Sunday, January 1, 2012

Spending Hard Earned Money

Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for coming to my little corner of the world.
With a new year here, I thought I would write a bit about spending on sports cards.
This 2007 UD Masterpieces Captured on Canvas Magglio Ordonez card is the last card I purchased in 2011. It was an eBay score. I got it for a total of $1.94 shipped. It came in a plain white envelope. A top-loader, in a plain white. Why does this matter? Why does this $2 buck card of former Tiger Magglio matter?
First, it's a Tiger, and I'm a Tiger collector. It's from a great set that I have been tinkering with. And it's a card I didn't have. For $2 bucks, the choice to snag it was easy. Too easy.
Second, it matters because it might be a waste of $2 bucks. "What?"
Allow me to explain...
I have been dropping a couple of bucks here, and a fiver there for about the last four years. The return to collecting years. In some instances, I have dropped a Jackson or a Grant on a card. But it's the little three-buck deals that are probably messing with my checking account balance. I have no clue what I spent on cards last year.
I am a wreck with money. The sewingmachinegal keeps the family books well balanced. I have a little spending money to fiddle with each month, and I probably don't use it wisely.
Chris from Stale Gum keeps a running total of his expenditures right on the face of his blog. That is ballsy. I am sub-consciously keeping myself in the dark about how much I spend on cards, because I like collecting (spending), and if I really take an honest personal inventory of my spending, I may not like what I see.
Did I really spend money on cards and neglect my Roth IRA? I have to think about that one...
Additionally, I have been wanting an Al Kaline rookie card for my whole life. I just spent about 1% of the card I really want on a Magglio that I will sleeve, and toss in the Tiger box. Maybe I will look at it again, but probably just in passing as I sift through a stack someday. I would most certainly look at a Kaline rookie card many many times. Heck, a Kaline rookie might even be sneaked onto the bookshelf in the living room for all to enjoy.
I am seriously considering adding a ticker to my blog. A sports card expenditure ticker. When I drop a twenty on a stupid blaster of 2010 Upper Deck baseball, the ticker shows it. When I sell cards on eBay, the ticker ticks down. Would it be possible for me to keep the ticker near zero? I have around 250,000 cards in the basement. Yes, there's a lot of worthless junk wax down there, but bundled together, it may bring in a bit of revenue.
Is it possible for me to collect and not spend? We will see in 2012.


  1. I also prefer that the total cash I spend be an unknown quantity.

    I do pretty good keeping to the weekly card budget I set for myself. Sometimes I go a little over, sometimes I fall a little under. If I stay in that zen state, I'm doing well and I don't worry about what I spend or have to make charts and tables.

  2. It's tough. I keep track in an excel file for me, but definitely rarely put it on my blog. But I do what I spend versus what I sell. That's why I liked COMC selling for a bit...all sales went towards new buys, but it felt like I never spent real money lol.

  3. I've been there man. Balance is the key and it's tough sometimes. Good luck with your plan in 2012.

  4. i hear you. it's all about that dirty "F" word ... FOCUS

    sounds so simple, yet so difficult

  5. I have the same problem you think about when I spend money on cards - my theory is it isn't like you are going to have your 'nickels and dimes' saved up at one time for that one key personal collection card on your wantlist.

    Sometimes you go with what is immediately attainable because what you want seems a little too far to grab a hold of.

  6. Try juggling collecting toys, buying/playing video games AND trading cards! I too rather be in the dark about how much I spend. If I were to add it all up I'd have a heart attack. If I were to keep a running total of money spent on my blog my wife would kill me (she reads my blog often).

  7. Good luck. I've added the ticker, but hadn't thought about ticking it down with any sales, that's a great idea and something I'll be doing, if I sell anything.

    I know I spent way to much last year and that can't happen again. I'd rather go on a nice vacation, than have some meaningless cards.