As of this writing, I've spent exactly $0 on cards in 2017.
Obviously, that'll change in due time, but a part of me has always wanted to find out what I spend on this hobby in a given year. Although...I've never had the courage to track such a thing, because I'm not altogether sure I want to know the answer. (Not that I'm a big spender or anything, but still.)
One problem is that I've never been much of a budget guy, which sets me apart from Robert of the "$30 A Week Habit" blog. Robert and I have been trading buddies since near the dawn of my blog, and he sent me a couple top-notch PWEs during my hiatus. (I'll be sending something your way shortly, too, Robert.)
This '81 Topps Traded Danny Ainge rookie was a Dime Box Dozen need at the time, and unless there's some wildly obscure oddball out there, I'm almost positive I now own all the baseball cards ever issued of Ainge between 1981 and '82.
I have to say, I'm seriously considering tracking my spending here in 2017, possibly by adding a little ticker to the side of this blog.
One question off the top of my head is whether or not I include shipping costs in the total budget. Should every PWE I send out tack on 49 cents to the yearly number? Or should it only consist of cards I purchase directly?
Retail most definitely counts towards the budget, but hopefully if enough people like Robert hit my various current needs I won't need to buy as much.
Thank God I'm not much of a set builder, because my budget would just about explode if I had to track Heritage SPs like this one down.
In the grand scheme of things, I'm probably on the extreme lower end of the financial collecting spectrum.
I'd guess I spent more on cards in 2016 than ever before, but that's only because last year was the first time I had a steady full-time job.
I hit maybe five or six card shows a year tops, and unlike I've done in the past, I don't buy retail for the sake of buying retail anymore.
Sure, I'll sample most products that hit the shelves, but once I have most of the base cards covered, I start to let the inserts trickle in through card shows and trades, like these two Wrigley-themed inserts from Robert.
More 2016 inserts from Robert included a hearty batch of last year's "Berger's Best" reprints.
While I'll grant that reprinting cards from less than a decade ago is a bit of a stretch, I do still seem to be one of the few collectors remaining who enjoy reprints.
They're a good way to at least partially feel like I own cards that are, in reality, way above my budget.
I'd bet that a decent copy of Hammerin' Hank's 1954 Topps rookie would set me back more than I spent on cards all of last year.
It can be a conflicting thing sometimes, collecting baseball cards. I usually treat my cardboard purchases as separate events, but tracking and culling them across an entire year could be an interesting -- and perhaps eye-opening -- study.
We'll see if I actually have the wherewithal to do it, but maybe 2017 will finally be the Year I Actually Find Out How Much I Spend On This Hobby.