Thursday, August 14, 2014

A few extra bucks

I had a job interview today.

Nothing huge, just a basic part-time office assistant position at my college. I thought it went well. I'll know by tomorrow if I got the job or not.

I'm hoping for the best. Having a little extra cash would be nice. 

Collecting cards on a tight budget like the one I currently have has its advantages. It can be fun and it helps keep my impulses in check. If I was a more high-end collector, I might never have discovered the world of dime boxes. I don't want to think about how that scenario would've played out.

Still, it's fun to think about what I'd do with a slight bump in my collecting budget. I think we all do at times. Nothing like the fantasy of inheriting a million bucks or anything like that, just simply having a few extra bucks to play around with here and there.

I got lucky, in that a card show fell right in line with the short-lived job I had last year. I used a good chunk of one of my paychecks as funding and went wild. I ransacked the dime boxes in search of double dips, throwbacks, and almost everything else.

It was easily one of the best shows I've ever attended.

Kellogg's was to thank for a lot of that.

I've been selling a few of my unwanted game-used and autographs on Ebay lately to scrape up a bit of spending cash.

That's how I was able to get enough money to place a recent Just Commons order, the first I've made on there in a while. Digging through all those cards was a ton of fun.

I just received this Brent Mayne card you see above from Just Commons this afternoon, the first I own of him as an Oakland A. It was part of that original order, but they sent a different card by accident. Kudos to them for sending the replacement so quickly.

Again, I was fortunate enough to have a steady paycheck when I first discovered Just Commons last year. I was making monthly purchases from them for a little while there. That hasn't been the case lately.

If I do end up landing this job, I'd probably return to my regular Just Commons extravaganzas.

My dad is kind of like my kickstarter when it comes to retail.

He's almost always generous enough to float a few extra bucks my way so I can test new products when they hit the shelves. Without him, I wouldn't have had the money to pick up much of Golden Age, A&G, or whatever else.

Busting packs has never been a huge part of my collecting style, but I'd probably make more Target trips if I had a little more of my own money to spend. I might even splurge on a box or two during the year. (I might pull the trigger on a box of 2015 Topps after getting a glimpse it.)

Unless I get this job or somehow come into some extra money soon, it looks like my seven-year streak of buying a box of Topps Update might come to an end here in 2014.

I hope I can keep the tradition going.

A small budget for cards leaves almost no provisions for supplies.

Granted, I've never bought a penny sleeve, toploader, team back, or bubble mailer in my life. I simply recycle those that others send me. I'd be broke if I didn't.

Things that I do have to constantly keep in stock, however, are binders and pages. As of right now, I have 74 binders in my collection. That equates to approximately five craptons of pages.

Luckily, I have a decent stack of empty nine-pocket pages at the ready as of this writing. But, as many binder lovers might know, they go fast.

For most of my life, I've relied on garage sales and/or flea markets to pick up binders and pages on the cheap. A few bloggers been nice enough to send pages my way as well.

If I had a bit of extra money, however, I wouldn't mind picking up some extra supplies. I'd still scour garage sales and everything, but they wouldn't be the be-all, end-all they are now.

After all, beautiful cards need beautiful pages.

Just take a look at this beauty from my Cubs binder for proof.

Note: Dime Boxes is not responsible for any seizures this card might cause.

I know.

It's been all me, me, me with the money so far. What cards can I get? How can I benefit?

Don't get me wrong. I'm a generous guy. I'd spread the wealth to my friendly blogging community as well.

With the steady increase in shipping costs lately, I've found myself turning more and more to the glorious PWE. It costs around $2.50 to mail a small package now, yet I can fit around 15 cards in an envelope for a single stamp. It makes more fiscal sense to use PWEs.

If I had the money, though, I'd still like to drop packages on people as well as envelopes, as opposed to one or the other. I can count the number of bubble mailers I've sent in the past couple months on one hand.

I have stacks of Dodgers, Mets, and a lot of other teams in my bedroom/man cave that have people's names on them already. Trouble is, I haven't had the cash to get them to those new homes too often lately.

That makes me sad.

Getting a great card into the hands of someone who will cherish it is a great feeling.

Birthdays and holidays are a great time.

I always love seeing relatives from both sides of the family. And, yes, I'll selfishly and begrudgingly admit that it's nice to come into some extra cash around the holidays in December and my birthday in February.

It's one of the rare times in my life where I have the opportunity to treat myself to some extra cardboard. Whether it's a sweet vintage piece or anything else, it's always fun. Most fellow collectors can agree on that.

If I had a steady paycheck this summer, I would've strongly considered taking a trip down to Cleveland for this year's National and really treating myself. No luck there. Although I'm still drooling over finding a 1948 Leaf Luke Appling in a 3/$1 box last year.

Hopefully, I'll have a little more cash to spend when the National returns to Chicago in 2015.

My goal in life has never been to become a millionaire and buy up T206 Ty Cobbs or Goudey Babe Ruths left and right. It would be nice, but that's not what I strive for.

All I want is enough money to fund this crazy little hobby of mine.

Dime boxes and all.

1 comment:

Mark Kaz said...

I'd love to be one of the folks who buys several boxes at a time of something like Topps Finest, chasing autos and the like. In the meantime, I'll enjoy my blue collar ways.