20 hobbies of the rich only they can afford

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Hobbies give us a break from the day-to-day grind. Whether you enjoy crafting projects or adventurous activities, finding an enjoyable pastime doesn't have to break the bank. Unless, of course, you're filthy rich.

Just like us regular folk, rich people engage in fun, exhilarating activities to take their minds off work. But given their bankroll, they have their pick of activities that the average person can't afford to pursue on a regular basis — or at all. Here's a look at 20 hobbies of the rich.

1. Yachting

You don't need to take a cruise with people you don't know if you can afford to sail in a yacht. If you know how to sail and you enjoy the open water, spending time on a yacht might be the perfect end to a stressful week.

Unfortunately, yachting is a hobby only the rich can afford. A yacht can cost $1 million and up to buy, and renting one can set you back as much as $5,000 per day.

SEE MORE: 15 Favorite Hobbies of Successful People, Like Mark Cuban and Warren Buffett

2. Polo

Polo — a team sport played on horseback — is favored by the royals. So it's no surprise that it's also an expensive hobby.

It can cost upwards of $7,500 a year for club fees. Plus, there's the cost of buying a horse, which can start between $15,000 and $35,000. Equipment like a helmet, boots and saddles can cost several hundred dollars or more, and stabling and feeding the horse can cost $1,200 or more per month.

3. Race Car Driving

If you have an adventurous side and a love of cars, high-performance race car driving can offer extreme fun as you drive at high speeds around a track. But don't get too excited.

A NASCAR racing experience, for example, can cost up to $900 for two eight-minute driving sessions. And if you want to buy your own race car, it can cost $1 million or more.

4. Big-Game Hunting

Hunting in itself isn't necessarily expensive. But if you want to hunt big game, be prepared to empty your wallet. Big-game hunting expeditions aren't for the cheapskate.

It can cost tens of thousands of dollars for the thrill of hunting lions, elephants and other big-game animals. Some hunting expeditions can cost up to $70,000, according to USA Today.

5. Ballroom Dancing

Taking a ballroom dancing class here or there probably isn't going to break the bank. But if you turn ballroom dancing into a serious hobby and start competing, the cost of competition fees, lessons, transportation and other expenses can run more than $10,000 per year. In fact, one woman reportedly spent $30,000 a year to compete, and another said she spent $100,000 a year to compete, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

6. Collecting Exotic Animals

For some millionaires, it isn't enough to own a domestic dog or cat. They would rather collect exotic animals. Unfortunately, this hobby comes with a hefty price tag.

Buying a cheetah cub can cost, on average, between $15,000 and $25,000. A tiger cub can cost $3,200, and a grown tiger can cost $50,000. A lion cub can cost $1,500 to $15,000.

For people who want to own big cats like these, it can cost over $94,000 to set up in the first year, with annual care costing over $8,000, according to BigCatRescue.org.

7. Collecting Antiques

You don't have to be rich to collect antiques, and you might discover some nice finds at estate sales or garage sales. But for rich people with plenty of money to blow, antique collecting can be an expensive hobby. For example, someone collecting handmade rugs might pay as much as $257,000 for a 150-year-old Persian silk rug.

8. Horse Racing

Going to a horse racing track and placing a bet doesn't have to cost a lot of money. But if you want to breed, train and race your own horses in competitions, that can cost big money.

The average cost for a two-year-old horse in 2015 was $65,591, according to The Jockey Club, an organization for horse racing and breeding. The expense of this hobby increases once you add the price of food, grooming and housing.

Training bills alone at a mid- to high-level racetrack can run between $30,000 and $50,000 a year, according to NBC New York. The entry fee for the Kentucky Derby in 2016 was $25,000.

9. Mountain Climbing

Anyone can hike a mountain for exercise or the thrill. However, you'll need to open your wallet if you want to reach the top of the world's most famous summits. Hiking a mountain may necessitate paying for a guide, food, base camp and oxygen.

Prices vary, but it can cost a single climber between $11,000 in license fees alone to reach the top of Mount Everest. Even a low-budget expedition can cost $25,000, according to MountEverest.net.

10. Hot Air Ballooning

A hot air balloon ride offers an amazing glimpse of the landscape below. A 90-minute weekend ride can cost about $300 per person, depending on the location.

If you want to make air ballooning a full hobby, it can cost serious cash. You'll have to spend about $2,750 on flight school to learn how to operate the balloon, and another $20,000 to $60,000 for the actual balloon.

11. Golfing

Rich golfers seek the best courses, and some don't mind coughing up the dough for the privilege to join a golf club. Membership to some of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world will cost a pretty penny.

For example, the joining fee for Trump National in Los Angeles is $193,000. Joining the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey, which has views of the New York City skyline, costs about $374,000.

12. Skydiving

The average Joe might be able to afford the occasional skydiving experience, which involves jumping from an aircraft with a parachute. A single tandem dive can cost about $250.

However, making skydiving a regular hobby can require a big investment. Skydiving gear costs $5,000 to $9,000 to buy, which can include "the main and reserve canopies, altimeter, goggles and helmet," according to CostHelper.com, a cost resource website.

13. Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is another expensive hobby that only the rich can afford on a regular basis. The price of a scuba diving certification and equipment is about $500 each, which isn't too bad. However, underwater diving becomes expensive once you add the ongoing cost of transportation and lodging at the best scuba locations in the world, such as the Great Barrier Reef, Kimbe Bay in Papua, New Guinea, and Ras Mohammed National Park in Egypt.

14. Collecting Art

High-end art collection is among the most expensive hobbies. Some of the most expensive artworks in the world include Pablo Picasso's masterpiece, "Les Femmes d'Alger," which sold for $179 million, and "When Will You Marry?" by Paul Gauguin, which sold for $300 million. It might be no surprise that the wealthy own some of the greatest masterpieces ever painted.

15. High-Stakes Poker

For wealthy people with millions to blow, a game of poker is all about high stakes. High-stakes poker games are played by some of the world's richest, with some games requiring a $1 million buy-in.

16. World Travel

Just about anyone can afford a vacation or getaway. But not everyone can afford to travel and explore the world in style. Add in the cost of high-end accommodations, first-class travel, excursions and food, and a round-trip excursion around the world might cost as little as $10,000 or as much as $1 million.

17. Winemaking

Winemaking is another expensive hobby of the rich, according to Jim Wang, founder of personal finance website WalletHacks. "I have a business acquaintance who is very wealthy, and one of his hobbies is winemaking," he said.

"We're not talking about going to a winery, mixing their vintages and calling it your own blend — that's actually quite fun and affordable — with your own label," he said. "My friend bought land, hired a staff, and it was a couple years until he was actually able to bottle anything."

There are many hobbyists who make wine on a more affordable scale. On the other end of the scale, for example, if you want to start a winery in Napa, it can cost you about $100,000 per acre, according to Forbes.

18. Collecting Vintage Cars

Vintage car collection is an expensive hobby for the super rich. Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld are both known for their expensive car collections. The price of a vintage collectible varies. But to give an idea of what someone could pay, a 1954 Mercedes Formula One race car can cost about $29.6 million.

19. Flying Planes

If you have dreams of piloting your own plane, you'll need the resources to pursue them. Flight school can cost $5,000, and a used six-seat Cessna Citation CJ3 can cost as much as $2.5 million. Then, it can cost $100 to $200, on the low end, per flight hour to operate the plane.

20. Cigarette Boat Racing

People with a competitive side and a need for speed might enjoy racing cigarette boats. Unfortunately, this isn't a cheap hobby to participate in. One boat can cost between $500,000 and $1 million, and owners might spend up to $25,000 a year on maintenance, fuel, slip fees and transportation.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things Wealthy People Do Every Day

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20 hobbies of the rich only they can afford

16. Laurene Powell Jobs

Net worth: $14.4 billion

Age: 52

Country: US

Industry: Media

The widow of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs inherited his wealth and assets, which included 5.5 million shares of Apple stock and a 7.3% stake in The Walt Disney Co., upon his death. Jobs' stake in Disney — which has nearly tripled in value since her husband's death in 2011 and comprises more than $12 billion of her net worth — makes her the company's largest individual shareholder.

Though she's best recognized through her iconic husband, Jobs has had a career of her own. She worked on Wall Street for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs before earning her MBA at Stanford in 1991, after which she married her late husband and started organic-foods company Terravera. But she's been primarily preoccupied with philanthropic ventures, with a particular focus on education. In 1997, she founded College Track, an after-school program that helps low-income students prepare for and enroll in college, and in September she committed $50 million to a new project called XQ: The Super School Project, which aims to revamp the high-school curriculum and experience.

Last October, Jobs spoke out against "Steve Jobs," Aaron Sorkin's movie about her late husband that portrays him in a harsh light, calling it "fiction." Jobs had been against the project from the get-go, reportedly calling Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale to ask them to decline roles in the film.

(Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

15. Azim Premji

Net worth: $16.5 billion

Age: 70

Country: India

Industry: Technology

In 1966, 21-year-old Azim Premji dropped out of Stanford in the wake of his father's death to take the helm of his father's company Western India Vegetable Products — later renamed Wipro. It was under Premji's leadership that the company diversified into toiletries and bath products and, eventually, IT, and the company grew exponentially. Now India's third-largest IT giant, Wipro generated revenues of $7.6 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

Just days into the new year, Premji named Abidali Neemuchwala, a Dallas-based consultancy executive, the new CEO of Wipro, citing him as the best leader to take Wipro into "its next phase of growth." Neemuchwala had been brought on to Wipro as chief operating officer last April after years of working for rival Tata Consultancy Services.

Premji is known for his generosity. He signed the Giving Pledge, committing to donate at least half of his wealth to charity, and in 2015 was named "the most generous Indian" on the Hurun India Philanthropy list for the third year in a row.

(Photo by Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint via Getty Images)

14. Dieter Schwarz

Net worth: $20.9 billion

Age: 76

Country: Germany

Industry: Retail

Dieter Schwarz joined his father's food-wholesaling business in 1973 and opened the company's first discount supermarket shortly thereafter. He took over as CEO when his father died in 1977 and rapidly expanded the business outside Germany, rebranding the company as Schwarz Gruppe.

The parent company umbrellas Lidl, a successful grocery-store chain and the second largest in Germany behind Aldi, and Kaufland, a chain of "hypermarket" stores similar to Walmart. Lidl has nearly 10,000 stores across 26 European countries and is set to break ground on US soil in 2018. Schwarz Gruppe now pulls in $85 billion in annual sales.

The German billionaire lives a quiet life out of the spotlight with his wife and two kids in their hometown of Heilbronn. He's reportedly a generous donor to educational causes.

(Photo by Ashok Saxena, Alamy)

13. Georg Schaeffler

Net worth: $22.2 billion

Age: 51

Country: Germany

Industry: Manufacturing

Georg Schaeffler served in the German military and held a short career in corporate law in the US before jumping aboard his father's company, Schaeffler Group, the nearly $11 billion (in sales) ball bearings and auto-parts maker that Schaeffler now co-owns with his mother.

The company made a splash in 2008 with its $17 billion hostile takeover attempt of tire and auto-parts maker Continental AG, which went south and left Schaeffler Group saddled with debt that it's managing to this day. It still owns a nearly 50% stake in Continental.

Schaeffler Group has recently invested nearly $550 million in its electric and hybrid car parts business, and it expects to double the number in the next five years.

(Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

12. Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud

Net worth: $22.5 billion

Age: 60

Country: Saudi Arabia

Industry: Diversified investments

Prince Alwaleed comes from royalty — he is the grandson of Abdul Aziz al Saud, the first ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — but he also built his fortune with savvy investments in a range of companies across the US and the Middle East. He founded Kingdom Holding Co. in 1980 and has since invested in everything from real estate to entertainment to education, with stakes in companies like Twitter, The Four Seasons, Time Warner, and Motorola.

Recently, Prince Alwaleed also made a play for ride-hailing service Lyft, reportedly grabbing a 2.3% stake by putting up $105 million of a nearly $250 million round of funding the company raised in December.

Prince Alwaleed has an enigmatic relationship with his money. In 2013, he sued Forbes for allegedly underestimating his wealth. But last summer he announced plans to donate his entire fortune to charity anyway.

(Photo by Pool Interagences/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

11. Mukesh Ambani

Net worth: $24.8 billion

Age: 58

Country: India

Industry: Petrochemicals, oil, and gas

Mukesh Ambani took over as chairman of Reliance Industries when his father, the company's founder, died in 2002. The enormous industrial conglomerate generates $62 billion in annual revenue from its interests in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and, more recently, telecommunications.

Ambani is the richest person in India with a personal fortune of over $24 billion. He owns a 27-story Mumbai mansion that cost $1 billion to build.

And if Ambani's projections for India's economy prove correct, expect that net worth to soar. Four years ago, Ambani predicted that India would grow from a $1.4 trillion economy in 2011 to a $30 trillion economy by 2030 — a bullish estimate considering that India's GDP today stands at $2.2 trillion.

(Photo by Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images)

10 through 8. Forrest, Jacqueline, and John Franklyn Mars

Net worth: $28.6 billion each

Age: 84, 76, and 80

Country: US

Industry: Candy

Siblings Forrest, Jacqueline, and John Franklyn "Frank" Mars inherited a stake in the iconic candymaker Mars Inc. when their father, Forrest Sr., died in 1999. The notoriously private trio co-own but don't actively manage the maker of M&M's and Milky Way bars, which their grandfather started in 1931 as a confectionary business in his kitchen in Tacoma, Washington.

In 2008, Mars Inc. branched out from chocolate to gum, when it acquired the Wrigley Jr. Co. for $23 billion. Since then, it's delved into pet food, buying Iams and two other brands in 2014 from Procter & Gamble for close to $2.9 billion.

Together the three siblings run the Mars Foundation, which gives primarily to educational, environmental, cultural, and health-related causes. In March 2015, Frank Mars was made an honorary knight by Queen Elizabeth II.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

7. Bernard Arnault

Net worth: $28.9 billion

Age: 66

Country: France

Industry: Luxury goods

Bernard Arnault's LVMH houses 70 luxury brands from Louis Vuitton to Hennessy to Dom Perignon, all controlled by family parent company Groupe Arnault. By the 1980s and '90s, Arnault, who started out as a civil engineer, had assumed control of the family business and proceeded to buy high-end fashion house Christian Dior, reviving it from the brink of bankruptcy. Like most LVMH brands today, Dior once again thrives as an industry standard bearer, helping the firm haul in a record $33 billion in revenue in 2014.

This year, the French chairman and CEO is joining US-based private-equity firm Catterton to form an investment firm with a consumer focus. The new firm, to be named L Catterton, is targeting $12 billion in assets under management and will be 40% owned by LVMH and Groupe Arnault.

(Photo by ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

6. Liliane Bettencourt

Net worth: $29 billion

Age: 93

Country: France

Industry: Cosmetics

The heiress to the L'Oreal cosmetics fortune and the company's largest shareholder, Liliane Bettencourt is the richest woman in Europe and the second-richest woman in the world, with a net worth of $29 billion. She no longer has a hand in business operations, but L'Oreal and the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation she cofounded with her late husband continue to prosper. She's an avid art collector, owning pieces by Picasso, Matisse, and Munch.

In recent years, Bettencourt became a household name in France as the central figure in an infamous trial in which judges examined whether the billionaire was taken advantage of by those close to her. The trial closed in May 2015 when eight people, including trusted friends and financial advisers, were convicted of exploiting the heiress.

Bettencourt was back in the news again late last year after accusations were made against her former butler and five journalists for recording meetings with the billionaire and thus violating her right to privacy. The butler, Pascal Bonnefoy, claimed that he made the recordings to show Bettencourt's fragile state — all six were acquitted in early January.

(AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File)

5. Alice Walton

Net worth: $33.2 billion

Age: 66

Country: US

Industry: Retail

The daughter of late Walmart founder Sam Walton, Alice Walton holds a major piece of the company fortune, making her the richest woman on earth. Though she never took an active role in running the superstore like her brothers, she's become the target of pushback from minimum-wage Walmart employees who view her highfalutin lifestyle as insensitive and ignorant to the plights of many workers.

Instead of spending time at Walmart, Walton has become a patron of the arts. Her immense personal collection includes pieces from Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Georgia O'Keefe. In 2011, she opened the $50 million Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas, where a number of her famous paintings are on display.

Walton also recently donated 3.7 million of her Walmart shares to the family's nonprofit and put her Texas ranches — one a working horse ranch, the other a luxurious vacation spot — on the market for a combined $48 million.

(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

4. Rob Walton

Net worth: $33.5 billion

Age: 71

Country: US

Industry: Retail

Samuel Robson "Rob" Walton is the oldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He started working at the iconic retail behemoth in 1969, holding positions from senior vice president to general counsel to chairman, a role he stepped down from in June after 23 years on the job. His son-in-law was named as his successor.

Despite Walmart's reputation as a greedy corporation that underpays its employees, the Walton family — the richest in America — has a philanthropic streak. Regulatory filings on New Year's Eve revealed that he and his brother each gave away 1.5 million Walmart shares to the family charity, Walton Family Holdings Trust, while sister Alice gave away 3.7 million shares, for a total family donation of $407 million. It's an incredible amount, but it's also ultimately a drop in the bucket for the Waltons, whose stake in the company — about 50% — is worth nearly $100 billion.

(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

3. Jim Walton

Net worth: $34.8 billion

Age: 67

Country: US

Industry: Retail

James "Jim" Walton's parents, Helen and Sam Walton, purchased a controlling stake in Arkansas' Bank of Bentonville the year before opening the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962 — when Jim was just 14. Within five years, the family owned 24 of the retail stores and in 1972 listed Walmart on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1975, after working in Walmart's real-estate department for a few years, Jim joined his parents' bank, later renamed Arvest Bank Group. He's now chairman and CEO of the regional community bank, which has $15 billion in assets.

The businessman is also director of Walton Enterprises, the holding company for the Walton family assets, and chairman of Community Publishers, an Arkansas-based newspaper firm. After the death of his brother John in 2005, Jim joined the board of Walmart, where he serves as a director today.

While America's richest family remains incredibly private, the Walton Family Foundation, of which Jim is secretary and treasurer, has donated millions to charitable causes. In December 2015, Jim and his siblings donated $407 million worth of Walmart shares to a newly formed trust that funds the Walton's philanthropy, which focuses on educational, cultural, community development, and social causes.

(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

2. Charles Koch

Net worth: $46.8 billion

Age: 80

Country: US

Industry: Diversified investments

Charles Koch is chairman and CEO of multifaceted conglomerate Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in America which their father founded. His younger brother David is the executive vice president. The company employs 100,000 people and generates $115 billion in sales from its diverse company, which makes everything from petrochemicals and Dixie Cups to raw clothing materials.

Outspoken in the world of conservative politics, the Koch brothers, who have a combined net worth of $94.2 billion, wield a heavy influence over the upcoming 2016 US presidential race. The two at one point favored Republican candidate and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, but have since said that they won't support any of the current candidates in the primary. But they, along with their vast donor network, plan on pitching in some $750 million during the 2016 election cycle.

Recently surfaced documents revealed that Charles Koch's plans to reshape American politics date back 40 years, when he began strategizing and developing a libertarian movement.

(Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images)

1. David Koch

Net worth: $47.4 billion

Age: 75

Country: US

Industry: Diversified investments

Along with his brother Charles, David Koch runs Koch Industries as executive vice president. The second-largest private company, $115 billion (in sales) Koch Industries manufactures everything from fertilizer and Dixie Cups to asphalt and biodiesel.

Famously conservative, the brothers also maintain immense political influence and pledged to spend, along with their vast donor network, some $750 million on 2016 campaigns and causes. David tends to stay out of the spotlight more than his brother Charles, who announced in November that the brothers would not be backing any of the current GOP candidates in the primaries, a sign that they aren't confident in the state of the party.

David has had two brushes with death. He survived a plane crash in 1991 in which everyone else in first class died, and he also won a battle with prostate cancer. He's become one of the world's most generous givers since, pledging to contribute more than $1.2 billion to cancer research, hospitals, education, and cultural institutions over his lifetime through his David H. Koch Charitable Foundation.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)


This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 20 Hobbies of the Rich Only They Can Afford

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