Frugal Gaming – 2014

warhammer_disposable_incomeIt’s hard to believe that I’ve been maintaining a frugal log for three years now (harder still to believe that I’ve actually stuck to my goals relatively well-0r that I’ve had a blog since 2009).  Thank heaven for such little successes.

Since my goal last year or staying completely in the black wasn’t entirely successful, and since cash flows don’t seem to be an immediate problem for me at this time (knock on wood), I’m think I’m going to switch back to the original goal of not spending any money (net) on the hobby by the end of the year.

To make things a little easier to digest, I’ll also try to categorize each transaction into one of the following categories:

  • 40k – Essentially anything covering GW’s IP.  I don’t really play other games, but I’ve been known to purchase/trade/sell things like Necromunda, WHFB, etc.  This will all get lumped into that category.
  • WHFB – I know I said otherwise above, but after Cole’s painting deal, it’s become obvious that I need to track this separately–at least for this year.
  • MTG – Magic the Gathering
  • BG – Board games & the like
  • COMP – Computer Games (to include iphone or other digital editions)
  • Other – The generic catch-all.

If I get a wild hair, I’d also like to go back into my previous years and categorize all of that spending as well.


  • -$20.50 – (40k?) Set of four “Warriors of the Zodiac” toys from McFarlane toys
  • -$40 – (WHFB) Paint/Primer as part of the deal to have my goblin army painted
  • -$347.60 – (40k) Tyranids from Hobbycraft, 2x Flyers, 3x Exocrines, 1x Codex, 1x Psychic Cards
  • -$31.48 – (WHFB) Arms for night goblins
  • -$10 – (WHFB) Giant wooden mushrooms from ebay (to be used as “mangler squigs”)
  • -$18.90 – (40k) Amazing Magnets for Tyranids
  • -$225.80 – (WHFB) ACK!  Magnetized movement trays & bases for unit fillers
  • -$17.80 – (WFHB) 36″ of greenstuff from ebay
  • -$1.38 – (MTG) 1x Gilt-Leaf Archdruid from TCGplayer
  • -$82.44 – (WHFB) 10x Snotlings, 6x Doom Divers, 10x Fanatics, & 2x Shamen
  • -$93.39 – (MTG) Some amount of Commander decks from Target.  Some of them I purchased myself, and some my mother purchased for my birthday.  I didn’t keep good track.
  • -$6.49 – (WHFB) 20x Mushrooms from Ebay
  • -$130 – (WHFB) Various WHFB & 40k models from a local guy

Wow, can that really be right?  I know I didn’t sell anything this month, but could this really be my worst month for cash flow ever (outside of that one month where I bought a case of Modern Masters, which was later refunded)?  There are two factors this month.  The first is that the Tyranid codex was released, so I dropped $366.50 on 40k (yeah, I know it was a rip off, but why not complete the army?), and the second–that I’m far less proud of–is that Cole has gotten me thinking about WHFB so I’ve hemorrhaged over $500 into that hobby (hopefully that’s it though–though I know I have a hard time stopping such purchases).  With any luck though, some of this can be recovered in future months by selling extra bits I don’t need.

Starting cash: $0.00
Change in cash position: -$1025.78
Remaining Balance: -$1025.78


  • -$31 – (WHFB?) Khador Warmachine models from ebay.  I wanted to get a little extra for Cole to help make the painting trade even and this seemed like a good deal.
  • -$18 – (WHFB) McFarlane “Ogre Guard Class” to be used as a WHFB giant.
  • -$48.45 – (WHFB) A second hoard o bits purchase.  I’m not proud, but I wanted some nets and finally broke down and bought a wounded orc
  • -$44.83 – (MTG) TCGplayer stuff.  4x Scavenging Ooze, 4x Life from the Loam, and some other misc cards from Born of the Gods.  The thought was that the recent changes in the banned list would potentially make these cards more expensive, and I’ve been on the fence about buying them for a while.
  • -$7 – (MTG) 1x each of  Aurelia, the Warleader,  Browbeat,  Cloud Key, howling mine from Travis
  • -$117.30 – (40k) Tyranids from (3x Pyrovores, 2x Biovores) and 3x Centurions
  • -$48.80 – (WHFB) Be’Lakor (most likely to be trade fodder) and Azhag
  • -$7 – (MTG) 3x Phyrexian Crusaders from Ebay
  • -$2.51 – (40k) 9x Scatter dice from Ebay
  • +$200 – (MTG) Collection of birthday presents specifically designed to offset MTG commander purchases from this year
  • -$38.87 – (WHFB) Squigs from Russia
  • -$10.82 – (40k) – Arms/bits for Tyrant Guard from ebay
  • -$5.53 – (MTG) 4x Greatbow Doyen, 3x Gilt Leaf Archdruid & 1x Knacksaw clique from thewarstore
  • **-$45.79 – (40k) Hive Tyrant (wanted the wings only) and Vallejo squid pink paint
  • **-$60.52 – (WHFB) Goblin box, goblin green paint x2, & Mantic Gore Riders from thewarstore

The numbers above marked with a double asterix (**) aren’t included in this month’s totals, because they’re offset by a gift certificate I got at Christmas that I didn’t include in my numbers last year.  I still wanted to keep track of the purchase though, so I figured it was worth noting.

When all was said and done, it didn’t come out all that bad, but the numbers are worse than they look.  This is because $100 of the total went against a gift certificate, and another $200 was offset by a birthday “gift.”  In retrospect, it’s kind of a weird number because my parents paid for our vacation this month, and I gave them a lump sum of money to cover the car rental, various MTG cards they bought during the trip and misc expenses, and they gave some of it back.  Technically speaking, I could charge myself even more for this, but I think I went with a fair total, and they specifically said this refund was for the MTG cards.

With those in mind, the numbers don’t look all that bad, but it was really worse than the total makes it seem (just look at all that red text).

Starting cash:  -$1025.78
Change in cash position: -$179.91
Remaining Balance: -$1205.49


  • Convoluted Deal (more details in this post)
    • -$60 – (40k) Purchased a Tyranid army from a local gamer
    • +$60 – (40k) Sold the above Tyranid army (minus 20x spine gaunts).
    • +$40 – (WHFB) Sold a Throgg from a December purchase from last year
    • -$5 – (WHFB) Lord Kroak.  It was a good price for a weird looking model, so why not?
    • -$0 – (40k) +20 Termagants
  • -$2.01 – (MTG) 4x Cover of Darkness for $.01 + $2 shipping.
  • -$2.97 – (COMP) IOS sales on Le Havre, A Brief History of the World, & Tigris & Euphrates

Well, how’s that?  I finally had a month in the black.  Granted, it wasn’t anywhere near as crazy as the previous two months, but at least it’s something positive.  Really, there were just two small purchases this month and a convoluted three-way deal.  Still, there’s a long way to go to actually break a profit.  Hopefully I’ll get around to selling my IG and Orks in the near future and get into the black officially.

Starting cash:  -$1205.49
Change in cash position: +$30.02
Remaining Balance: -$1175.47



  • -$10 – (40k) One metal ravner (to convert up as the Red Terror, because… why not?) off ebay
  • +$45 – (40k) 3x Sentinels to Sean (local)
  • +$270 – (40k) 80x IG, 7x Special Weapons, 15x Weapon Teams & 1x Leman Russ to Steven (local)
  • +$200 – (40k) 1x Valkyrie, 2x Chimeras, 25x IG, 3x Heavies, 2x Psykers, 1x Manticore, 6x Special Weapons

I’m going to wrap up this month a couple of days early as it’s now the 28th and it seems unlikely that I’ll purchase/sell anything within the next couple of days.  Technically speaking, I have ebay auctions ongoing and have some other IG reserved for Chris, but as I likely won’t see the money until May, I’ll just count it next month.  We’re definitely seeing a positive trend though, so that’s great, but we’re still in the red, so there’s more to do.  Frankly though, I don’t know what would cause me to buy new figs (although rumors of a 7th edition book in May might cause some sort of spending).  Overall, I’m proud of myself this month, as I finally got inspired enough to sell some figures.  And, if I’m at all intelligent, I’ll work up lots of Orks, in preparation for their codex release this summer as well.

Starting cash:  -$1175.47
Change in cash position: $505.00
Remaining Balance: –$670.47



  • +1472.24 – (40k) Selling IG on Ebay
  • -$155 – (40k) Creature Caster Kickstarter
  • -$18.69 – (40k) 2x 2x4s, a container of Minwax Polyurethane Antinue Walnut Satin, and a spray can of Krylon clear satin
  • -$800 – (MTG) Purchased Derek’s MTG collection
  • +20.82 – (40k) Sold 2x Cadian at-ease models
  • -$5.12 – (40k) Hardware to create a drying rack suitable for dipping

Drat!  I was so proud of myself that I finally sold a good bit of models, and I clearly broke into the black for the first time all year–but then I had to go and buy some magic cards from a friend.  I don’t have a post for that purchase yet (at least not at the time of writing this) and I’m skeptical about it.  In hindsight, it’s probably a “fair” deal, but I look back on it with heartache.  I guess we’ll see how I fair when I finally get around to selling the stuff.  That’s going to have to wait, because I have a crap-ton of Orks laying around and I hear they’re due out in June.  Watch out Ebay, I’m back!

Starting cash:  -$670.47
Change in cash position: $514.25
Remaining Balance: -$156.22


  • +35 – (40k) Sold some lingering 40k IG models: Basilisk and some metal lieutenants.  Could’ve gotten more from ebay, but these stayed local to a good gamer, so why not?
  • -$219.50 – (MTG) 2x boxes of Conspiracy
  • -$4.75 – (MTG) 1x Eldrazi Conscription
  • -$53.76 – (MTG) 4x Didgeridoo, Concordant Crossroads, Glacial Fortress, Darkslick Shores, Copperline Gorge, Wolfir Silverheart, Woodland Cemetary, & Raging Ravine
  • -$41.80 – (MTG) 4x Commons/Uncommons from M14 & Theros
  • -$10 – (40k) Limited Edition Direct Only Plastic Captain (with skulls on sheath).  This was due in part from a $20 Ebay coupon.
  • +$484.92 – (MTG) Buylist from Strikezone
  • +$160.66 – (MTG) Buylist from CCGHouse
  • +$81.69 – (MTG) Buylist from HotSauceGames
  • +$369.14 – (MTG) STORE CREDIT from ChannelFireball
  • +$831.61 – (MTG) STORE CREDIT from ABUGames
  • -$320 – (MTG) Good guy credit gave to my friend who sold me the MTG cards, as I felt I made too much profit off him.

So, I sold a bunch of stuff and had another positive month, but it wasnt’ quite enough to pull me out of the hole.  Granted, I could’ve accomplished that, had I not chosen to go with trade from two of the shops.  They both were offering an additional 30% or so in trade, so I figured it was a good move to go with that.  Especially because I don’t particularly want anything, so I thought I might as well invest in some MTG cards and see if I can’t make some additional money off them.  So, technically, I’m $50 in the hole, but I have $1200 in store credit waiting for more crap to buy…

Starting cash:  -$156.22
Change in cash position: $112.47
Remaining Balance: -$43.75


  • +$60 – (40k) 13 rough looking Deffkoptas from AoBR (he intends to convert them to warbuggies) to Ethan
  • +$200 – (40k) 30 boyz, 13 bikes, & 20 grots to a local gamer
  • +$60 – (40k) 2 Trukks & a bomma to Brandon
  • +$135 – (40k) 90x Ork Boyz to Danny
  • -$90.27 – (MTG) MTG singles from TCGplayer.  I guess if I was smart, I would’ve checked the prices of those places I had credit with…
  • -$8.36 – (MTG) 4x Manabond from TCGplayer.  For some reason I thought there would be a run on these in the near future
  • -$42.78 – (MTG) Well, this and the the $369 credit from ChannelFireball for 4x boxes of Return to Ravnica and 200 sleeves for commander decks.  Not going to open, just sit on them and hope they go up.
  • -$4.75 – (MTG) 1x Eldrazi Conscription from Ebay
  • -$43 – (40k) Button status markers

So clearly I’m not the most frugal guy.  This month showed a pretty good trend of selling 40k (Orks), but spending money on MTG in the interim.  Man, that game is a bit of a money suck.  Still, I’m doing a little investing in MTG boxes so that I can hopefully sell them in the future to make some more $$ to buy 40k… 🙂

Starting cash:  -$43.75
Change in cash position: $265.84
Remaining Balance: $222.09


  • +$100 – (40k) 9x Kanz & 1x Dread to Danny
  • -$25.30 – (40k) Airbrush supplies from Michaels
  • -$11.99 – (40k) Strategy Cards and sleeves from Boscos
  • -$154.99 – (40k) Badger Minitaire airbrush paint set–highly recommend by Simon
  • -$32.41 – (40k) Primer & Sealant —mostly for buildings
  • -$40 – (40k) Rulebook & Nurgle Champion
  • +$55 – (40k) Zion bought a stompa for “a friend”
  • -$15 – (40k) Transparencies from Amazon for a Canon printer
  • -$178.20 – (40k) “GW” Stuff from Asia.  When will I learn?
  • -$27.17 – (WHFB) “GW” stuff from Asia.  For the army that Cole won’t paint.
  • $0 – (40k) Paints and such from the Warstore.  This was actually around $50, but it was fully paid by part of a gift certificate I got for Xmas last year.
  • -$171.25 – (40k) 2x Frontline gaming mats

Ok, another negative month.  I’m not terribly worried about it because there’s so much crap laying around that I need to sell.  Still, it isn’t a good thing to be in the red, so I should work on it.  The biggest purchases here are mostly to fund the latest Apoc game (mostly terrain).  It might not have been cheap, but it sure was pretty. 🙂

Starting cash:  $222.09
Change in cash position: -$501.31
Remaining Balance: -$279.22


  • -$167.49 – (MTG) 4x FTW Annihilation – I figure it’s not selling for much now, but it could go up in the future, no?
  • -$0 -(MTG) I spent $213.50 on an uncut sheet of Chronicles uncommons.  I figure this is more artwork for the house than it is hobby supplies, but know that I’ll wonder what I paid for that one day, so I wanted to keep track of the price here.
  • -$49.71 – (WHFB) – Forgeworld Goblin w/ Spear statue
  • -$0 – (40k/WHFB) – Traded some 40k Orks for WHFB night goblins & trolls

Another month down and another month in the red.  I’m not terribly worried about hitting the black for the year end because I do have a bunch of stuff lying around that I need to sell.  Still, I should be a little more proactive about this sort of thing.  The big surprise?  I didn’t really buy anything I wanted this month.  The MTG cards are an “investment” (sort of, I’m not sure if they’ll go up), and the FW Night Goblin is a “counts as” giant for an unpainted army in a game I don’t play.

Starting cash:  -$279.22
Change in cash position: -$217.20
Remaining Balance: -$496.42



  • -$40.70 – (40k) 200x 1/8″ x 1/16″ discs & 200x 1/16″ x 1/16″ rods.  Historically I buy them in half that amount but they always go, so why not by extra?
  • -$249.50 – (40k) A silver demon statue.  Too bad it didn’t come with the painted model that won the award, eh?

So, obviously not my best month, but really not so bad.  Of course, I didnt’ need to spend the bulk of the money on a trophy that I didn’t earn, but oh well: you only live once, right?  It does make it kind of bleak for the possibility of me breaking even for the year–though I do have stuff laying around that I still need to sell.  I just need to spend the last two months getting off my arse and actually doing something about it.

Starting cash: -$496.42
Change in cash position: -$290.2
Remaining Balance: -$786.62



  • -$134.53 – (MTG) Pre-order of 5x Commander 2014 Decks from Hills Wholesale Gaming
  • -$14.40 – (40k) 2x Gray Paint pots and a package of green stuff from Hobbycraft
  • -$4.22 – (40k) Can of Rustoleum rust-colored spray paint (for Trygon holes)
  • -$1.08 – (40k) 3x Photos for Trygon holes
  • -$142.30 – (40k) Another silver demon–at a bargain price, no less.
  • -$1.98 – (Comp) 2x Agricola expansions for IOS.  This was a bad buy.  I don’t need it, but it’s hard to cry about $2.
  • Annual Black Friday Warstore Order (numbers averaged to include shipping and gift cert balance, and Xmas gifts to others have been removed):
    • -$18.36 – (BG) – Sparticus
    • -$134.20 – (40k) Carnifexes, Wall of Martyrs, & Paintbrushes
    • -$19.13– (MTG) Sleeves and Deck Boxes

So it’s clear to me at this point that I’m not going to make my goal for the year.  Without a doubt I’m not going to be in the black for the year, because I think that selling things in December is generally not a good time to hold auctions and such.  Though there is a smallish sliver of hope, I can only assume that I’ll be negative for the first time in three years (and significantly so).

Starting cash: -$786.62
Change in cash position: -$466.24
Remaining Balance: -$1252.86


  • -$237.69 – (MTG) Singles from TCGPlayer
  • -$.99 – (Comp) Talisman on IOS (sale)
  • -$0 – (MTG) Frame for the sheet I bought in September totaling $224.61.  Again, I’m counting this as artwork, not MTG supplies, but just want to track it here as I know I’m going to wonder again one day.  I’m also having a friend bring it up with him on an airplane, so it’s probably going to cost me an extra $75 (EDIT: due to his mileage plan status, shipping was free!).
  • -$67.30 – (40k)  Dimachaeron, some grav guns, razorback turrets, and casualties
  • -$50 – (WHFB) Squig Gobbas
  • +$80 – (MTG) sold Derek’s 10-12,000 commons
  • -$35.38 – (MTG) Singles from StarcityGames.  Why do I keep buying?!?!?!’
  • +$400 – (40k) I’m going to count this as 40k, since I think that was my biggest spending this year, but instead of Xmas presents, my friends and family basically just gave me cash this year.  This is because they didn’t know what to buy me (apparently I’m difficult to shop for), and I’d already purchased most everything I wanted.  Using Xmas cash is definitely like cheating, but I’m so far behind this year, that I’m going to count it.
  • +$155 – (40k) I opted out of the Creature Caster kickstarter that I had originally funded back in May.  Technically, I dont’ have the refund yet, but I asked and Jeremy has agreed to do it.  I’m guessing he just got caught up in the holiday.

So, I pulled some games at the last minute to try to make my numbers better.  Rather than just doing what I set out to to, and selling off my Ork army and other random crap I don’t need, I wound up counting Xmas funds (which I’m going to use to offset my hobby spending, so that’s probably ok), and a refund that I haven’t yet received.  Including both of those, I’m at positive cash flow for the month, but still negative for the year.  Technically speaking, I still have $831.61 in store credit from AbuGames (which would’ve equated to $665.29, had I opted to go with cash), so that’s sort of like positive cash flow.

But that’s only with finagling the numbers.  This year is definitely a failure as far as my frugal gaming goals go.  So sad…

Starting cash: -$786.62
Change in cash position:  $243.64
Remaining Balance: -$542.98


Image Credit: Unknown

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