Friday, January 21, 2011

What's your collecting style?

Hi folks! Are you having a great 2011?

I made a somewhat big decision this week. I vowed not to buy any new toys until I go through my tubs of toys and properly categorize them. This may take several weeks but it will allow me to save some cash and get things settled. Instead of having toys scattered on weird surfaces all over the house, they will be in the tubs and labelled baggies I want them to be in. This should make for some sanity all around.

I don't know about you, but I find a lot of joy in meticulous collecting. I like hunting down what exact pieces went in what sets and making lists and then finding the missing parts. I love having a completed set too.

To this end, I have created a sort-of OCD process. When I get a toy I immediately figure out what's missing, if anything. I add that information to a color-coded spreadsheet and then "accrue" for the missing part and its cost. Accruing is a fancy word for figuring out the probable cost and creating a spending forecast. I learned this behavior when I worked in accounting.

For example, if I get a Rainbow Brite doll, but she's missing her dress. I might add $7-$10 for the missing dress and then add it to a saved search on eBay (in order to possibly buy it later). After doing this for every toy part I have bought or intend to buy I can see what it will cost me over time. Then the fun is trying to beat out that cost by buying smart.

But not everyone is as brain-damaged as I am. Some people just like amassing without rhyme or reason. Everything is in their memory and nothing is written down. If a piece breaks off or gets lost, they don't fuss or fret. They don't go buy another. They just stick the thing on a shelf and love it anyway.

So, what is your style? Would you be afraid to see a spending forecast, or would it be fun and helpful to know what might be in your fiscal toy future?

This spending embargo will be tough to control, but I know it will lend to a balance that will put peace in my mind. Step one is to get off eBay. That place will be the death of me!

Tomorrow I will try and post some pictures of things that came in the mail this week!

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