As far as hobbies go, they don’t get much more expensive than Sky Diving.
In this post-financial crash, post-Brexit world with the student debt crisis, it can feel like an impossible task to afford just one jump per month. But over the years since my graduation, I’ve managed to figure out a few ways to make this money-burning habit just about affordable whilst also struggling along on a basic salary.
Obviously common sense should be applied to these tips and I can’t claim to be a financial expert, which is what you probably should be if you’re planning on making skydiving your main past time. These are simply a few of the tricks I’ve learnt over the years that have allowed me to jump up to three times a month in the last year.
Join a club
I created the Skydiving Society at my University in order to gain access to cheaper dives and discounts on equipment. This was all well and good whilst I was still at University, but once I was out in the open job market I lost all of those privileges. Thankfully, there are loads of clubs dotted around England that offer slightly cheaper rates if you choose to sign up for a membership. This is just the first step in the process of making your new hobby that bit more affordable.
Skydiving clubs aren’t exclusive places. They’re always eager to welcome new members and there’s always work to get done. The best way to earn brownie points for your local club is to get stuck into the never ending task of packing chutes. Some clubs run a ‘Jump points’ system, so the amount of hours that you dedicated to this repetitive grunt work will directly aid you into getting back into the sky all the sooner.
Even though this kind of work is not particularly interesting, you may find that you’ll have to wait in line until a space comes up – this is the best known way of skydiving on a budget! Take a look at some forums for further details…
Work within the club
Of course, there are always other ways that you can aid your new club members. Depending on your particular set of skills, you might find that there are loads of different ways to aid your new friends.
It could be adding a fresh lick of paint to the club house, helping with aircraft maintenance or simply tending the bar for a few nights per week. Play to your strengths and make sure that you look willing, this is the best way to get people on your side and a sure fire method of grabbing more of those much coveted Jump points.
Forget other hobbies
Unfortunately, when it really comes down to it, unless you’re a high-earner with no other financial responsibilities (ie. children or a mortgage) then you’re going to find it difficult to get airborne as well as enjoy any other hobbies that you may have. The best way to find yourself diving regularly is to simply cut back on all your other expenses. That means cancelling your extravagant holiday plans, giving up on buying that new bomber jacket that you’ve had your eye on and cutting back on your food bill. It might not be cool, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
Start buying your own equipment
In some ways Skydiving is very similar to other extreme sports, such as skiing or snowboarding. The cost of these activities can always be greatly reduced by slowly purchasing your own equipment.
This is where the real commitment begins. This equipment is not cheap and it also takes up space in your home.