vrijdag 10 januari 2014

How to decide on a Hobby Budget?

Okay, as you could read the past year, real life has forced me to reduce all my hobbies and intrests.  Now, let's play a more or less open hand, and let me tell you where this sort of 'forced imprisoned geekdom' has come from...

I lost my job and went back to school.  

Great prospects for the future, but that does mean a serious reduction of revenue.  In all honesty, I now have a sort of scholarship, which after deducting loans (I loaned a lot from my parents years ago, when in a real deep waters, luckily mom isn't an high intrest loan shark), pensiunfunds, phone bills, medical insurance, and all that sort of things leaves me with about 400 to 500 euros "open" each month.  Of those come the foodstuffs, the other essential occassionals like birthdaygifts and the likes, my 'bad habbit' etc..., as well as putting some aside for the yearly weekend away with the GF that I tend to give her.  And I should try and top up the savings account.

Take that combined with a Sword of Damocles over my head due to a rather sourly ended ex-relationship who screwed up my tax administration on purpose, forcing me to take an trader license so she could woork under the IRS radar, and a lawsuit against me was the result.  And has been dragging on for more then 5 years now...  If I lose, it will cost me 30k, if I win nothing.  Top all of this off with having to pay 22k "in the meantime" for the social security and the likes, based on those above numbers (and the irony being, in the 2 years I had been doing the tradin, I made a grand total of 425 euros...) which I might be able to recuperate IF I get cleared of all charges.  But that does mean 52000 euros are hanging in limbo, my life savings have been all drained and well, it all generally sucks lol.

Knowing that my scholarship stops the 1st of July 2014 even though the whole course will take a half to a full year longer, I'll be dropping down to a monthly income of 600 euros before costs, so I'll need to find a job really quick then, and either put the studying on hold for a year, or find a way to combine it after hours if feasible.  There you have it, the situation I need to decide my hobby budget for 2014 against.

What we have to take into account of remaining intrests is Magic: the Gathering, Lego and Saint Seiya. 

In Magic, I decided on only playing the Limited format, as I can trade off all cards then without the investment costs of 'updating' a deck to competitive standards, grab boxes of the new sets and "hot decks" cards copies.  Now, at the local watering hole, a draft costs 12 euros, a sealed event between 25 and 30.  Adding a few drinks, let's say a draft costs 25 euros.

Then we move to Lego, and with my MoC ideas and needed minifigs, as well as the remaining wanted Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit sets before they cycle out, I should come on a 60 euro monthly average.  The monthly polybag + the reductions of the VIP points and promotions should allow me to "recuperate" about 10 of that, so let's round out at 50 euros a month.

Then there are the Saints, and relevant conventions like FACTS.  On average, a new Myth cloth costs around 75 euros, older ones range between 25 and 250 euros depending the trader, popularity and other such typical collector factors.  But let's keep this at 75 euros a month for an average of a new one each month.
Every 4 months there is also the newest Crusade set of Saint Seiya cards, and this costs me for 5 booster boxes, postage from Japan and import taxes about 250 euros per set.  Or averaging 65 euros a month to be put aside.  Finally, averaging monthly a new manga comes out, so that is another 10 euros.

Doing the maths on all these "points of intrest" posts, I would come to a maximum of this:

Magic - averaging 2 drafts and 1 sealed event a month - 100 euro
Lego - 50 euro
Saint Seiya: 75 + 10 + 65 = 150 euro

Or a grand total of 300 euros each month

A grant total of 300 euros a month, and to be fair, a bit above what I can and want to afford in my current situation.  So I must shave down left and right.

I can probably cut down the most in the Saint Seiya posts, reducing the Myth amount and hunt for more bargains, dropping it perhaps as far as 50 euros on a bi-monthly basis.  Same with the cards, dropping to 3 booster boxes would reduce it by about 90 euros per semester, or 22 euros a month up and about, bringing the Saint Seiya budget estimate from 150 down to 75 monthly euros until better times have come.

The same goes for Magic.  As I've shown in 2012, that hobby can completely sustain itself for 90% easily ifr you stick to limited, using cards and price support boosters to use as trade value for, for example, extra Saint Seiya cards that got cut above.  So I can stretch that expense post down from 100 euro to 10 euro... basically the booze money.

So the new mathematics would look a little like this:

Magic - 10 euro
Lego - 50 euro
Saint Seiya - 75 euro

For a new grand total of 135 euros.

Rounding this nicely out, I've decided to put my hobby budget down to...

125 euros a month to spend during 2014 on my geeky issues!

Is this feasible?  Surely, IF I can resist my "impulse urges" that haunted me all my life.  Or otherwise, I'll just have to rob Fort Knox or something :-s

Wish me luck!

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