Quarter 1 2011 Frugality check

  I’m sick from work so I’ve got a lot on my mind today, as I’m getting over a cold/flu.  So we’re well into the second quarter of 2011, how have I done so far. Over all, not so well! With Conquest Northwest in January, Comicon in March, and my modest magazine and comic subscriptions, the spending freeze has been unsuccessful! Not to mention liberal use of credit for some of these expenses. It is time to right the ship with my personal finances, to help with the house I plan on buying in the next 12 months. Much like the current Federal Government budget cuts, everything is on the table. My wife, Nanette loves shopping, has interests, not to mention the kids and the cat, my car, getting something saved, and paying down some credit debts. I’ve been looking for a higher paying  job or maybe a part time or temporary job. That of course will cut into my band and hobby time, not to mention developing some writing samples, and blogging. But this blog is about my gaming interests, and this post is about where I can cut my spending on games and related materials.

   Lets start with what I’ve done so in the way of spending. One of my goals for the new year was to implement a three month spending freeze on any hobby spending. This doesn’t even include my monthly comics bill of about $45 or so. As far as my goal, I did pretty well. Finally, I spent some money at the end of March. I worked some overtime in February, and decided to buy IMPERIAL ARMOUR Volume 10, some paint, and a couple of Black Library paperbacks. So well over 100 dollars worth of product. Later I bought two Vindicator Space Marine tanks, to complete my Star Phantoms core force of 2000 points. Finally I used CREDIT (boo! hiss!) to get the Dragon Forge bases to finish the Sisters of Battle 2000 point core force. So including taxes, I’ll estimate about $450! That comes to $150 a month for the first three months of 2011. This is well over any hobby budget I should have! Add that to my monthly comics, band expenses, and conventions, the spending freeze has failed miserably! In my defense, the I.A. 10 Badab War part 2, the bases and the Vindicators, not to mention the paint were necessary to complete and utilize some unfinished projects. Now I have two new armies that I can play and finish painting. That should really keep me busy for most of the rest of the year. I also have the Space Hulk models to paint, and models to build for the proposed Tyrants Legion army I have been thinking about. Glue, paint and brushes should be the only thing I buy the rest of the year, only if absolutely necessary.

    So, once again I will implement a spending freeze on hobby related spending. I’ll also re-evaluate my current magazine and comic spending. I have a box at Golden Age, the oldest comic store in America. I’m getting 3-4 comics a week, I usually pick them up once a month. I have had a subscription for the White Dwarf magazine for quite a few years that I will most likely not renew. I like having the magazine, but I might consider just buying the occasional issue if it really interests me, it’s becoming too expensive, and it is just a catalog for GW products, not offering enough content for the price. I really like it, but I don’t love it, so it may have to go. I also considered getting a Star Wars Insider magazine subscription, but I’m cancelling  that decision. I need a realistic budget. I deserve to have a modest fund for my hobbies and interests, an entertainmant budget. But how much!? And what about the rest of this year? If I can save at least 10% of my income in my savings account, I will reward my-self with using 2.5% of my income for my personal entertainment fund. For now, we’ll call that $60. I will limit my comics, magazine and hobby spending to $60 a month next year. That comes to $720 a year. For now, I’ll cut out some of my comics, and implement the gaming related spending freeze. I could also borrow Black Library books from the local library, or buy from Half Price Books. $720 a year is nothing to sneeze at. I could afford to start a whole new army, and get my comics for the year with that, with some very careful spending. For next year I’ll try to build a surplus, by severely limiting my spending again, and try to build a fund for some future purchases, such as some good cases or some vehicles for my Imperial Guard. I may recieve money or gifts, and I’ll try to use that for my hobbies, and interests when possible, instead of using my budget. I really should be dedicating all of my discretionary spending to paying down my debt faster, to help with buying my house. In fact I may re-evaluate this budget as the time draws nearer. I’ll also put all of the other household expenses on the table and see where I can save and help do just that. So, that is the goal for the year. This will be a challenge, but should be no problem!

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