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Questions On Budget, Spending, Etc

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Valued Member
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 Posted 02/27/2021  3:14 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Numisto to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi all,


Just wanted to start a conversation here about setting a budget for coin collecting.

- How do you deal with it?
- Do you stretch when something really good is put in front of you?
- What is the percentage in relation to your income? Per mont, per year, however you calculate it.
- Ever spend too much and regret it?
- Ever spend not enough on something you should have pulled the trigger on and regretted it?


Just some questions from someone on the newer end of the hobby.

I will say this, there have been a few times already when I've stretched my budget because I bumped into something really nice. So far, I've never regretted that. It's always ended up that I came out on top, but I consider those moments quite carefully.



Best,
N.
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 Posted 02/27/2021  4:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can talk a pretty good theoretical game on budgeting, but I've been a bit undisciplined the last couple of years.

I think a lot of the answers have to do with what other goals you have that will draw on your discretionary funds, and who else has a say in it (by discretionary funds, I mean what is left each month after you have paid all your monthly/quarterly bills and put money into your retirement savings and emergency fund).

If you are single, near retirement and have saved plenty, have your mortgage paid off, and don't need to buy a new car any time soon, then why not use as much of your discretionary funds as you want?

As for this question: Ever spend not enough on something you should have pulled the trigger on and regretted it?
Yep. 5:20 a.m. this morning was the last time that happened to me.
You can always tighten your belt for a while after that (well ...some of us can .
Edited by tdziemia
02/27/2021 4:34 pm
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 Posted 02/27/2021  5:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think that @tdziemia said it well. Individual circumstances would take priority pver general rules, I would think.
Edited by oriole
02/27/2021 5:33 pm
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 Posted 02/27/2021  9:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I hope we get a bit of discussion here, because I bet that many of us think about these questions.

Maybe I am unusual because my involvement in numismatics has had peaks and valleys. I was an avid collector in my youth when I had no responsibilities except to myself, but then went dormant through my early marriage and child-raising (my thirties and early forties). In early middle age I got the bug again, but only now as an "empty nester" am I spending a good percentage of discretionary income on coins.

With coin prices moving up right now, I can imagine that the
"desire to acquire" is often bumping into realities of meeting day-to-day financial demands.


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 Posted 02/27/2021  10:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Only you can say what you feel comfortable, while I have disposable income I'm pretty frugal into what I spend. I'm also cheap and while I can afford an MS67 coin, I would rather have 2-3 MS63/64,

As to the last time I spent too much well this week I went a little crazy, but I only spent $185 more than I had budgeted. But having disposable income helps. I'm also older but not that old and have been living debt free for about 8 years.
Edited by hfjacinto
02/27/2021 10:34 pm
Valued Member
United States
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 Posted 02/28/2021  08:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Numisto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The only thing I'll add, Oriole, and all: I know it Boils down to the individual but if you're comfortable sharing what some of those individual things are for you, that might be what I'm getting at. Share the individual items that are important to you and all can take or leave because you're an individual.


Hope that makes sense.
N.
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 Posted 02/28/2021  10:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
So I got extra cash, of the extra cash I spent 5.5% on coins and put 94.5% into savings. Could I have spent more or less yes to both, but I felt comfortable spending around 5%. Remember this was extra cash not our regular income.

I also do astrophotography and sell my prints. I make a few dollars on each print. I use 100% of the profit back into my hobbies. But again that's not regular income. Sometimes I go months without selling anything and other times I'll sell 3-4 prints at one time.
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 Posted 02/28/2021  10:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add 88isgreat to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As others have said, individual circumstances will define what someone can spend on hobbies.

For me, I'm in a good spot with disposable income. Depending on what collecting goal I'm attempting to reach, I typically will spend between $100 to $300 per month. Some months I don't find anything that I desire to purchase.

I personally have trouble spending more than $100 for an individual coin even though I can occasionally "afford" to. This hesitation has left some holes in certain collections ( Mercury dimes in particular) that I may never fill.

Hope this helps to answer your questions.
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 Posted 03/01/2021  12:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I try to spend around ten percent of what I make for the year. Which for me has been working over several years. Sure there are some months where I spend more, others less, but the $500 per month hasn't affected me financially in other ways. Now, if a coin I would like runs say $2100, it goes on the credit card and deducted from the amount per month. Under those circumstances, I'v had to recalculate based on the monthly card payments in order to pay it off within six months if possible. That way the interest doesn't exceed the coins value. Mentally taxing at times, but doable.
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Edited by Ballyhoo
03/01/2021 12:30 pm
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 Posted 03/01/2021  1:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Numisto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for all the thoughts. I appreciate it. Even if each situation is different, which it is, it's nice to hear people spell out their thinking.

My philosophy at shows, or on eBay, has been to try to buy what is exceptionally nice in front of me. When dealers ask what I am looking for, I can never say, because I don't know until I see it. But, I'm aiming for cheaper stuff, like a Washington quarter or Mercury dime, etc. That vague goal has also led to a vague budget, too, at times, and I might like to solidify the specifics further going forward.


Best,
N.
Edited by Numisto
03/01/2021 1:02 pm
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 Posted 03/01/2021  1:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Numisto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
By the way, hfjacinto, can you direct me to your astrophotography website, if there is one? I'm quite into photography myself!


Best,
N.
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 Posted 03/01/2021  1:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@ballyhoo's comments sound like good budget discipline.

I would comment that if you ever need to dip into savings to pay for a coin, planning to replace those funds, but then don't, it may be a signal you are spending more than you should.
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 Posted 03/01/2021  1:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add KenKat to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In the past, I have set a budget of $50 a month. This would get supplemented with a little cash from Christmas or Birthday, so it would end up being $900-1000 a year. I'd add in the monthly budget amount, deduct what I spent and that would be a running total. I'd let myself go negative (i.e., spend money I hadn't saved yet) but eventually that would have to be paid back to get back to a positive balance. The budgeted amount is a small portion of my overall income.

I've lately not being buying many coins as I am not working on any particular collection at the moment, so I've kind of suspended the budgeting rather than let it build up to some large unspent number.
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 Posted 03/01/2021  4:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Cdncoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I found this easier when I attended coin shows and could bring $X with me and that was my budget. With online I don't have any set budget, but for the past few years I have kept track on a spreadsheet how much I spend, where I spent it and one what. This way if I notice I go a little overboard one month, I can take it easy for a couple of months to balance things out. I keep it well below what I can afford and what my wife would start to notice! As others have said, obviously its important to make sure your essential expenses are paid for first and you have also saved some away for retirement, etc.

- Ever spend too much and regret it? Yes, when I see the same item for a little cheaper shortly after.
- Ever spend not enough on something you should have pulled the trigger on and regretted it? Yes, but the coins I'm buying are not unique, so I know others will come around soon and I'll get more chances.
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 Posted 03/01/2021  6:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Numisto,

I don't have a website but I can you send a link to a drop box site with a few of my pictures (I've done over 100 pictures). PM me and I'll send you a link.
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 Posted 03/02/2021  04:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PNWType to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
- How do you deal with it?
In terms of budgeting I only spend as much as I can comfortably spend and still maintain plenty in my checking, savings, and enough for any emergency. If I ever end up paycheck to paycheck coins are OUT

- Do you stretch when something really good is put in front of you?
I definitely do. LCS had some great commems at awesome prices. It was more than I expected to invest at the time, but I knew that I could spare the money without a worry.

- What is the percentage in relation to your income? Per month, per year, however you calculate it.
As a student, I have no income right now. But, when I worked over the summer I think my coin spending was about 30% of my income. I had spent the prior summer not spending at all besides food, so I splurged this summer more than I normally would.

- Ever spend too much and regret it?
Oh I definitely have. Though less often nowadays. I am currently in the process of trying to offload a lot of the coins that a younger me bought without losing too much on each. I haven't been collecting very long, but I learned a ton extremely quickly because coins just click in my brain, and with that knowledge came the knowledge that when I first started out I definitely overspent and under-received.

- Ever spend not enough on something you should have pulled the trigger on and regretted it?
I sometimes think about things I wish I would have bought, but generally, no. If I am not willing to spend it, I am set in that belief. I think I always fear going overboard and overspending. I think that regret feels worse than not spending. Overspend and the money is gone. Refuse to spend and nothing changes.

Thanks for reading my book
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