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Author: Subject: what is your take on spending absurd amounts of money on this hobby?
Cou
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[*] posted on 17-6-2020 at 19:04
what is your take on spending absurd amounts of money on this hobby?


I'm a 21 year old chemistry major living with my dad. i'm kind of spoiled really, we have inheritance that can pay my tuition and my dad takes care of stuff like housing, car, etc.

I don't have to have a job, because I have no bills to pay, but I work a pizza delivery job anyway so I can use the money to fund interests like organic chemistry hobby. I make about $14 an hour at the job, including wage and tips.

chemicals are really expensive, shipping too. i just spent $208 on an order of chemicals needed for the Steglich esterification.

in my opinion, when you're having a hard time deciding if you should spend money, you think about if it's worth the amount of time needed to work for that money. for example, a chick fil a sandwich costs $6. do you consider that worth working for 30 minutes? I would work 30 minutes for a chicken sandwich.

in my case it would take about a week to make that $208, but i really love chemicals and doing things with them. I get lots of joy from just having a bottle of an organic compound, knowing what molecules are in there, holding the bottle and looking at it and thinking about what i can do with it, etc. it even makes my life worth living and staves off suicidal thoughts. so i consider it worth it, even if working at the pizza place is hard work.

another way of thinking about it is that a lot of people waste equal amounts of money on other "stupid" things that make them happy. there are ppl who drop hundreds on concert tickets, sports game tickets, music, eating at expensive restaurants, vacations, marijuana, cigarattes, etc. this is just my version of paying hundreds of dollars for a football game seat. some ppl spend $250 on an ounce of cannabis bud.


[Edited on 18-6-2020 by Cou]




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[*] posted on 17-6-2020 at 19:49


http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=154776

I think you should balance your saving and spending. You get great joy out of chemistry, you are learning and gaining possibly more hands on experience than some of your classmates. Since your tuition is covered you are good there. But you still have a future after 21, trust me I am 38 and never took my moms advice to save money.

But you cannot throw away your passion, like you said some people passions are live shows, others are a night on the town, there are all sorts. Your's is chemistry, I also assume since you are majoring in Chem you plan on pursuing something chemistry in the future so it's building on your future. And if in the end you choose not to, no knowledge is useless knowledge.

But I do feel you should save some of your money, that way when you do move out you can afford some new furniture, vehicle, expenses for the first year, mortgage. I don't know if your inheritance will cover after school expenses too but it's good to be prepared.
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[*] posted on 17-6-2020 at 19:53


Me, I'm a broke high school student looking for a job.
My take is this, is it worth it, and can you afford it. If something costs $250.00, but you are making a 6 figure salary, you can probably buy it if you want. Basically, budget, thats what I try to do.




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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 04:02


chemicals can be expensive, you need an arm and a leg if you want to stock your lab buying from sigma.
If you have the money that's good, but i think in general that if you can cut corners spending a little more effort you can go a long way.

for example, you could buy a new rotovap for 5k, or spend a bit of time to find a used one, or spend $20 if you 3D print the gearbox and use common glassware you already have (shoutout to DavidJR).

if you have lot's of money, all your expenses are already paid and you just want to make an experiment as soon as possible without having to deal with DIY troubleshooting, yeah you can spend the money, like real labs do, but in general try to keep some of your money, you don't know what can happen, a tragic thing or maybe a super deal that lasts for a short amount of time and if only you had enough saved you could have have it (RIP me with Elon Musk's BTC donations)





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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 04:05


Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  

or spend $20 if you 3D print the gearbox and use common glassware you already have (shoutout to DavidJR).


Can you pass the topic? That's interesting
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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 04:16


My mother used to discourage me of my hobby. She spends 250$ a week to booze and smoking, and probably a part of that comes out of my father's wallet because she has always had only part time jobs or being unemployed. Last time she was drunk all over and literally shouted how miserable I am and I'm just cooking some shady stuff and wasting my life. She also has cancer nowadays, possibly due to her habits.

My father can't figure out why I'm into chemistry. He just spend $50k to a new car and putting a few grands to a holiday trip is no issue. When he was younger, he spent a fortune tuning cars, boats and doing all kind of recreational hobbies, drinking a lot and travelling.

My friends consider me autistic. They drink, smoke, do drugs, go to festivals and eat mostly take-away or delivery food and whine how they're constantly out of money.

I hit gym, cycle everyday and eat healthy. Drinking or drugs haven't never been my thing. So, I've invested about 500$ total in the last year to my hobby, and I'm the bad guy who wastes money. The time I can't spend doing chemistry work, I mostly study. I live rather cheap and don't earn too much, but I've got six digit savings due to btc.

[Edited on 18-6-2020 by Refinery]
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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 05:11


Quote: Originally posted by mackolol  
Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  

or spend $20 if you 3D print the gearbox and use common glassware you already have (shoutout to DavidJR).


Can you pass the topic? That's interesting


https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3320710/comments (there's also the vido of the whole apparatus)




@Refinery that looks pretty toxic...
They can't understand your hobby, simply because it's not common, while drinking, partying and doing drugs is so common that it is considered normal for many. Stick to your thing, it may be hard be the outsider sometimes, but you get used to it, and with time you'll find friends that even if they don't really understand your hobby they'll not criticize it





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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 05:46


You must see things in perspective when spending money. As others mentioned, it all depends on what amount of money you have and expect to get in the (near) future. If you earn a few thousands of dollars every month, and you do not have expensive habits, then spending e.g. $200 per month on a hobby is not a great issue. But for a student, who has too little money all the time, spending the same $200 per month may be foolish.

I personally think that a hobby should not bring you in financial troubles. For a hobby you can use spare money, first comes housing, taking care of yourself and your family (if you are the person in your family with the main income or a substantial part of it), and taking care of your family's interests (e.g. children's sports, schooltrips, your family holidays). For myself, I also compare the price of my hobby with other people's hobbies and then things are not looking that bad. E.g. a friend of mine rides a horse. On average, that takes a few hundreds of euros each month (food for the horse, stable, occasional medical care for the horse, price of the horse itself, tools like a saddle, boots, whip, monthly fee of club, and so on). Another one goes out and spends on average almost 100 euros each weekend on food, drinks, and sometimes a movie, a little concert and that kind of things. Going on vacation to far away places in the world every year also takes a lot of money. We go out by car somewhere in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium or France, and that saves a lot of money, compared to going to a far part of the world. Seen in that way, spening on average $100 or so per month on a chemistry hobby is not that weird.




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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 05:54


Quote: Originally posted by Cou  
I I work a pizza delivery job anyway so I can use the money to fund interests like organic chemistry hobby.


[Edited on 18-6-2020 by Cou]

You earned it; you choose how to spend it.

But I'm old enough to think that a pension is important, and the earlier you start, the better.
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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 07:16


I agree with unionized about the importance of investing in your future. Your present course of studies at the university is one way that you are investing in your future. One way that you differ from most other people, is that your main hobby is something that itself is an investment, as it is related to your studies. Given that your expenses are taken care of, I would also advise beginning to put a little bit every week/month into an S&P 500 index fund, or something like that. When you get into a career that offers a 401k, then start investing in that. Get into a habit of doing that throughout your life, whether the stock market roller coaster is flying up or down, and the 50 or 60 year old version of you will have have enough money to build a time machine and come back to thank the present you. OK, maybe the time machine thing won't happen, but still...

A hobby like boating would be a lot of fun, but it wouldn't have anything to do with your future career. Other from the enjoyment of it and the exercise from the various related water sports, it wouldn't benefit you much unless you met your future boss while out on the lake. I say that as someone who will try water skiing for the first time in a week or two, and loves hitting the lake. I don't think the fact that you want to spend money on a chemistry hobby is excessive or even odd given your circumstances. You're doing fine. Keep up the good work man.

Refinery, sorry to hear that. This situation should get much easier for you as you get older and become more independent. Keep yourself together and hang in there.




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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 07:35
Chemistry Funding


Cou to each his/her own. I'm almost 62,
retired and still enjoy chemistry. My parents
never discouraged me. In fact, they bought
me my 1st chemistry set when I was 12.
I worked a part-time job as a teenager to
fund my experiments. My mother laughed
her ass off when I blew off my eyebrows
with Armstrong's mixture ! So, NO, I don't
think it's absurd or even foolish to spend
money on chemistry versus money being
spent on alcohol, tobacco and recreational
pharmaceuticals.




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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 07:59


Cou--we only get so many trips around the Sun. If you can eat and keep a roof over your head, then by Ford, follow your passion.

I live on disability, and I spend what my friends think are a ridiculous waste of money on my "hobby". No regrets.

Ark




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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 08:43


Quote: Originally posted by arkoma  
Cou--we only get so many trips around the Sun. If you can eat and keep a roof over your head, then by Ford, follow your passion.

Absolutely this.
I would really feel huge regrets if I couldn't do this.
This is my hobby and passion and I love it, and while its not a cheap hobby, it is one that gives me so much and its value is far greater than what I spend on it.
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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 10:34
It's money well spent


Any money spent that adds to a person's scientific
knowledge is in my opinion money well spent!

This is because knowledge does not wear out and doesn't
ever need to be replaced. It can always be added to.
Same for experience.

So, chemistry is one of those things which I think
that offers valuable returns on many levels.

You get your money's worth!




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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 10:37


Quote: Originally posted by sodium_stearate  
Any money spent that adds to a person's scientific
knowledge is in my opinion money well spent!

This is because knowledge does not wear out and doesn't
ever need to be replaced. It can always be added to.
Same for experience.

So, chemistry is one of those things which I think
that offers valuable returns on many levels.

You get your money's worth!



Complete agreement




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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 13:36


It's your choice how you spend your money. Chemistry is awesome hobby, so why not? It's much better than spend money for cigarettes, alcohol, weed... Chemistry have purpose. It would be wise save some money for your future household, but that's your choice. I spent lots of money for things I like (not only chemistry) before I start to live with my girlfriend. I was stupid, because I could buy more furniture in to our household. But I don't regret it, because it had meaning to me. Ideal is find the right balance between spending and saving money. On the other hand you should enjoy your life as long as it goes, because when you'll start to work, live with someone, you'll have some responsibility and most of your money will ends in rent, food etc. Currently I am glad if I save some money. I can not afford to spend much money for chemistry, because I need money for some furniture, I also want to marry my girlfriend - so I need money for wedding, rings etc. And work consumes my time, I don't have much time for chemistry.



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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 13:45


Seems like you feel a little guilty about your spending. I suggest you set up a savings account and put in a little bit of each pay cheque in. Everything else - spend how you like.
This way you can save for your future and enjoy the present, without the guilt.
A lot of hobbies are expensive - mine is electronics, and I've invested an awful lot of money in tooling over the years. Yet there are still things I want ...




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[*] posted on 18-6-2020 at 20:32


Chemistry is much cheaper than automobiles or motorbikes,
and you are less likely to harm others.
I too have other hobbies (amateur radio, electronics, astronomy) and they are not cheaper.
Compared to many hobbies, chemistry is cheap.
Males tend to spend a lot on their hobbies / you are normal, just different.

Now is a good time to invest in chemistry equipment and supplies.
(gold, guns and ammunition, security and food supplies are probably a better investment) :)




CAUTION : Hobby Chemist, not Professional or even Amateur
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[*] posted on 19-6-2020 at 01:14


Also the scale effects on cost. If you do stuff in mmol scale, you can get a VAST assortmemt of stuff for cheap.

I suppose only reason to do large scale synthesis is to produce something for a need. 10 liter reaction volume easily crosses to cookery. Few exceptions, like fermentationns, though but homedistiller also states that boilers over 50 gallons are not supported. I could get away with 20 very well already, it could make a years supply with two strippings and a frac run.
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[*] posted on 19-6-2020 at 01:34


My life philosophy on cash is save 10% of what you earn for your entire life. That 10% is not for holidays or hobbies or even emergencies. It is investment in your future, essentially locked away (except for smart financial investment) until you retire. The other 90% you come up with a happy medium of living, hobby, saving, ect with a balance that keeps you off the street.
If you want to hear what other people are spending on their hobby, I just spent $450 AUD on acid. 2.5 L of 98% AR H2SO4 and 2.5L of 70% AR HNO3.
Find a job that plays to your passion/strengths. If you can get a job that supports your passion you will do amazing things and be happy in your work life.
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[*] posted on 19-6-2020 at 04:57


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
Also the scale effects on cost. If you do stuff in mmol scale, you can get a VAST assortmemt of stuff for cheap.

That is absolutely true.
While my niche is about things that have a need and are by many others produced in much larger amounts, I just do it for fun and my own needs.
I got lots of experience with this over time since I do cheap small scales, but yet the few times I ran a reaction in large, it was maybe 0,3-0,5mol and never did I do any larger reaction ever.
And even those larger reactions were done only to fill a bottle up with a valuable reagent so I don't need to repeat the reaction more often and can simply use the stuff up from storage.
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[*] posted on 19-6-2020 at 06:36


Yep. My biggest rxn have been purification and stocking of bulk reagents. Alcohol is by far biggest, although I dont consider it chemistry.
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[*] posted on 19-6-2020 at 14:52


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
Alcohol is by far biggest, although I dont consider it chemistry.


It's a multi distillation to even approach 95% EtOH. It's dang good practice if nothing else. I use Alcotec turbo yeast, and my apparatus is a 2 litre erlenmyer, claisen adapter, distuillation head and a graham condensor. I happen to LOVE my Graham, although it is pretty much a very "niche" piece of gear.

EtOH helps fund my other obsessive chem purchases. Hand Sanitizer, don't you know......LOL. Certainly not intended for human consumption.




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[*] posted on 19-6-2020 at 15:40


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
Yep. My biggest rxn have been purification and stocking of bulk reagents. Alcohol is by far biggest, although I dont consider it chemistry.


I consider it as such. Take a poll young sir.
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[*] posted on 19-6-2020 at 18:07


It is very much so good old fashioned "preparative chemistry". EtOH is very handy to have, and I as I have said, very good practice at distillations which are just not as smooth and straight forward as we all once thought at the beginning.

I have volcanoed hot ethanol from bumping....learned a good lesson that time, and thankfully there were no fires THAT time.

Almost had an oil bath fire (caused by, you guessed it, bumping) get away from me. Had presence of mind to grab my (favorite) comforter off the couch and smothered it,

I know own both a medium sized ABC extinguisher and a somewhat larger HALON 1221 (I think that right number--not home at moment) that I got from the local cropduster. Lab fires are NO JOKE and can happen in a split second.

So yeah, EtOH=real chemistry.

My Corning PC-351 hotplate/stirrer was damn sure a worthy investment. No close calls since I got it, but I imagine my care and skill improved also.

Youngsters--bee careful!!

*edit* The Max Gergel books in the forum library are recommended. Funny, and if it could go wrong, it did. He was into commercial production of alkyl halides.

[Edited on 6-20-2020 by arkoma]


*edit* Comic relief



mooshine.jpg - 112kB

[Edited on 6-20-2020 by arkoma]




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