Annual RPG and Games Budget?

atanakar

Hero
A few years ago I looked around my gaming room and it was filled with board games, miniature games and roleplaying books that I had bought but never used or read other than a quick look to check if everything was in good condition.

I decided to do a big clean up. Anything that wasn't a cherished classic and unused for the last year was sold, given away or put in the recycling bin. That was all fine but how does one cure his gaming bulemia?

First I establish a «hard» annual gaming budget. The money made from games sold goes back in the annual budget. The idea is to cycle the money and spend less than the annual budget, if I can.

Secondly, I decided that each time I used a game it would equal a pay back of $25 in leisure time per session. This includes reading the rules, the setting and session prep time. I keep tabs of game use with a post-it on the inside cover. Wasting my time on forums discussing rules does not count. :p

Third, I can only buy a new game if I fully reimbursed myself for one other game.

Four, space. I have two booksleves. Everything has to fit in there. Nothing hidden in closets or in the basement. If it doesn't fit it means I have too many games for a single man to enjoy!

I have been doing this for a few years and it works for me.

How do you curb your game buying enthusiasm?
 
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ragr

Explorer
How do you curb your game buying enthusiasm?

I've severely cut back on my expenditure over the last 18 months by deciding that I was only going to buy something in hardcopy if it was going to be guaranteed to make it to the table at some point - if there was the slightest doubt then it was a no go. I've also refused to buy anything from Kickstarter unless in the final days something I'm intrigued by needs a final push over the line and it will get played. You'll note I mention hardcopy; I'll still buy pdfs speculatively if they're part of a deal and on the rare occasion that they're likely to hit the table, in which case i'll also buy a hardcopy at some point.

The bottom line is that I've just not got the free space and when this current situation is over there will also be a purge and sale of stuff that is just shelf fodder.
 

Ulfgeir

Hero
No hard limit for me. I take a look at what amount of money I believe I can afford to spend at the moment. I know for example in advance when some of the larger bills come, or when I need money for hotels for some archery competitions (we have 5 (6 depending on how you count) national championship for seniors per year, in different types*, and they are all over 2 days each, so that often equals 2 nights stay at a hotel).

* Indoor target, Outdoor target, Field, 3D, "Swedish Hunt". Then you also have mounted archery (on horseback), but I don't really know how to ride, and a 72" longbow isn't exactly suited for use while riding. Yes, I also have a horsebow, but that is a weak little toy.
 
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How do you curb your game buying enthusiasm?

I generally don't buy many 3PP anymore, and I only play D&D so I'm not interested in any other systems or genre at the moment. I've done about 6 purges over the last 20 years which was probably at least 25 boxes. Now I just buy WotC books mostly, even then I don't buy the dice, DM Screens, Map packs or starter sets. I occasionally will buy something off of DMs Guild. Only thing I purchased outside of that was the Tome of Beasts, Creature Codex and waiting on Creature Codex 2. I usually buy my books off Amazon, (I know BOO! HISS!), but that's only because I haven't found a FLGS around here that I feel like supporting. So my budget a year is around $150-$200 USD.
 

Badvoc

Explorer
I don't have any other particularly expensive hobbies so don't set a budget limit for games and spend a fair amount across the year on RPGs, boardgames, minis, terrain, convention attendance and the like. The restricting factor is more to do with how many unpainted minis and unplayed games are sitting on my shelf of shame...
 

pogre

Legend
How do you curb your game buying enthusiasm?

My biggest current limitation is space. I am blessed to have a large gaming room, but the cabinets are stuffed with miniatures and terrain. I stopped buying 'good deals' in miniatures and have made a dent in my pile of shame. However, I got a 3D printer in December and have printed quite a bit of buildings and other terrain.

My current solution is to convince my wife to allow me to buy yet another cabinet.

Shockingly, I am much more disciplined in my game board and book purchases. And, like you, if it has not gotten use - up on the auction block it goes.

I don't have a set budget, except I now limit:
  • One reel of PLA for my 3D printer per month.
  • Stop printing if I get two projects ahead of my painting with my printer.
  • No casting Hirst Arts blocks unless I have a specific project in mind.
  • No buying a miniature unless I 'need' it for a current upcoming game.
  • No more buying miniature skirmish games until I read my backlog.
 

steenan

Adventurer
I have set myself a monthly budget of about $15. Because I only buy PDFs and most of the games I'm interested in are significantly cheaper than D&D that's definitely enough. Averages to a game bought or rpg kickstarter supported every month - that's already more than I have a chance to play.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
I usually buy my books off Amazon, (I know BOO! HISS!), but that's only because I haven't found a FLGS around here that I feel like supporting.

Don't feel bad about that! The whole system is built upon maximum return for minimal expenditure. It would be unfair for that not to apply individual people making purchasing decisions. Nobody is under any obligation to pay more money just for the feels.

That being said I don't have a hard game budget, though I probably should as when we had our current house built we added on an additional room with built in shelves just for my RPGs and boardgames as a dedicated gaming space. RPGGeek tells me I have over 1,500 hardcopy items.

So yeah, don't do what I do. If I had kids I'm sure that wouldn't be tenable.
 

Don't feel bad about that! The whole system is built upon maximum return for minimal expenditure. It would be unfair for that not to apply individual people making purchasing decisions. Nobody is under any obligation to pay more money just for the feels.

I dont feel bad about it one bit. I dont like driving the half hour to a local game shop when I can just have it delivered. If I was playing there I probably would buy more stuff from game stores. The few times Ive inquired about gaming at three stores in my area I got vague answers not much more than yeah we have games here, almost like they couldnt be bothered. Seemed odd to me. Most game stores dont last long around here bit Im sure my $50 every few months isnt going to make much of a difference.
 

aco175

Legend
I could spend more money, but found having children curbs the habit. Lat things I bought are the Essentials box set and the Princes of the Apocalypse book this year. MY son is getting into the game the last couple years, so we did buy him some things, but generally not that much.

I would buy some more figures if they are painted and of PCs that I could use. I have a bunch, but would buy some more. Shorter modules are something I would buy more of in place of the larger books. PotA is the only of the $50 books I have, mostly from the free supplement they introduced and playing the first part for free.
 


How do you curb your game buying enthusiasm?

Overall, even though my leisure funding has grown steadily, my actual gaming purchases in the last decade have declined steadily. Part of it is that the availability of free material (actually free, not file-share free), and the fact that I use a LAN VTT at the table (free maps). But there's a couple other factors:

By the realization that reading detailed reviews of most scenarios will give me the gist of the plot, which is all I really need.

The trend for settings to have a free intro, which will generally kill my interest.

Part of it is the endless river of new products has dulled my interest.
 

RogueRonin

Explorer
Four, space. I have two booksleves. Everything has to fit in there. Nothing hidden in closets or in the basement. If it doesn't fit it means I have too many games for a single man to enjoy!

This. I never spend what I can't afford, basically my monthly household budget has an allowance for leisure. But specially for RPG stuff, it has to fit on the shelf. My bookcase is almost full, but I am usually selling something every now and then. It's a good way of enforcing pickiness on what I purchase, so that every hyped up kickstarter isn't luring me in.
 


Voadam

Legend
I have run out of reasonable storage for physical stuff so I no longer buy print stuff for myself, I only have stuff on my amazon wishlist for family who want to send RPG gifts for birthdays or Christmas. The last physical RPG product I got for myself was last year, either WotC's big map pack or the Tarokka deck when I was DMing a gothic horror campaign.

Even though I have more books and PDFs than I could read in a lifetime I like having stuff accessible as reference when the mood hits me and there are a ton of things I am still interested in getting that I do not have. I set myself a monthly RPG budget for PDFs more than a decade ago and then updated it a couple of times as finances and life circumstances changed.

The regular budget means I can capitalize on things that I am interested in that are on temporary sale, and I generally have the flexibility in my budget to get something directly applicable to a game I am in or something that really appeals to me. I also have plenty of interests to fill out when there are no great sales. With a lot of interests but no pressing need for anything specific I have been able to take advantage of a lot of great deals and bundles and leverage my budget well.
 



innerdude

Legend
I have a $50 (US) monthly budget for "Innerdude gets to spend on whatever he wants." The catch is, it's for everything. Board games, video games, PnP RPGs, Kindle purchases, random trips to Chick Fil A, it all has to come out of the same pot.

As someone said earlier, if there's not a 100% chance it will actually get used at the table within 18 months, it's a hard pass.

Plus, there's only so many rules systems that one person needs. I basically have my eye on 3 systems currently: Swords of the Serpentine, Dragon Prince (the Cortex Prime system), and Spellbound Kingdoms.

After picking up those 3, I honestly don't see myself buying new RPG material for a long, long time.
 

John Dallman

Adventurer
I don't set a budget, because there isn't that much I find myself wanting to buy, maybe $25/month. I mostly buy PDFs because of space constraints.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I have the benefit that I have a general aversion to buying stuff for myself - too many years of having low income, maybe, or just little personal inclination for having things. If there's things in the house for me... my wife probably bought them for me as a gift. Keeping my expansion down hasn't ever really been a problem.

I've made an active effort to change that for this year - my own income has been steady, but that can't be said for everyone. So, I've laid out far more than usual for gaming materials from small busineses, or that supported what I felt were decent charities.
 

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