Topic started 2 weeks ago
hello all you happy people :) so I need help and advice. I have a really bad habit when it comes to spending money on things I don't really need (like coloring books, art supplies, sticker books, ect.). anime related stuff is fine, as I'm still an otaku. Anyway, I would like to know your tips and tricks for saving money when anime cons come around.
2 weeks ago
I usually put a portion of my paycheck and any bonuses, gifts, and general windfalls in my savings. This is mostly "for a rainy day", like when my car needs an expensive repair, but it's for conventions, too.
If your bank has a rewards program for your debit or credit card, join it. They often let you earn points that you can redeem for hotel stays or other travel-related expenses. Likewise, if you travel frequently, join the loyalty programs for hotels. While the points take a while to add up to a free stay, you may be able to use them for added perks to your hotel so you don't get nickel-and-dimed to death.
Volunteer at conventions or host panels. Most conventions comp your badge for volunteering for a set number of hours or hosting a panel. Some even comp your hotel stay.
If there's something you want to buy on impulse, ask yourself if it's going to get you to your current goal or if you need it for a current project. If not, leave it on the shelf for next time. If you remember it next time, then go ahead and buy it. If you don't, you probably didn't want it that badly.
Sign up for your favorite stores' mailing lists. Most of them send out sales flyers. If you are patient, those items you've been eyeing will usually be sold at a discount. (Pats her storage bins that she got for $10 each during a back-to-school sale.)
Also, if there's a con you want to go to, do some recon beforehand. If you aren't interested in the guests or panels, then it may not be a con that's worth your money. It sucks having to pass on happy fun times, but that's more money you can throw at the next con.
2 weeks ago
Since the issue at hand is a bad habit of yours, I'd say the best thing you can do for a long-term result is to first off, acknowledge it (which you do) and then start working with it immediately, as it won't go away on its own. For example, one thing I do myself, every time you go grocery shopping or to a convention etc. ask yourself these two important questions: "Do I really want this?" and "Do I really need this?" if the answer is "No", then leave whatever product at the shelf and just walk away. Don't look back, acknowledge you did the right choice and stick to it. Keep the habit in check or let it control you. At the end of the day, it's about sticking to your choices and having good self-discipline. When you decide on something and stay determined, you'll get far.
So all-in-all think twice every time you open your wallet, question your needs and wants and most importantly - be honest with yourself. Know that every unnecessary purchase that you manage to leave behind (regardless of how big or small) will give you cash over for something that you actually do WANT and/or NEED eventually in the future. Remember that it's okay to sometimes relax a little and enjoy the small wonders in life that brings you happiness.
You'll get there mate and once you're at the mountain top, you can look down and see everything you've accomplished so far. It will feel great, so stick to it! :)
2 weeks ago
There's an old adage I (usually) stick to: What your make, spend less. Towards that goal, I'm a very cheap sort of person; coupons, budget meals when I eat out, offbrand labels, bargain bins and discounted items are my drive when I am out shopping. It makes my budget go a lot farther, to the point that I'm never in debt and still have the ability to put money into one of my savings accounts (I have a few varieties to choose from).
The other thing I do for my hobby funds is I actually game the system a bit. I do EVERYTHING on my credit cards, both of which are issued by my bank. One of them accumulates cash back directly, the other one accumulates points from purchases. The cash back card is my usual go-to for purchases, but a week before its deadline comes I use the points card and pay off the cashback card (it has a deadline a week ahead of the points card, which I pay off afterwards). I'm also one of the primary shoppers of snacks for my workplace, I use the points card for that one too (it's helpful because work gives me cash to pay off the card). Over the course of a year, my cashback card tends to have $250-300 stuck on it, which I use as a "planned impulse" fund like going to cons or whatnot. The points card can also be converted to cash, and it gains more (because of the work-related purchases).
Tigress' comments about the con planning is spot-on: volunteer at the con for a day or two to get a reduced (or free) ticket, and check to see if you really want to go. I've had some cons I heard about, but the program didn't seem interesting so I skipped them.
And Frozen Angel is right about justifying your purchases. Some of your impulse buys seem odd to me; while I'm all for books, I'm not as keen personally on the idea of sticker or coloring books. But that's my own opinion and I'll respect yours on it.
All that being said, if your income allows it and you can commit to it some, you can find it's a REALLY good time to be saving money in America. The Federal interest rates are up, which hurts mortgage rates, BUT on the other hand, it's a bonus to people who can commit to save money. My bank is currently offering 1 year certificates of deposit (CDs) at over 4% with a minimum of $1000. That means if I were to buy a CD now, I could get $40 back next year. So if I were to save up $12,000 and have a CD each month, I could have $480 each year extra, and that would largely fund my con experiences for a year since I don't go to out-of-town cons, I just hit the ones I can drive to. So I'd check my bank's pages for the current CD rates with them and sit down with my budget and see how much I could drop into savings devices like CDs while the rates are good. With my bank, I can have the CD renew at that rate each year, but have the generated interest drop into my checking account.
6 days ago
When I worked at a restaurant, I put all tips towards spending money for the con in a piggy bank and the day before the con I exchange it for reasonable bills. Hotel, gas, and ticket were calculated and budgeted accordingly from savings account. If I'm really bad off for money, I will get some cash from each paycheck and set it aside into the piggy bank until I hit my goal. "Out of sight, out of mind" really works for me.