Frugal Gaming – 2016

wealthdemotivatorIt’s hard to believe that I’ve managed to keep track of my hobby spending since 2009, and that I’ve been largely successful at not spending all of my money.  Thank heaven for such little successes.

Last year, my goal was to be in the black by the end of the year, and I’m happy to say that I managed that with a little room to spare (no thanks to you, Magic: the Gathering).  I’ll keep the same goal for this year, but I’ll try a little harder to actually make a profit, and not blow it all at the end.

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.


  • -$16.47 – (BG) Murder of Crows for Zombicide from Amazon
  • -$86.27 – (MTG) 4x Cryptic Command & 1x Iona from Facebook
  • -$32.00 – (MTG) 160 full art basics and 2x Stifles from Facebook
  • -$9 – (MTG) Abrupt Decay from Facebook
  • -$40 – (MTG) 4x Griselbrand Promo from Ebay
  • -$3.99 – (MTG) Jeweler’s loop (For detecting fakes)
  • -$69.99 – (MTG) 1800 sleeves from Cheap Magic
  • -$36 – (MTG) 4x Mutavault from facebook
  • -$100 – (WHFB) Dwarf army from Derek
  • -$50 – (MTG) 3x Commander decks + other precon from Derek
  • -$11.50 – (MTG) Dragonmaster Outcast + Mutavault from Facebook
  • -$345 –  (MTG) 8x Noble Hierarch, 1x Noble Hierarch (foil) & 5x Cryptic Commands from “Incredible Cards & Games”
  • -$41.20 – (MTG) Cryptic Command x2 from facebook
  • $28.08 – (MTG) 3x Mutavault from facebook

There’s nothing like starting off a new year by digging myself a hole to crawl out of, eh?  Obviously, the vast majority of this spending is in the form of MTG (Which it clearly shouldn’t be, given how much I’ve dumped into that over the years), and most of that in the form of speculation (Which is even worse).  Clearly, I’ll never learn.

Starting cash: $0.00
Change in cash position: -$869.50
Remaining Balance:  -$869.50


  • -$40 – (MTG) 240 full art basics + perilous vault from facebook
  • -$166 – (MTG) 1050 Full art basics from facebook
  • -$15 – (40k) 3x Prosecutors from Age of Sigmar to potentially use as vanguard vets
  • -$100 – (MTG) 4x Bloodstained mires $60, flooded strand $15, 3 soulfire grandmasters $10, rhino playset $4, foil dig $5, 2 tasigurs $4sandsteppe citadel x3, 1 intro pack foil, intro pack foil siege rhino, Shamanic revelationx2, 1 foil, Butcher of the horde x2, Rakshasa Deathdealer, Dig through time x4, 1 foil, See the Unwritten x2, Mystic Monastery, Mastery of the Unseen, Utter end x2, Zurgo Helmsmasher from Keenan (local)
  • -$115.72 – (MTG) 749 full art lands from facebook
  • -$1.99 – (Comp) Forbidden Island on IOS
  • -$26.82 – (40k) 36″ green stuff from ebay
  • -$125 – (MTG) Approximately 1,000 full art lands from oath/BFZ
  • -$37.07 – (MTG) 240 full art lands from BFZ
  • -$149.50 – (MTG) 7x Gen Hydra, 4x Iona, 18x Lil Cares, 10x chordocalling, 10x Hed Crabs, 3x savageborn, 8x steelshape, 2x terminus, 2x rancor, 2x scuttling, 4x Elspeth, 1x Gideon, 4x Freyalise, 1x Ob Nixilis
  • -$68.31 – (40k) Green Stuff World – Sculpting Tools, Color Shapers, Ball Burnishers, Blue Stuff Mold & Roll Maker Set
  • -$92.10 – (MTG) 6x Duel Decks Blessed v. Cursed

Yeah, so not a strong start to the year by any means.  Two months in a row with almost a G in spend with absolutely no selling to offset it (technically, I did try to buylist some magic cards, but ran into a snag with StrikeZone’s buylist team).  Not much to say other than I’m obviously buying way too much magic.  One of these days I’m going to have to sell some of it…

Starting cash: -$869.50
Change in cash position: -$937.51
Remaining Balance:  -$1807.01


  • -$27.45 – (MTG) 183 full art lands on facebook
  • -$146.50 – (40k) Deathwatch overkill 2x sets of Tyranids from the box
  • -$188.08 – (MTG) 12x Kozilek the Great Distortion & 4x Foils from TCGplayer
  • -$135.95 – (40k) Deathwatch Overkill from Ebay
  • +$22.23 – (40k) Sold 1 ratskin chief/shaman/ganger on facebook
  • +$169.62 – (40k) 7x Cawdor & 19 Adeptus Arbites via Facebook
  • +$40 – (40k) 12x 2nd edition marines, 1x RT beakie, & 8x RT plastic IG to David E. (local)
  • -$110 – (40k) Armorcast Haruaspex, Malefactor, Exocrine, & bootleg Exocrine from Trevor
  • -$10 – (MTG) Cards from Keenan locally
  • +$100 – (WHFB) Sold Derek’s WHFB dwarves I  bought from him earlier in the year back at cost
  • +$45 – (40k) Sold a rhino & a whirlwind to David from Facebook (local)
  • +$40 – (MTG) Collected $20 each from Albert & Derek for upcoming MTG night
  • +$20 – (40k) Emperor’s Champion to valley (local)
  • +$20 – (MTG) Collected $20 from Sean for upcoming MTG night

Wow, am I really that far in the hole to the start the year?  How can that be possible? Egads, I need to correct that.  On the bright side, while I did spend a fair bit this month, I did have enough ancillary sales to almost offset it, so that’s good news.

Starting cash:-$1807.01
Change in cash position: -$25.18
Remaining Balance:  -$1832.19


  • +$80 – (MTG) Collected $20 each from Aaron, Joe, Jesse & Brandon for MTG
  • +$20 – (40k) Attack bike + 2 marines David (local)
  • -$51.20 – (MTG) Food for the aforementioned draft night (normally I don’t account for food, but this was a big factor of why we were charging $20 per head.  Effectively, this means I had free admission myself and sold the box of cards for $72.
  • -$24.16 – (40k) 16oz Golden Airbrush Medium from Amazon.  Maybe I’ll finally start painting again!!?!?
  • -$13 – (40k) Space Marine psychic cards
  • +$149.50 – (MTG) Refund from failed MTG transaction through Paypal.  This is the underlying reason why you should use paypal payment and not paypal gift!
  • -$35.11 – (MTG) TCGPLAYER: Caustic Caterpillar x4, Diregraf Colossus x4, Gruesome Slaughter x4, Masterwork of Ingenuity x5, Oath of Chandra x1, Oath of Chandra x3, Oath of Gideon x4, Oath of Jace x2, Sin Prodder x2, Sire of Stagnation x1, Stone Haven Outfitter x3, Sylvan Caryatid x4, Tombstone Stairwell x3, Warden of the First Tree x2
  • -$6.60 – (MTG) 1x Sin Prodder & 1x Oath of Druids
  • +$11.50 – (40k) Ebay bucks refund (technically I didn’t spend this on gaming because I couldn’t find anything I wanted to buy–but as I earned most of it from gaming purchases, I figured I’d count it here anyway.
  • -$428.40 – (MTG) 2x Boxes of MTG Eternal Masters from Simon

And I was doing so good this month–I was actually in the black (not YTD, but at least for the month) when I  got a wild itch to pre-order some MTG cards.  What is wrong with me????

Starting cash:-$1832.19
Change in cash position: $297
Remaining Balance:  -$2129.19



  • -$31.75 – (40k) Bought 12 pairs of Xuron clippers (used) off ebay.  It was a big lot, and hopefully some are in good enough shape to see more use.
  • -$200 – (40k) Imperial Aeronautica set from Ryan (local)
  • -$4.50 – (MTG) 4x Dragonmaster Outcast
  • -$10.16 – (40k) 4x Tape measures from Amazon
  • -$8.24 – (40k) 2x Xuron clippers from Ebay
  • -$23.51 – (40k) 10x Xuron clippers from Ebay
  • -$24.51 – (40k) 2x Static Grass flock from ebay (Burnt Grass & Light Green — to match the rest of my armies)
  • -$28.99 – (MTG) 500x Kraft Bubble Padded Mailer envelopes 4×8″
  • -$18 – (40k) Chaos Dice from Simon
  • +$18 – (40k) Attack bike to David (local)
  • -$35 – (MTG) 1x mirror pool. 2x Mutavault, 3x Managorger Hydra, 2x Sin Prodder, & 2 kozilek, the great distortion
  • -$32 – (MTG) 1x Sword of Light & Shadow, Sword of Feast & Famine, Green Sun’s Zenith from facebook 

Not a good month for spending.  Not a good month for a recap, but I’m sick as I write this, so the latter might be mildly justifiable.

Starting cash:-$2129.19
Change in cash position: $398.66
Remaining Balance:  -$2527.85


  • -$139.74 – (40k) 8x Privateer press paints, promethium relay pipes, & 2x Munitorum Armored Containers from the Warstore
  • -$2.06 – (BG) card sleeves for Zombicide
  • -$27.89 – (MTG) 10x Commander sized deck boxes from the warstore
  • +$120 – (MTG) Sold approximately 20,000 commons/uncommons I had laying around the house
  • +$19.58 – (40k) 3x Ratskins to Japan (via Facebook)
  • -$15.60 – (MTG) EMA singles from Facebook : 4 counterspell, 2 rancor, 2 mishra’s factory, 2 animate dead, 2 brainstorm, 1 cabal therapy
  • -$63.44 – (MTG) Singles from facebook for EMA: $2 ichorid, $3.75 chain lightning, $1.50 brainstorm x2, $1 animate, $0.25 mongoose, $1.00 swords to plow, $1.00 counterspell, $37.50 wasteland, $6  sinkhole, $5.50 , enchantress, $1.50  rancor (foil)
  • -$54.60 – (MTG) Singles from facebook for EMA: English Nm Wasteland 37.5 Nimble mongoose .25 Mystical tutor 2.5 Swords to plowshares 1 Serendib efreet .25 Toxic deluge 4.5 2 brainstorm .75 2 Counterspell 1 1 dual caster mage .50 3 kird ape .25 Isochron scepter 2.25
  • -$11.82 – (40k) 4 cans of primer (on sale)
  • -$45.24 – (MTG) Singles from Facebook for EMA: 3 ape x .25 = .75 2 nibmle x.25 = .5 2 factory x.75= 1.5 1 isochron sceptor x2.25= 2.25 1 control magic x.75= .75 1 maze of ith x10.75= 10.75 3 ichorid x2 = 6
  • -$72.80 – (MTG) EMA Singles x abunch (8/8 Abundant Growth, 1/1 Animate Dead, 5/7 Chain Lightning, 2/3 Counterspell, 2/8 Harmonize, 2/5 Kird Ape, 2/2 Mishra’s Factory, 2/2 Nimble Mongoose, 3/4 Prodigal Sorcerer, 3/6 Rancor, 2/2 Swords of Plowshares, 1 Wrath of God, 1 Eight-and-a-half-tails, 2 Enlightened Tutor, 1 Mystical Tutor, 2 Control Magic, 2 Inkwell Leviathan, 1 Maelstrom Wanderer, 1 Isochron Sceptre, 1 Winter Orb, 1 Bonfire of the Damned, 1 Kozilek, the Great Distortion, 2 Dualcaster Mage
  • -$14.04 – (MTG) Sylvan Library
  • -$49.17 – (MTG) Ebay EMA singles – Sylvan library, Chrome mox, Maze of ith, Sinkhole, Argothian enchantress, Toxic deluge mtg
  • -$44.20 – (MTG) Sylvan Library, Foil Elesh Norn, & Promo Foil Tasigur, EMA Mother of Runes, Unexpectedly Absent, & Werebear

Starting cash:-$2129.19
Change in cash position: $401.02
Remaining Balance:  -$2,530.21


  • -$42.64 – (MTG) from facebook 1x Baleful strix, 1x Chain Lightning, 2x control magic, 1x DIMINISHING RETURNS, 2x Dualcaster mage, 2x INKWELL LEVIATHAN, 2x Isochron Scepter, 1x Pyrokinesis, 2x Serendib Efreet, 1x sinkhole, 1x Sylvan Library, 1x Toxic Deluge, 1x Winter Orb2x wrath of god
  • -$21.84 – (MTG) 3x Mutavaults from Facebook
  • -$20.80 – (MTG) from facebook 1x grave crawler, 2x chain lightnings, 1x chrome mox, 1x Mystical Tutor, 1x Winter Orb, 1x Pyrokinesis, 1x Kird Ape, 1x Prodigal Sorcerer, 1x Counterspell, 1x Rancor, 1x Malicious Affliction, 1x Dualcaster Mage
  • +$50 – (40k) Sold FW Great Unclean One to Albert
  • -$7 – (MTG) Bought a Kozilek (great Distortion) and some other random card from Twitter
  • -$1,106.79 – (MTG) Bought a ton of “Tolarian Academy” cards on pure speculation for between $17-25 each and attempted to move the needle.  I actually did for a while, and it bumped up to $35 or so–at which point I should’ve sold some of them off, but I stupidly held on to them.  I should also mention that I blew all of my remaining MTG credit on this card as well, so I really dumped more like $2k in to this one card.

Honestly, six months have passed since July and I’m just now going back and updating this–because I was embarrassed about how much I spent on magic cards this month–and the spec that I made.  I’m still convinced that it will make profit for me, but it’s not going to be as quick and profitable as I had originally hoped.

Starting cash:  -$2,530.21
Change in cash position: -$1,149.07
Remaining Balance:  -$3,679.28


  • +$70 – (MTG) Draft night, “sold” a box of Conspiracy I had on hand

With July being so horrible, I wound up saving money in August by not buying anything, and even “selling” something to make up for it.  Granted, it wasn’t a big sale, but it was a little bit.

Starting cash:  -$3,609.28
Change in cash position: +$70
Remaining Balance:  -$3,609.28


  • -$22.88 – (BG) Two copies of Fische Fluppen Frikadellen
  • -$83 – (MTG) 4x Berserks

Starting cash:  -$3,609.28
Change in cash position: -$105.88
Remaining Balance:  -$3,715.16


  • -$6.50 – (40k) 50mm Round bases for Genestealer Patriarch
  • +$360 – (MTG) Sold 8x Noble Hierarch on Twitter
  • -$126.34 – (40k) The War Store – Codex Genestealer Cults, Datacards, Acolyte Iconward, Acolyte Hybrids, Ultramarine ID Tag, plus 6x paints

With the release of the Genestealer cult book, I had to buy some basics for that.  The plus side was that I was able to sell off some magic cards on twitter and make for two profitable months in a row.

Starting cash:  -$3,715.16
Change in cash position: $226.16
Remaining Balance:  -$3,488


  • -$10.49 – (MTG) 4x Burgeoning on ebay
  • -$76.31 – (BG) 11x Games from Haba on sale.  These aren’t for me, per se, and are for my kids, but they’re board games, so I’ll count them
  • -$29.95 – (BG) Aargh! Tect from Ebay
  • -$58 – (BG) Warhammer Conquest – First two Cycles, Tyranid Expansion, & 3x Core Sets

Misc purchases on ebay leading up until Christmas made for another down month.  I figured Conspiracy packs wouldn’t skyrocket in price, but the singles would surely go up because people would stop opening them, right?

Starting cash:  -$3,488
Change in cash position: $174.75
Remaining Balance:  -$3,662.75


  • -$17.05 – (40k) Bases for Genestealer Cultists
  • -$56.16 – (MTG) 3x Show & Tell, 3 Platinum Angel, 4x Burgeoning, 4x Stunt Double, 4x Forbidden Orchard + Common/Uncommon playset from Twitter
  • -$112.72 – (40k) Forgeworld Order with the guys — Genestealer cult stuff and bits

Conspiracy singles were even cheaper, so I wound up pouring more money into them.  I have a problem… a real problem.

Starting cash:  -$3,662.75
Change in cash position: –$185.93
Remaining Balance:  -$3,848.68


Image Credit: “Wealth” poster image from, the original demotivators!!