Frugal Gaming 2013 – A Very Belated Year in Review

The crux of the Frugal Gaming initiative is an attempt to “shame” myself into spending less on the hobby. That’s why I post all of my purchases, but I do so in a back-corner of the blog that nobody checks. Arabianknight, the originator of this movement used to post monthly updates on his blog which helped draw attention and (presumably) helped him stick to his goals.

I don’t think I’m ever going to get to that point, but I really should be doing at least annual reviews (for my own sake), and I’ve certainly fallen out of habit with that. In fact, I only ever posted one review, and that was for 2012. To set things straight, I thought I’d go back and recap the two years I skipped.

So that we’re all on the same page, the information I’m dissecting is coming directly from the 2013 Frugal Gaming page, so feel free to follow along at home.

Some of the highlights for the year include:

  • The purchase of at least six different armies from local gamers.
  • Three separate massive ebay auctions
  • Entirely too many MTG singles (boy, do I have an addictive personality)
  • A Whopping $0 spent on WHFB (not surprising because I didn’t start really buying any of it until 2014)
  • $0 made off the sales of WHFB, Computer Games & Other (again not surprising, given that the prior to categories aren’t prone to sales and anything I purchased GW related was lumped into 40k previously).

So, let’s get to the numbers…

2013 Frugal Results:


Here are the numbers that I found interesting for 2013:

  • I spent a total of $6205 (up 72% from last year) and sold $6,655.82 (up 57% from last year). And I thought my original numbers were insane—can one person really spend this much on little plastic men and cardboard?
  • With $450.82 in profit, that’s effectively a 7.3% return on investment. Really, that isn’t bad at all, especially considering the amount of merchandise I kept.
  • Of the total spending, 40k Accounted for $2800.95 (45%), MTG accounted for $3294.38 (53%), while Board Games and “Other” each accounted for a paltry $58.35 and $51.35 respectively ( each < 1%), so my spending on Magic had gone up significantly since the previous year.
  • For sales, the numbers were: 40k – $3540.03 (53%), MTG – $2530.79 (38%), and Board Games – $585 (8.8%). Clearly the sales of 40k and board games buoyed the investment in Magic Cards.
  • Part of the MTG numbers are really skewed by the fact that I purchased a case of Modern Masters for over $1000, and that was never shipped to me, so it was refunded. As a result, it looks like a purchase and a sale, when it was really never a purchase to begin with.


As per the rules set in 2012, my goal was to stay in the black, but I also put a couple of other qualifications on it. First, I wanted to make it so I wasn’t allowed to dip into the red at any time during the year (as a response to my natural inclination for hoarding stuff and selling it all at the end of the year to suddenly make my goal come true), and the other was to allow me to start with the outstanding balance from 2012 ($506.23) to help further the cause.

I didn’t wind up meeting these goals. In fact, I wound up going significantly negative (more than $1,000) in May of that year and didn’t scratch my way up into positive territory until the middle of October. I did manage to remain positive until the end of the year, so I would’ve met my 2012 goals, but fell short of the 2013 version. I wound up re-evaluating these statements in 2014 and decided against using both of them. So, I restarted at $0 and allowed myself to go negative again—so long as I came out positive by the end of the year (more on that “next year.”)

Looking back at the year, I’m happy with the overall result: I spent less than the money that came in, and did manage to unload some crap that I’d been sitting on for years. Sadly, I didn’t do the write-up in any sort of reasonable time, and I know that many of the models I purchased back in 2013 are still in the exact condition they were in when they arrived—so that’s something I definitely need to improve upon in the future (but don’t look for those improvements in FY2014, because that’s already come and gone…)



6 comments on “Frugal Gaming 2013 – A Very Belated Year in Review

    • I appreciate that. Feel fee to take me to task if you see me slipping. Gonna go check out your frugal updates now.

      On Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 7:56 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


    • I found it truly enlightening when I started. I’m only sad that I never got a baseline. When I started tracking, I was appalled at how much money was going out the door, so I started also selling to make up for it.

      On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 8:21 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


    • I think that’s a dangerous way to look at it (of course, I did that very thing in the review). The thing is that a fixed term deposit only requires me to set it and forget it, whereas this was a lot of leg work, haggling, listing, shipping, etc. If I dared to track my time and pay myself a reasonable wage, I’m sure it’d kill the rate of return.

      On Sun, Jun 28, 2015 at 2:44 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


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