. All at a much more reasonable cost than owning the plane outright.
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dpm321
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by dpm321 »

Owning an airplane, like a boat, generally doesn’t make sense economically. It’s more of a vanity thing.You have to fly a lot to make it pay. Think fuel, oil, annual inspection, engine overhaul, hanger or tie-down rent, insurance...and on. Where I am in New England, around 200 hours a year is where it starts to make sense to own.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by sailaway »

A flying forum would probably be more useful, but as a boat owner, I can tell you you need to know:

LOCAL storage costs (tends to vary with land value)

YOUR insurance rate

Your use rate - this will determine your fuel burn and affect maintenance

Will you DIY or pay for maintenance?
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by adestefan »

I feel like this falls into the category of if you have to ask, then it’s probably more than you could ever imagine.
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Svensk Anga
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Svensk Anga »

The routine expenses are easy enough to work out. What held me back from buying was the risk of very expensive maintenance items coming up that must be done to keep the plane air worthy. Every annual inspection is a chance for your mechanic to find an expensive problem. Out of the blue, the FAA may issue an airworthiness directive that such and such has to be done on your model of aircraft because an issue has turned up in other similar planes. This could ground you until an expensive fix is developed and implemented. (See Boeing and their airline customers who have a whole fleet in limbo.)

If you proceed, rethink the size of your emergency fund.
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Svensk Anga
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Svensk Anga »

Another thing. With a partnership, you need to have written provisions in your agreement for what happens when one partner wants out or is failing to come up with his share of the expenses.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by manatee2005 »

There’s a show on AWE channel where people buy private jets.

You should get an agent who will tell you all about the costs.

It was a lot more than i’d like to spend.
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Svensk Anga
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Svensk Anga »

Oh, and another thing. Engines need to be overhauled at intervals. this is likely five figures. Will the partners pay into a fund to cover this eventual expense or will you expect each to come up with the money when the time comes? If accumulating a fund, will it be per hour flown (probably more fair this way since they are operating time limited) or per month?

I belonged to a flying club who's overhaul fund was depleted by a series of maintenance issues. That killed the club when overhaul time came and there was no support for a special assessment.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by neilpilot »

Svensk Anga wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:03 pm Another thing. With a partnership, you need to have written provisions in your agreement for what happens when one partner wants out or is failing to come up with his share of the expenses.
I've been in 2 Mooney partnerships (50-50), and they both worked fine without a hitch. You can take a co-owner template from AOPA and modify it for your particular needs.

I left some earlier comments on cost in the OP's earlier thread. viewtopic.php?p=5408793#p5408793

If you plan to travel over a weekend or longer, a 2-3 owner partnership usually has a big advantage over a club arrangement. We had good experience using a shared google calendar to schedule the aircraft.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by Daryl »

Ownership costs are going to be somewhat “lumpy”. My club just replaced the engine of our Cessna 150, and we’ll be doing some interior work later this year. Maintenance costs this year were extraordinary to say the least. The next couple of years should be more reasonable.

Our Cessna 150 is wonderful for local VFR flying and short cross countries. We’ve talked about upgrading the avionics for IFR training but nobody would want to fly a Cessna 150 in IMC, regardless of the avionics!
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by MadHungarian »

Elysium wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:52 pm Just when I thought I have read everything that can be said...let the fun begin. :twisted:
I was hoping he was referring to Lie-Nielsen Planes, which come in various sizes (#4, #5, #7, etc), and have very nice aerodynamic metal bodies that fly across a surface real nicely. You can get one for a few hundred dollars, but beware that cost of feeding it, and of course inevitably buying & feeding the rest of a large hangar of such planes and other woodworking tools, is often comparable to the cost of owning that other type of plane.
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Re: Costs to own a plane

Post by atikovi »

4nursebee wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:35 pmI have big dreams of regular travel and exploring the US>
That makes no sense these days with the discount fares available. Just checked flights from DC to Chicago. $21. That's cheaper than the ride to the airport itself. It will never make sense financially as a transportation tool. Just admit you want to own one because you like to fly a plane and you will be way ahead in justifying the purchase. I took, and got a 93, on the written when I was a teen, but never pursued flying any further. Cars were cheaper and much more accessible while being just as much fun.
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