Frugal Gaming – 2013

scroogeAnother year, another Frugal balance sheet.  This year, I’m toying with the idea of using my balance from 2012 ($506.23) as a starting point, effectively treating that as the total amount of cash I have to spend during 2013.  If I wind up spending it all, I won’t be able to buy anything else until I sell something.  It seems like a plausible solution, and $500 gives me enough to buy an army off someone if a deal comes by that’s too good to pass up, right?

So, let’s start with that and see where it takes us.

January

  • -$33.20 – (MTG) – 2x Sliver Queens.  I really wanted to make a sliver commander deck, but needed a commander.  I just need one of these, but they always go for $20+, so I figured I could buy two and then sell one.
  • -$21 – (40k) – 30x Resin basis from Back-2-base-ix
  • -$4 – (MTG) – Foil Sliver Overlord (see sliver queen above)
  • -$19 – (MTG) – ebay: 4x Stonehewer Giants, 4x Murmuring Bosks, & 3x Ancient Ziggarauts.  These were really impulse buys, as I just wanted to make a Treefolk deck and saw the other stuff around cheap.

I spent a fair bit on hobbies right off the bat.  If I don’t sell anything, I can only spend about $40 per month (on average) to actually meet my goal.  If this month is at all indicative of where I’m heading, I’m going to have to sell something quick!  Magic cards are the bulk of the cost here, including Slivers that I wanted to buy with the sole intention of making a Sliver Commander deck (which, for the record, is a bad investment, because I don’t like the commander decks I make).  In hindsight, this was a lousy month for my goal…

Starting cash: $506.23
Change in cash position: -$77.20
Remaining Balance: $429.03

February

  • +$42 – (BG) – Lord of the Rings (board game)
  • +$35 – (BG) -Galaxy Trucker (board game)
  • +$32 – (BG) – Merchants & Marauders (board game)
  • +$48 – (BG) – Chaos in the Old World & Order of the Stick (board games)
  • +$524.94 – (MTG) – sales on Ebay.  Particularly astounding results from Baleful Strix ($120+ for the lot–which more than paid off the initial investment of $80 last year), and a foil island from Unhinged which sold for $50.  People are nutty…
  • +501.49 – (MTG) – sales on Ebay.  The bulk of this came from a box and a half of unhinged cards that have been collecting dust in my closet for years.
  • -$7.07 – (MTG) – 9x “Tainted” lands
  • -$11.97 – (40k) – Various paints (mostly metallic)
  • +$28 – (BG) – Arkham Horror (board game)
  • -$25.80 – (40k) – 3x Plasma Balls for a future project
  • -$33.63 – MTG – Refund for damaged/missing MTG card shipment

Obviously a profitable month, based upon the MtG sales that I’d been hoarding up for a while.  The numbers here are somewhat misleading as the profits aren’t based solely on cards that I’d purchased since I started tracking my spending.  Many of the cards were older and I’d picked up nearly a decade ago as part of a huge lot.  I can’t rightfully say what I paid (or most likely, traded) to get the lot, so it’s hard to gague profitability.  Still, I wasn’t tracking then, and I am tracking now, so I’m going to take credit for them.  I also sold off a few more board games, which officially pays off the board games I’d purchased last year.  I still have quite a few left lying around my garage if anyone wants some…  Check out my trading page for more details.

Starting cash: $429.03
Change in cash position: $1132,96
Remaining Balance: $1561.99

March

  • +$40 – 40k – sold NIB (sealed) Space Marine Predator
  • -$20 – 40k – Primer / Sealant
  • +100 – 40k – Sold some leftover foam I’d replaced last year with Battlefoam
  • -$231.71 – MTG –  Singles (Building decks for Faeries, Werewolves, Vampires, Lhurgoyf’s Giants, Knights, Rebels, Ninjas, & Beasts (oh my!).  I did violate my rule about spending no more than $.50 per card, but since I made $1000 month on MtG, I figured I’d splurge a little…
  • -$300 – 40k – Eldar Army

Starting cash: $1561.99
Change in cash position: -$411.71
Remaining Balance: $1150.28

April

  • -$250 – 40k – Ork Army
  • -$9.40 – MTG – MtG  Kobolds, including a bunch of common legends and some drill seargents
  • -$22.76 – MTG – Various MTG Cards that I didn’t need.  It started as a Rohgah of Kher Keep, and snowballed from there…
  • -$17.94 – MTG – 4x Lotus Cobra from Ebay
  • -$5.26 – MTG – 4x Cover of Darkness
  • -$16 – MTG – Various MtG Cards on ebay that I really shouldn’t have purchased (Test of Endurance x3, Counterspell x6, Magus of the Moat x2, Rohgahh).

The biggest purchase here is clearly the Ork army, plus some ancillary MtG cards for various decks (Kobold & Snake decks).  The orks were a great deal, and I hope to sell them eventually for a large profit, though I’ll be waiting until the release of the codex before that happens; so, until then, I’m going to sit on them as an investment…

Starting cash: $1150.28
Change in cash position: -$211.16
Remaining Balance: $939.12

May

  • -$52.98 – MTG – 4x Sliver Legions from Ebay.  Low price is typically about $20, and going rate seems to be closer to $25, but with the impending release of M14 (and the return of slivers), I think people are scared that it will be reprinted.  After reading through Chas Andres’ Sliver me Timbers article (and ensuing comments), I’m convinced that won’t happen…
  • -$.75 – MTG – Adaptive Automaton from Ebay
  • -$229.95 – MTG – Modern Masters box from ebay.
  • -$185 – MTG – Modern Masters box preorder
  • -$168 – MTG – 24x Modern Masters loose packs over the month from a local retailer
  • -$1,079.95 – MTG – 5x Modern Masters Box Ok, maybe I went overboard on this, but it’s a limited print run, and I’m buying this purely as a speculation target to resell in a year or two.
  • -$28.50 – MTG – 4x common/uncommon set from M13 off ebay
  • -$19.02 – MTG – Misc MtG cards on ebay: Beastmaster Ascension, Bloodhall Ooze, Mutilate, Ensnaring Bridge, Mystic Snake, Goblin Recruiter, Contamination
  • $37 – MTG – 4x Sacred Foundry off Ebay (I originally sold my 4x Plateaus earlier for $30, and I wanted to inject these back into that deck to make up for their loss)

Ok, clearly I have a problem.  My goal for the year of never dipping below $0 has come crashing to the ground (and because of MtG cards, no less).  I give myself some slack on this because a full $1494.90 was considered an investment.  Of course, this is really splitting hairs because the Ork army purchased back in April was also an investment, but I counted the full cost of that against my total.  Though, in all actuality, the Orks I look at more like a hobby.  With the hype leading up to mtgmm, I honestly looked at it as an investment–as in I strongly considered taking a large percentage of my savings and buying as many boxes as humanly possible.  Heck, it’s already up $400 from the time it was released.

In hindsight, these numbers may become far more normalized as well.  I say this because I didn’t get around to writing this blurb until late June and the guy I purchased the MtG boxes for $1079.95 has yet to deliver the goods.  I think he decided to stick it to me and accept the negative feedback, and just sold them locally for more profit.  I’m currently awaiting a refund from eBay–so, if that comes through, I’ll actually remain in the black for the month!

Starting cash: $939.12
Change in cash position: -$1801.15
Remaining Balance: -$862.03

June

  • $739.63 – 40k – Ebay results for Eldar army (technically, these auctions were completed in May, but I didn’t receive the funds until June).  I’ve already taken into account misc. ebay/paypal/USPS fees, so this is the “profit” (well, it will be after you deduct the original $300 investment.
  • -$17.97 – COMP – in various Iphone games.  I’m not sure the exact total, but it has to be less than $20.  I haven’t included these games to date in my running total, but I did purchase Warhammer Quest (plus the Warrior Priest – $7.99), Agricola ($6.99), & StarCommand ($2.99).
  • -$50 – MTG – A Tarmogoyf from my friend’s Modern Masters pack.

See?  I wasn’t kidding that this has been a slow hobby month.  Granted, I’m still down below $0, but that’s only because my refund from Ebay hasn’t come back yet.  All in all, I’m comfortable with where I stand.

Starting cash: $862.03
Change in cash position: +$689.63
Remaining Balance: -$190.37

July

  • -$800 – 40k – I purchased three armies from Cole, a local player.  These included a CSM force, Space Wolf Army (mostly painted), and a massive lot of Orks (that he’d won in a ‘Ard Boyz tourney).  Write-up to come…
  • -$5.99 – 40k – IG Vox heads from ebay (x8)
  • +$1,079.95 – MTG – (refund from ebay for May’s failed Modern Masters purchase)
  • -$4.00 – MTG – Ebay auction for various MtG artifacts.  The only ones I really wanted were 3x Meekstones that normally sell for about $1, but it also included some other stuff I might actually throw in a crappy deck sometime.
  • -$200 – 40k – Flyers for my Ultramarines plus a bunch of other <high quality merchandise> I don’t need.
  • -$21.45 – MTG – 4x Uncommon/Common sets from Dragon’s Maze (MtG) on Ebay
  • -$407.88 – 40k – GW Apocalypse stuff from thewarstore.  >.<
  • -$6.27 – 40k – Superglue
  • -$49.24 – 40k – Kromlech Nurgle Greater Demon
  • +$276.79 – MTG – (StrikeZoneOnline) Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Yosei, the Morning Stair, Tarmogoyf, Bayou, Plateau x3.  Most of these were part of the Ork Trade I did last month (the exception being the ‘goyf).
  • +147.62 – MTG – (AbuGames) Scrubland, Badlands x2, & Taiga.  Again, part of the same Ork Trade as above.

So yeah, last month my funds dipped below my threshold goal, but at least I made up for it this month (ironically because the one purchase last month which made me actually fail my goal fell through and refunded my money).  So, that’s kind of like not ever failing, right?

Otherwise, I managed to buy three more armies this month (seriously, do I buy that many?!?), and a bunch of 40k stuff.  It was not an overly proud month for me, but at least I sold off those MtG cards, right?

Starting cash: $190.37
Change in cash position: $267.77
Remaining Balance: $77.40

August

  • -$22.14 – MTG – 8x Master of the Pearl Trident, 4x Breaking/Entering, 4x Door of Destinies
  • -$62.17 – 40k – Foam, Primer, & Super Glue.  Mostly for building foam.
  • -$4.50 – MTG – 4x Chamelon Collossus
  • -$97.11 — MTG – Too many magic singles from TCGPlayer.com

Whoops.  While I tried to dip below my goal in May, and was able to back-pedal my way into justifying why that wasn’t really true in a later month, I’m not sure how I can talk myself out of this.  Ironically, I didn’t buy the magic singles until the 30th, but at that point I was already below the $0 threshold by a measley $6.91.  Oh bother…

I’m not too terribly worried because I really should be focused on a timeline over the entire year (And I’m procrastinating selling armies on Ebay until their new codicies are released and therefore additional hype is drummed up about them).  So, I should be selling off some Space Marines next month in time to rebound my profits for the year…

Starting cash: $77.40
Change in cash position: -$185.92
Remaining Balance: -$108.52

September

  • -$21.35 – Other – Domain Renewal for warhammer39999.com (2 years)
  • -$7.32 – MTG –  8x MTG M13 dual lands
  • -$4.32 – 40k – Space Marine Plasma Canon on sprue (despite owning at least 5 of them on misc. models that I was intending to sell.  I really need to pare down this inventory).
  • -$4.76 – MTG – 4x M13 Dual Lands
  • -$6.59 – MTG – Theros cards
  • -$9.95 – 40k – Wooden Ultramarine symbols
  • -$8.56 – MTG – 4x MTG Innistrad Dual Lands (woodland cemetery)
  • -$25.45 – MTG – 4x Gatecrash common/uncommon sets
  • -$8 – MTG – 4x MTG M13 Dual Lands
  • -$38 – MTG – 18x MTG M13 Dual Lands
  • -$3.64 – MTG – 4x MTG Intruder Alarm
  • -$22.40 – 40k – Space Marine combi-Gravs & Grav pistols x5 each
  • -$50 – MTG – Misc MTG cards off a local seller from craigslist
  • -$46.4 – 40k – Space Marine Codex 6th edition
  • +$210 – BG – Sold the bulk of my remaining spare board games to Phil in the valley
  • -$199.36 – 40k – Resin/Metal models from Ali Express

This month is fairly ironic when I look back at it.  The costs come largely from MtG (a game I don’t play all that much), the money I earned comes exclusively from selling board games, and the game I actually play, got relatively few purchases (some grav weapons, a codex, and a plasma cannon–that I didn’t need).  In total, it wasn’t a huge month for spending, but since I was already in the hole for the year, it likely wasn’t the best of plans.  I really need to have some auctions soon to bring me back into the black…

Starting cash: -$108.52
Change in cash position: -$245.80
Remaining Balance: -$354.62

October

  • +$500 – 40k – (a space wolf army, plus other stuff) from Randall
  • +$275 – 40k – Sold 20 bikes, 9 spawn and a Landspeeder storm to Andrew
  • +$40 – 40k – 2x FW Rhino Upgrade Kits, & 1 Chaos Rhino to Simon
  • +$20 – 40k – 5x badly painted metal screamers to Brandon
  • +$30 – 40k – 5x metal Grey Knight Terminators to Tyson
  • -$4.73 – MTG – 3x MTG M13 Duals
  • +48.25 – 40k – 2x Landspeeder storms
  • +33.68 – 40k – Limited Edition Skullz Standard Bearer (all UM icons removed)
  • +$190 – BG – Sold my copy of Munchkin Quest and all my munchkin decks
  • +$1563.75 – 40k – Massive Ebay 40k auctions
  • -$60 – 40k – 9x WHFB River Trolls & 4-6 sets of Vargheist wings
  • -$150 – MTG – MTG Preorder: 5x Commander 2013 Decks
  • -$1.16 – MTG – 4x MTG “Do or Die” (ebay)
  • -$43.60 – 40k – Vallejo paints from Ebay (I would’ve gone through thewarstore, but they didn’t have all of the washes I wanted)

After a few months of dipping into the negative, this was definitely a big positive.  Naturally this is because I finally got off my duff and some board games that have been collecting dust for a while, and I did the same with various 40k models on ebay.  Barring some kind of crazy spending spree, this should easily be enough to put me in the black for the rest of the year…

Starting cash: -$354.62
Change in cash position: $2450.65
Remaining Balance: $2096.03

November

  • -$6 – 40k – Refund for missing part on ebay
  • -$6 – MTG – Additional shipping charge for Commander 2013 deck when original order was cancelled
  • -$16.21 – (MTG) Merfolk deck: wanderwine hub x4, Grimoire Thief x4, oh and 4x Curse of Predation
  • $90 – (MTG) 3x “Mind Seize” Commander decks.
  • -$157.82 – (MTG) 5x Commander 2013 Decks (I originally preordered these, but they cancelled the order and then re-established it after I ordered elsewhere)
  • -$19.55 – (MTG) 23x Various Duel Lands from Scars of Mirrodin & M10-M13
  • -$25 – Other – Esnipe fees
  • -$94 – 40k – Statues from Phillipines
  • -$97.97 – (MTG) FTV20
  • -$5 (MTG) – 4x Secluded Glen, & 1x Supreme Exemplar
  • +$19.81 – 40k – Changeling from last month’s Ebay Auctions–finally paid!
  • -$7.99 – COMP – Lords of Waterdeep
  • +$10 – 40k – Partial refund from aliexpress
  • -$87.12 – MTG – Card Dividers for my card catalog

Starting cash: $2,096.03
Change in cash position: -$581.85
Remaining Balance: $1,514.18

December

  • -$32.46 – COMP – STEAM Sale: Trine, Trine2, Civ5, XCOM, Deathspank, & Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue
  • -$30 – MTG – Mind Seize deck
  • -$150 – 40k – WHFB Chaos army (purchased for the six trolls–the other stuff was just fluff)
  • -$122.29 – MTG – TCG Singles
  • -$4.50 – 40k – Matt samples from “Zuzzy” miniatures
  • +$119.91 – 40k – Refund for outstanding Ali Express orders through a fairly long and painful process
  • -$5.00 – (Other) Logo work from FIVERR
  • -$51 (MTG) Cards for less than TCG low from an online speculator (8x Birds, 2x Elvish Champ, 1x Emeria, 4x Figure of destiny, 4x Phyrexian Metamorph, 4x Primeval Titan)
  • -$4.22 (40k) – Krylon grey primer for use with the Ultramarine Captain statue (not strictly necessary, but why not?)

Starting cash: $1,514.48
Change in cash position: -$279.56
Remaining Balance: $1,234.92

Image Credit: Scrooge McDuck image owned by Disney.

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