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9 Cheap Sports of The Common Folk

by J. Money on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

rollerblading man symbol

You may have caught this, but MSN Money recently came out with an article on 9 pricey sports of the wealthy. With some of them costing well into the hundreds of thousands, and others even into the mega-millions. Something I’m sure most of you can relate to ;)

But not to be outdone, I’ve decided to one up them and share my own set of sports that could easily be just as fun, and which come without all those zeros at the end of those price tags… Who needs to get fancy, anyways?

My 9 substitute sports for all us un-wealthy:

  1. Their list: Dressage. My list: Yoga! What is dressage you ask? It “entails a horse and rider performing a series of highly choreographed movements.” Much like yoga, only $100,000 cheaper. And trust me, you’ll look sexier while dong it ;)
  2. Their list: Yachting. My list: Kayaking! Who needs vessels when you can race plastic containers around the lake! No use for pink tied sweaters around your neck either!
  3. Their list: Golf. My list: Putt Putt. I’m pretty sure you don’t need to be rich to play golf, but the more challenging way to go anyways is with a rousing game of putt putt – complete with Gorillas and all. The one place you can talk all about your blue balls without getting the eye roll! ;)
  4. Their list: Croquet. My list: Bocce. A quick trip to Target and some yard scouting, and you’ll be all set to play within the hour. And everyone will think you’re playing croquet anyways ‘cuz not that many people know the difference!
  5. Their list: Figure skating. My list: Rollerblading! Who cares that it’s not the 90′s anymore, head out to your local swap meet and pick yourself up a sweet set of inline skates! Then do all the twirls and jumps you want so long as your fanny pack remains zipped. (ZING!)
  6. Their list: Polo. My list: (Mechanical) Bull Riding! No need to fly to England, or be a man for that matter, just hit up your favorite country bar and let the good times roll! No need to do any practicing either – the crowds will love you the more uncoordinated you are! ;)
  7. Their list: Pheasant hunting. My list: Fishing. You can literally do it with a stick and some string. Save all those dollars on guns and gear, and go catch yourself some fish which you’d actually EAT too! (Or if you prefer, just play Duck Hunt. But find a system with a WORKING gun!)
  8. Their list: Snowboarding. My list: Skateboarding. Another sport not belonging to the wealthy, but if you can’t afford some snowboarding then yes – I say pick up the ol’ skateboard instead. No season passes to save up for, and you can create your own black diamonds walking up some hills!
  9. Their list: Horse racing. My list: Running. The only sport here that doesn’t have to cost a dime. And if you want to kick it up a notch or two, try it out at midnight in some of the more unsavory parts of your town! No easier way to beat your records than when being chased!

See? Plenty of cheaper options over those hoity-toity games the uber wealthy play… You could probably even do all 9 of them *every single week* and STILL come out on top by the end of the year. How awesome is that?

If you can think of any others, I’d love to hear them. I took out dodgeball and bowling from the list ‘cuz they were just way too fancy to be included here… Didn’t want to throw a bone to the elite! ;)

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PS: Here’s that MSN link again if you want to compare the dirty details: http://money.msn.com/investing/9-pricey-sports-of-the-wealthy

[Photo by Ben Sutherland]


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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mortgage Mutilator @ Mutilate The Mortgage January 30, 2013 at 5:47 am

Pilaties, Volleyball, Rock Climbing, Biking are all nice, good cheap sports. There’s also ball room dancing and even pole dancing (although they can get a little pricier).

The main one for most guys though is some second hand weights in a spare room. You can also subscribe to free YouTube channels to learn what exercises to do. A lot of them are highly professional too.

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2 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:50 pm

My problem is I always need a partner to exercise as I’m soooo unmotivated by myself :( I can sit on a computer and hustle 24/7 but weight lifting? Ugh… I need someone to pump me up! :)

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3 Lance @ Money Life and More January 30, 2013 at 7:14 am

Bocce is awesome but I haven’t played in forever. Putt putt is fun if you can find different courses to go to. Luckily, living in a vacation destination there are lots of courses here… they are just a bit more expensive because we’re a tourist destination.

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4 Andrea @ take a smart step January 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

Love this post! How about Frisbee golf, get a free frisbee from a company passing them out, head to the park and start aiming for something – free!

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5 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Yeah!! Totally! Haven’t done that in like 15 years, haha…

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6 Slackerjo January 30, 2013 at 7:32 am

I don’t have the time to play a round of golf (although I do enjoy it, mainly because I golf with people who also suck at golf ) so instead I go to the driving range and smack some balls (see I can make jokes about balls too) watching them soar majestically in the air, only to get caught in the wind and drop 17 feet in front of me.

Croquet is fun too if you have a lawn. You can stand around Downton Abbey style and speak of your first world issues, “Oh Lord Snoggybottoms, did your horse lose the big race. Oooh I am about to hit your blue ball”

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7 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Haha… oh yeah, I like the way you think :) Though I can’t bring my brother to any more driving ranges as he always releases the clubs prematurely and they fly into the rafters and break in half! We can only hit up those with no roofs on top of us, haha…

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8 Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank January 30, 2013 at 7:58 am

I prefer most of the cheapskate ideas you put forward to the more expensive alternatives – particularly putt putt, man that game is fun!

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9 Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies January 30, 2013 at 8:11 am

I wouldn’t say running costs nothing… I go through at least 4-6 pair of shoes every year (though I do put on some pretty serious mileage doing so). Then if you start to get into races, those entry fees can add up, too! $100 a pop for the big ones!
What I really need to do is start my own road races so that I can make money off my running habit =)

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10 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm

For sure… I thought of that when writing it up actually, but in theory you could run for not that much :) Only you hardcore ones end up racking up some bills! (But your healthy body appreciates it!)

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11 Brian January 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

Basketball and Football (soccer). All you really need is a ball. Plenty of parks have free hoops and you can use pretty much anything to mark goals for soccer.

Also fun fact about Polo (well maybe not so fun): You can only play righthanded, it is against the rules to play lefthanded…

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12 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm

What? Really?? I did not know that :)

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13 Brent Pittman January 30, 2013 at 9:06 am

I would have thought Lacrosse would have made this list for wealthy…seems all Ivy League schools have team. I would go for Ultimate Frisbee and hope to get into Cross Fit soon.

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14 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Right? At least swap out snowboarding for lacrosse. Weird.

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15 Emmy January 30, 2013 at 9:10 am

Almost all of the “rich people sports” I thought to myself “Why would you want to do that. WHY? That sounds so stupid.” I’m not much of an athlete… I feel for obvious reasons… but I do yoga in my living room and while I’m not good at it, I have been known to take the youth I work with put put golfing on occasion.

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16 Stacey January 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

Living in SoDak, it’s cool to see pheasant hunting on the “wealthy” list since that’s what consumes our poor, white trash lives in October ;)
but I suppose the fact that we own our hunting land makes it an inexpensive hobby for us. We also do a lot of fishing – it actually amounts to more of an expense than hunting with all of those darn minnows the kids lose down the hole in the ice… not to mention the “must have” ice shack when temps dip below zero and fishing is a “must do” in my house full of boys!

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17 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Hah! I’ve always wanted to try out one of those ice shacks actually :) They seem fun! And I’m not much of a fisherman either, but I could get down on some ice like that.

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18 Stacey January 31, 2013 at 10:31 am

most around here spend the weekend in their shack on the middle of a lake. it’s an eery feeling to wake up at midnight to extremely loud ice cracking which, my husband assures me, is a good thing! Ice fishing is a cult of it’s own…

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19 J. Money February 1, 2013 at 9:36 am

okay, so I just want to go for the DAY then, haha… that freaks me out!!

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20 Mike @Personal Finance Beat January 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

The best, cheapest sport of all — basketball! All you need is the ball, some friends, and a public court to play on. We used to kill hours playing hoops every weekend in school. And it was awesome exercise! Ah, the glory days :)

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21 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Yeahhhh I miss that! I’d always get in trouble for not coming into the house after supper was ready too :) It was just so much fun!

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22 Budget & the Beach January 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

Yoga can be cheap if you do it at home but most studios are expensive…still it’s accessible to everyone if you really want to do it…unless you shop at lululemon for your outfits. :) Good list!

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23 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:57 pm

But lulu is so sexy!!

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24 Johnny Moneyseed January 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

Skateboarding and fishing can both be pretty expensive once you really start getting into them. It’s hard to justify buying a skateboard or fishing pole if you don’t know how much use they’ll actually get. I would personally encourage doing research for a while before getting into serious hobbies like these. Especially if your kids are getting involved in these sports, they shouldn’t be bouncing from hobby to hobby, instead they should be more selective, which will allow you as a parent to support them financially.

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25 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Yeah, or picking up crappier boards/instruments/etc with the idea that you’d upgrade them later if they get more serious about it/etc… I feel like that’s what I’ll be doing once my kid(s) are older, but who knows… I might get way more frugal or go the opposite by accident! :)

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26 Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle January 30, 2013 at 11:15 am

Men who play polo are usually incredibly handsome and wealthy. Is husband hunting a sport?

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27 Kathy January 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm

@Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle ~ Snort!

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28 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Haha…. that is a good one :)

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29 John S @ Frugal Rules January 30, 2013 at 11:50 am

By the looks of it I prefer many, if not all, of the alternatives. Putt putt is always a good option, although I think I’ll leave yoga for the more flexible. ;)

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30 Financial Black Sheep January 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Crochet is the same price as Bocce at Target, and is even cheaper if purchased off season. Don’t go to Walmart, because the set isn’t even wood. I would have to argue that most of the rich sports can be less expensive than described and at the same time some of the cheap sports can get expensive. For instance, anything with a horse, can be done IF you want it. I have a friend that mucks out the horses stalls and feeds them every day, so she can have a free stall and pasture for her horse. On the other hand fishing can get expensive, because I would have to purchase a license for fishing, and a pass to any water around me and by the time I buy anything other than rock and string, I might as well have went hunting for the same price. Not that I care to do either, but seriously, water is expensive in a land-locked state.

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31 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Very true – your level of extremeness with any sport starts adding up over time. And/or your patience levels :)

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32 Financial Black Sheep January 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I meant stick and string, not rock and string

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33 Kathy January 30, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Growing up in Michigan, we called it Putt Putt, but people out here in California don’t know what Putt Putt golfing is….they call it “Miniature Golf”. Well, La~De~Da!

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34 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Oh yeah! I’ve heard it called that too :) At least the game remains the same still!

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35 Akiyo @ KitchenPenguin January 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm

If somebody wants to go pheasant hunting then I will happily cook what they kill. Those suckers are expensive. As a former Hawaii native I’d add swimming. The public pools were free and the ocean…free. I don’t know what, if at all, public pools charge in your area.

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36 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Good one!

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37 The Happy Homeowner January 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Ha! Snowboarding is a wealthy person’s sport?? Hmmm….

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38 Greg@ClubThrifty January 30, 2013 at 4:12 pm

How about running? That is a good cheap sport. That and Polish football.

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39 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm

How about you read my post all the way ;)

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40 Grayson @ Debt Roundup January 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I am going to go with rock climbing and Frisbee golf, both great option that are cheap. Great list J Money!

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41 J. Money January 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Oh yeah! Rock climbing is good… much harder than it looks too, I hear?

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42 Daisy @ Everything Finance January 31, 2013 at 12:08 am

I have this friend who plays almost all of those “rich” sports. He’s always broke and wonders why he can’t save money even though he lives with his parents. He goes golfing every weekend! I think anyone can enjoy these sports every once in awhile, but go for the cheaper option or opt out the majority of the time.

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43 J. Money February 1, 2013 at 9:35 am

Haha wow… He definitely loves his sports, eh!

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44 Sarah Park February 2, 2013 at 5:33 am

I’m really wondering why some people spend so much on expensive sports when they can have those that are not with equally the same fun you may experience. Some doesn’t even cost a single cent.

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45 J. Money February 2, 2013 at 9:36 am

I bet they do that kind of stuff too, but all their friends/family participates in these upper level things so ofcourse it makes sense that they do too. If I grew up or was surrounded by it I’d probably play them all as well, but just make sure it was all budgeted in :) Who knows, maybe this blog would have been called “YachtingIsSexy.com!” Haha…

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46 Michelle February 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

It’s kind of hard in Colorado not to do Mountain Sports (I snowboard) but, there are ways to make it cheaper…after you own your equipment! I have $75 pass for four days of snowboarding. What about Ultimate Frisbee?

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47 J. Money February 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I liked Colorado a lot the last two times I was there :)

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48 Cat February 4, 2013 at 11:45 am

Ok I have to admit that I read this wrong the first time because I skimmed the first little set of information there. (oops!) and I was like.. there is no freaking way dressage is cheap!

Lol. But seriously, coming from a former horse enthusiast (who has no money) and polo and race horse exerciser, I can support the data that it is expensive!!!

After I stopped riding horses, I started running. Doesn’t cost a cent, except for the occasional running shoe, and the iTunes songs I purchase.

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49 J. Money February 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Haha big change! :)

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