I am a hobbyist and don't make any money off of photography. I run a CNC lathe at a small machine shop. I have several ways of dealing with the cost of G.A.S. I live with my grandmother for 600usd a month. Living in a house with yard and garage sure beats 800+ and utilities for an apartment. I spend very little on clothes. Wal Mart and Goodwill are where I get most of my clothes. I bought a 3 year old car and paid it off in 3 years. It is a car that has very poor resale value(and very reliable)-Mercury Grand Marquis. And don't plan on getting another car anytime soon-it's only 7 years old now. I tend to buy gear and sell some of it later. But it seems what I want to buy is always more expensive than what I sold to fund it. The "poor man's lenses" are usually what I go after. I got a 50 1.4 for a small fraction of what a 50 1.2 costs. The 105 2.5 I have costs a small fraction of a 105 1.8. Give up 1/2-1 stop and save hundreds. And most of the photo gear I buy is used. I still have tube type TV's. Who cares if they're over 10 years old, they work just fine. I record my LP's to CD so I don't have to buy the CD of what I already have.