For awhile now, I have been talking about how the price of comics has affected my spending habits. Quite bluntly, the price and the economy have forced me from a 60 comic book a month habit to a five comic book a month habit. While this has been a hard change to make, and may eventually force me out of the hobby for good, I can't stop thinking about what I can buy with the money I have saved, and how it has helped turn around an unacceptable financial situation. Life is livable again, at the cost of a hobby.
Let me give examples of what I have found.
1 comic book at $2.99
3 cans of generic vegetable beef soup at .99 = $2.97
Three meals for one book!
3 comic books at $2.99 = $8.97
1- 24ct package of Cup Noodles Beef flavor at $6.75
24 meals for 3 books!
5 comics books at $2.99 = $14.95
1- 50 pound bag of ice melt = $14.97
The price of not falling and hurting myself on ice is impossible to measure!
8 comic books at $2.99 = $23.92
1 pair of blue jeans at $21.95
Clothes are pretty damn important, right?
12 comic books at $2.99 = $35.88
Monthly electric bill at $34.76
That is a big one, right?
16 comic books at $2.99 = $47.84
Cell phone bill at $49.95
Unfortunately, some form of communication remains a viable expense.
20 comic books at $2.99 = $59.80
1 month of garbage/water bill = $61.32
Another requirement of modern living.
For the price of 65 comic books in one month I can pay all those bills. It is mind boggling, to say the least.
Here is a bigger consideration.
One month of collecting:
60 comic books at $2.99 = $179.40
That is enough money for a car payment, right?
6 months of comic books at $179.40 = $1076.40
I could buy a flat screen hi-def television.
I could also put extra principal on my house.
That kind of extra money can pay for a trip or at the very least maintain a nice, middle class lifestyle.
So why the hell didn't I cut back sooner?
When comic books were under $2 it was a lot easier to justify. I bought them when they were 20 cents, for goodness sake! I know that the cost of living has skyrocketed, but I also think that the price of luxury items such as comic books have been pushed way over the line. A person has to be making good money or be willing to sacrifice a lot of other things to stay in this habit.
That is why I have changed my life forever by cutting back so much. I don't even feel like the same person anymore. My hobby isn't fun anymore. I have lost my childlike wonder for the medium, which makes me really upset. Don't get me wrong- I will always pick up a couple of books. As long as I am gainfully employed, I consider it my "vice".
I plan to continue to blog, and I hope to find less expensive ways to stay in the mix. I just don't know how yet. I just really felt I had to spell out what the price of a hobby really COSTS. It took a very honest couple of hours on an excel spreadsheet to prove it to myself, but it is all about making ends meet, having a decent lifestyle, and planning for the future. How can I ever consider retiring if I can't put any money away now? Thank God for my 401K, but I know it isn't enough.
Twenty five years from now, will I be using my comic books to keep me warm in the fireplace when I can't afford to heat my house or will I smell the coffee now and make the changes needed to hopefully grow old? Being a grown up sucks. LOL.
What have you found in your collecting and how are you getting around the financial hurdles that having a growingly expensive hobby causes?