Brent’s Bad Hobby Habits: Uncontrolled Spending

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I’m dealing with a bit of hobby apathy lately, sort of a low-level wargaming depression that sets in between infrequent games.

Naturally, it just makes me want to dump a moody article on the lot of you.  You’re welcome!

I intended to write about some ‘Bad Hobby Habits’ in areas such as uncontrolled spending and aggressive gaming, but it quickly became apparent that there is a lot to say on these subjects.  That’s never a promise that it will all be worth reading, mind you, but consider this the first in a set of planned articles around some of the more unhealthy topics we’re all probably at least familiar with.

Today I cut right to my own ego.  I chose this topic as something in my own life that needs correcting… even though in a way I’m getting what I’ve always wanted.

Bad Hobby Habit:  Uncontrolled Spending

My spending is out of control.  I’m buying things I don’t need and it’s disheartening.

This is the one where I just shake my head a bit.  Since we married, my wife and I have spent so long positioning ourselves for where we wanted to be in life.  We took turns finishing college, working jobs we hated, and struggling to get by.  Now we’re basically there, DINKS with a comfortable living and looking at doing better every year through retirement.

I’m shaking my head because of how foolish it must sound, especially to those of you who may still be there.  I’m not at all complaining about being fortunate, but I have noticed all this extra spending is largely impulse purchasing or some desire to own entire ranges of models.

The impulse purchasing is the worst on Ebay.  I’m spending way too much time tracking interesting auctions on Ebay for stuff I absolutely do not need.  I’m watching Confrontation models, for crying out loud!  I’m chasing down models for a game that no longer exists and watching unsold models get relisted – and whenever they do, I just keep watching them.

It’s worse when the bidding begins.  I have to wonder if there are other lurkers like me, not quite committed to buying something, only to spring into action if someone else shows interest.  I’ve already made one purchase that way.

Worse, perhaps, is this crazy desire to buy into new armies or collect an entire model range…

I’m thinking about starting an Orks army… thought I do already own quite a bit of Space Wolves… except I already own an army that is built around Space Wolves doubling as Chaos Space Marines – a two for one project I’m still quite happy with!  Let’s table those for now… close the drawer.  Hey, Goatboy is working on some cool Knights.  Maybe I should drop some money on an Imperial Knight – or two?

I don’t even play much 7th Edition right now!  I’m far more interested in playing WarmaHordes right now, and my gaming group is playing a lot of Infinity.

But hey, I’m better about spending too much money on Infinity and WarmaHordes!  I learned my lesson from buying all those Confrontation armies that now languish in the back of a closet, back when I had to collect it all the hard way a bit at a time.  You see, I’ll stick to just one army from each, being Haqqislam and Circle of Orboros, and that’ll be a lot more reasonable.

Yeah, maybe.  That’s still quite a lot of money if you’re chasing some crazy idea of completeness.  I own most of the Circle models, now.  I can count the number of games I’ve actually played on two hands.

Life After Spending

Does any of that sound familiar?  There is something about the hobby that appeals to the obsessive collector in each of us.  If it’s done right, a hobbyist can work towards building and painting an army he or she can be proud of.

Though I think we’re all pretty familiar with how easily that goal can get derailed.

I have a fairly good idea what my problem is lately.  I don’t get to play the game as much as I used to, which has adversely impacted my normal habit of coming home and spending a few hours painting each night.  That’s a big part of my stress relief routine.  I’ve been doing a lot of not-playing, not-painting, and not-modeling the past few months, and unlike times past, I’ve not really bounced back, reenergized and ready to go.

I’m chasing inspiration, like I’ll find the one thing that will inspire me to get back in the game room and focus my attention on the healthy side of this hobby.  I need to stop forcing it and practice some self-discipline.

And write a budget, darn it.

Lastly…

I don’t claim any sort of special insight here; as in most things people enjoy, moderation is key.  I do recognize that I’m lucky enough that poor spending over the last few months hasn’t had more direct consequence in my life.  Impulsive, risky purchases can be exciting, or it can be used to fill a hole, much like I was doing.  Either way, it can be addictive, a primary problem or simply a symptom of  deterioration in another area of life.

I’m very interested in reading your stories of uncontrolled spending as it relates to our hobby, either your own story or that of another… but please avoid using someone’s real name.  You’d be surprised how poorly comments on a major blog protect one’s privacy!

As always, thanks for reading and (as always) thoughts?  Comments?  Healthy-adult-consensual-prosocial-digital hugs and gropings?

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