With the summer season in full swing (well, for me it's a few days of sun and then a bunch of rain....but oh well) my 'war chest' of funds for hockey cards is slowly building again after taking a few hits over the winter.
It made me think about the amount of money I spend on hockey cards per trip to the card store, card show, per month and ultimately over the span of a year.
Back in the day, before I became a more focused collector, those thoughts would have sent my head into a spin. There was huge disregard to how much and how often I was spending my money.
I wanted everything and I wanted it now. I wanted to backtrack and get all the sets that came out prior and I wanted to keep up with what was currently coming out.
Yeah....good luck with that. Don't ask how that turned out.
I guess with my more mature age has come some knowledge (maybe just a little) but I think more so it has been a 'learn from your mistakes' situation with me.
I still love cards - all cards. All shapes, sizes, styles and smells. And I have even found a way to enjoy the aspects of every set out there at a reasonable price (see my 'One Sheet, One Set' project).
While my Linden collection has been slow over the past couple of years, there are still times when a card comes up (or a bunch of 'em) and I want to be sure that I have the money available should I want to go after it.
Hence, the budgeting I have set for my collecting.
I try my best to save a certain portion per month and it goes into my 'war chest'. Whatever I have in that chest is what I can spend on cards. It's my choice on what I get and how much of it I want to spend.
It sounds simple, but I find a lot of people can't grasp that concept. They go out of control when a new release comes out or that 'must have' single appears. Many people clearly spend beyond their means. Why is that?
Now I'll be the first to admit that there are still times when my budget goes right out the window and I splurge on stuff. But what was once a monthly (or weekly) thing has now become a one a year type fiasco. I can handle that.
I think the big reason for excessive spending is nowadays, buying wax packs is more like buying a lottery ticket. For your $5, $50 or $300 per pack, you might end up with a gem that will pay for your purchase ten fold.
Most of the time though, the cards are quickly mulled over, popped into a traders box and eventually sold off at a fraction of what you paid for them. The thought of getting the 'big hit' in a box (or case nowadays) of cards keeps people coming back for more.
That can do a ton of damage to you financial health, and you attitude towards the hobby.
A good grasp on your financial position when it comes to cards is equally (if not more) important than the type off collection you have.
Don't spend more than you can handle! It truly is not worth it.