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Going Into Debt For Dolls - are the potential long-term consequences worth it?

Jun 15, 2008

    1. I'd stick this in the General Discussion, but I get the feeling that there's going to be debate on this, so I'm sticking this thread into the Debate forum.

      I searched for topics like this one, but couldn't find any that discussed this in particular (the 'whys' of this topic in particular) as the main topic and so I created the topic. If there is another topic like this, please feel free to merge? :)

      The topic is just as the title says:

      Getting Into Debt For Dolls - are the potential long term consequences worth it and why or why not?

      Another thread elsewhere in the forums got me thinking about how people prioritize their lives and it's interesting to me to see how different people have different priorities.

      What I am wondering is, for the people who end up going into debt for their dolls or on account of their dolls, is it worth it?

      For the most part, this question is probably directed more to the people who find it more difficult to afford their dolls, because of the greater visibility of potential Dolls vs. Real Life Bills/Concerns issues, but anyone can of course debate this.

      As someone who's more or less required to put money away for potential rainy days, I find it difficult to understand how dolls can take priority over real life monetary concerns like rent, necessary bills, trips to the doctor, and etc.

      I also wonder if people realize just what the ramifications are for:

      - carrying $2000 on a credit card that has anywhere between 13% to 29% interest and being able to only pay $25 a month

      and/or

      - defaulting on credit cards and such in the United States.

      Ramifications for being late on payments and defaulting that include a severely lowered credit score which affects borrowing and purchasing power and affects interest rates on said loans and takes a long time to 'fix'...

      ... and for the people who DO understand the ramifications of doing either or both of the above, why is it worth it?

      Is this all just a matter of the strength of emotion vested in dolls or is it a matter of a lack of understanding of ramifications or is it something else completely?

      ---

      For me, I brought my boys home only when I absolutely could and when I encountered an unexpected financial pinch because of an unexpected influx of medical bills, I was faced with the possibility of selling my dolls. I didn't have to in the end, but it certainly was a possibility and I would have done so if I had to.

      For me, it isn't a matter of emotional vestment and my willingness to sell isn't an indication - believe it or not - of my bonded status with my boys AT ALL.

      For me, it's a simple matter of: At any given point in my life, having a roof over my head, having my bills paid up, keeping my interest rates down, and keeping my credit report clean are always the priority if at all possible.

      Additionally, they're priorities because... well... hell if I want to have debt collectors phoning me nonstop while I'm worrying over being kicked out of my living quarters or having my utilities shut off or being saddled with a 29.99% APR and some godawful interest rate when it's time for me to buy a house or a new(er) car.

      But... that's me and I realize that not everyone else feels the same way.

      Hence, the topic.
       
    2. ^This.

      I agree 100%. These are toys. They are NOT real life...quite the contrary, they are fantasy! Some people do make their living (or part of it) in some way that is related to this hobby...but even so, that is making a living or earning funds to support hobbies or other parts of one's life a bit better, not going into debt for playthings. Even if it's not as much fun...I would go for paying my bills and not having to carry credit card debt, and not having to take out student loans for my tuition in an INSTANT over buying a new toy of ANY sort, be it video games, nifty batman seatcovers for my car, OR a new doll. Sacrificing other frivolities in favor of a single expensive hobby is one thing (I, for example, stopped buying so many comics and fast food), but making sacrifices of responsibilities...how is that even an option?
      Afterall...when playing with your new dollie and her fancy frilly new designer dolly dress...isn't it better to be able to do it guilt-free, rather than having debt hanging over your head? :sweat
       
    3. My understanding thus far from reading other people's opinions in various threads is that sometimes for some people, the emotional vestment in the dolls manages to outweigh the consequences of debt, however long or short the debt and its consequences may be.

      I LOVE my dolls; seriously I have mad love for them - especially for my first - but maaan.

      When I was faced with the possibility of being unable to pay necessary bills, as much as I hated to, I actually did put a Feeler FS in the Marketplace because that's what it came down to in my books.

      But again... maybe it's me... and you?

      My parents always told me that I am the worrywart in the family and so I suppose the other question I am hoping to answer with the help of other people's thoughts is whether or not I DO worry unnecessarily about things like this.
       
    4. Oh, I love my dolls too...one especially... like, to a nearly-insane degree. When I think of the emotional value of them (especially the one) it's really amazing, and it would be awful to be faced with something like that... but if I had to I would. And I would NEVER go in debt to buy a doll! I would only do layaway if I knew for certain I could afford the payments with plenty to spare to cover my "real life" finances.
      Being adult about things can be very hard, especially where money is concerned. But that's life, and life is often not fun and causes emotional trials for us all to face.

      Every point you made(especially the credit rating stuff...and the interest!! OMG!) that's NOT unreasonable things to consider and worry about! WAY too many people are in debt for things that they really didn't need to get into debt over, and a large portion of it could be prevented or solved by thinking pretty much the way you laid it out...step back, take a look at the situation, think more than a month into the future, and acknowledge that consequences CAN AND WILL HAPPEN. Being a responsible, financially level-headed adult is NOT the same thing as being a worrywart for no reason!
       
    5. It certainly sounds to me like your priorities are in order! I do know, however, that people tend to be short sighted when it comes to using credit cards/ incurring debt. Kind of OT but I was just reading somewhere than at average American couple will go $100,000 into debt in the first year of marriage, largely from their wedding cost :...( Wha? Give me a city hall wedding with a potluck picnic afterwards thank you very much!

      I don't know what it is like in other countries but in the US there is quite the culture of living beyond your means. The credit card "illusion" (I call it imaginary money) is a viscious one and it was built to fool people into a false sense of security. If you weren't fortunate enough to discover, either by nature or nurture, your own financial reality you might dig a hole it will take years to get out of... but so many people live for the here and now. Instant gratification is king. I mean, sure we could all die tomorrow but c'mon.

      In a city like SF where rent is 3/4 of an average paycheck it is really easy to go into debt just to go to dinner and a movie or have socks without holes let alone pretty extras. I cannot imagine being so foolish as to go into debt for dolls~ so not worth it. In any way. I sincerely hope that people think long and hard before making luxury a priority over stability.
       
    6. I think the problem with the original poster's basic assumption is that "going into debt" to them seems to automatically mean you may have trouble paying rent and that you're creating a large credit card bill that you do not really have the means to pay. As has been said before, putting 2000 dollars on a credit card when you make 25,000 a year and have two kids is way different from putting 2000 dollars on a credit card when you make six figures and don't have any kids. Either way, it's still debt, but in the latter situation it's a lot less of a concern.
       
    7. Manageable debt is okay as long as you MANAGE it (don't just ignore it and pretend its going to go away).
      However, if there is no way in this life or the next you will be able to pay it off? Don't do it.
      I would really love a bermann, but at this point (with bills and school and such) I can't afford it. Its not manageable right now. Maybe next year.

      I've been living as a college student for years now (I'm in college so its fitting right?). Debt is something I've learned to manage through watching friends go through the trial and error process. Usually I have about maybe a 500 dollar balance on my credit card, I pay my tuition for school (grants for most of it) so that bill isn't hanging around, and I make over 2000 a month. I have roommates which keeps my expenses low, so usually I have free money around.

      Unfortunately going to school in Tokyo drained my savings (and added a lot to the credit card bill).
      Its almost all paid off, so I went and bought a doll ($318) since I haven't bought one in awhile.
      Now though, I have a medical bill (stupid concussion) to pay off, so I have to use the money I was saving for my yo-sd megu to pay it :( (and all my free money for the next 6 months).
      Does it suck? Yes.
      Do i wish I could do the irresponsible thing and not pay it? Sure.
      But I would much rather be able to enjoy that little girl doll when she finally comes home...if I get her now I would probably end up selling her to pay that bill anyways.

      The ones that I already have though? Nope. Not unless the situation becomes so bleak and hopeless that I have no other choice..and even then Toshi isn't going. Nope. I can always work more.
       
    8. I was thinking of clarifying this point that you made, but I thought it would seem like I was targeting a super specific group of people and what I was/am looking for are thoughts and opinions (like yours!) from different walks of the whole 'going into debt' thing. :)

      But YES, there is a definite difference in going into debt and affording it (buying on a credit card and paying it all off on the next billing cycle), though where I live, I know plenty of people who make 6 figures and still can't make ends meet somehow and live from paycheck to paycheck and would potentially have as much of an issue with 'going into debt' as a person not making nearly that amount.
       
    9. I've never understood the appeal of a credit card... I just don't get why you would want to be spending money you don't have and then have to pay back MORE to clear your debts! I've watched my Mum and my Dad go through severe debt to the point where Mum went through banksuptcy. Dad was a lil smarter with his debt, but he's still paying it off.

      In regards to Dolls, I only EVER buy one when I have the cold hard cash sitting in my bank account ready to be used. I live off the money I earn, and I save for the luxury items I want. Now this causes a problem for me since I want way more than I can afford, but where most people my age would go get a credit card to get these things, I suck it up and wait. Its not easy, but I have luxury items I can enjoy while I do it XD

      The thought of getting into debt terrifies me, and I will strive for as long as I live to just spend the money I make. And I'm lucky in the fact that my partner thinks the same way :)

      But I've never understood people who say things like 'Oh I have people ringing me up to pay my bills... should I sell my dolls?' I know you get emotionally attached to them but really, if you have debt collectors ringing you there are way more important things that keeping your doll.

      Also Layby (or layaway) is pretty bad too... I don't like the idea of having to pay for something over a period of time where something could crop up and you need the money for something else.

      But then aside from all that, if you can afford to get a credit card and pay it off without troubles then go ahead! Its just not in my means, and if interest rates stay the same or go higher then there is no way it'll happen XD Credit cards are one of the big reasons that the USA might go into a recession, people thinking they deserve things they can't afford and buying them anyway... Never understand that concept!
       
    10. sadly, in the us at least, consumerism is king. it's such a part of our culture to just go "i have money/credit, so i can buy it" without a second thought to if you can afford monthly bills. i'm pretty sure nearly everyone is guilty about this in even some small way at some point in their lives (i know i am :sweat ).

      coming from working in the bankruptcy field, i've seen people in debt for legitimate reasons - such as medical bills - and for very foolish reasons - such as credit card spending. my advice to everyone is to budget and to NEVER rely upon credit cards solely. have at lest half the money for large purchases that you're going to use your credit card for. DO NOT just tell yourself that you'll pay the minimum each month and it'll all be okay. typically, you pay at least half again in interest on large purchases when you pay the minimum. ex: $300 at 8% interest will take around 1.5 years to pay off at a minimum of $25/month and cost you $150 in interest. so, if a typical doll is at least $300 to $700, that's a lot of extra to pay out. it's even worse if you have more than one credit card you use and purchase dolls on each or partially pay off a doll and then purchase another one on the same card.

      personally, i don't want to sell my dolls, but i'm sure that i'd do it if i really had no other choice. i won't allow myself to go into debt for them either. i prioritize my bills first and then, if one of my other hobbies runs over what i expect, i cut out an allowance for another one (ie: go out to eat unexpectedly and cover the cost on my card, cut out spending on comics/books for the month). anyway...overly long answer, but debt is something i think about so much that i've considered the consequences of going into debt for this hobby quite often. i really don't think that you're worrying unnecessarily, iikaya, i think that you're being practical - which is good! it's better to covet than to ruin your finances!
       
    11. Or just don't use a credit card and wait till you've saved up enough cash? I really don't get why people use imaginary money in the first place...

      There are such things as Debit Credit cards you know... My card is a Mastercard, but the money it draws on is my own, and if I don't have the cash in my bank then it won't let me make a purchase. So i can still buy doll stuff online with it, but use money I actually have.
       
    12. never, only get it in a long layaway when company or other allow. and pay it off when the time come, and don't overspend thinking oh since these are on layaway, yea. No, it so not worth the stress if you know you can't handle it at all.
       
    13. EEK! That is seriously scary, and I couldn't agree more. (My cousins did that. When I saw the pictures from their wedding, I kept thinking, "You idiots could have had this wedding, or a house, and you picked the wedding?!") Needless to say, the boy and I are going the simple route, and our biggest expense is going to be having the corset made for my gown, the rest of which I'll be making myself, and the dinner for the wedding party. Nothin' like having your significant other's two best friends involved, one as the best man, and the other as the minister!

      I don't make a lot of money, but I have very, very few expenses. I live in 'the extra house', which is paid for, inherited property with no mortgage. I don't own a car, I don't own a mobile phone, I work from home so there's not the eternal evil pantyhose fund to contend with and I only need a few nice outfits that last forever, and so on. Since the beginning of this year, I've made about twice what I did last year entirely, if not significantly more than that. Since I'm accustomed to living on ramen noodles and keeping all of my frivolous expenses to a minimum, it's no sacrifice to keep on that way for me; I've been doing that for a decade. It's just 'the way I live' now, and it doesn't feel like I'm denying myself that I don't go to conventions, or keep up with this or that fashion trend. 'A nice dinner out' hits $25-$50 at most for two at a local restaurant once a month (if that).

      It's meant we can finally start doing things like replacing some of the furniture that was in dire, desperate need of it, and also, that getting the dolls I adore is possible for me right now. Twenty kinds of awesome right there! I also know that, with the ability to customize, if I get a bit tired of the look of one of them, there is always the option of wiping his or her face and totally reinventing the look -- same with wigs.

      The only things I've ever been willing to get spendy on in that past decade are art pieces and my computer, which is how I make a living for part of the year. I have a small collection of pottery from various artists, and though I think the most expensive piece was around $125, the rest (about 5 pieces) were all under $50. Some pieces like this we trade with other artists for at shows as well. (That necklace we haven't been able to sell in five years for that hand dyed shawl in colors that make me swoon? You betcha!)

      It is absolutely possible to do on a budget, even a small budget. Being accustomed not 'not doing a lot of things' helps. Not giving a hoot about fashion trends or the things 'OMG everybody has!' is another big help, because those expenses add up amazingly fast and seem invisible to some people until they wonder where all of their money went. Most people, in my experience, aren't willing to do that, though. (And if you don't believe that, you should see the looks on faces when I say I don't have a mobile phone. :lol: )
       
    14. i do the same as you. i refuse to get credit cards at all. but most people have credit cards and choose to make purchases on them instead of through a service like paypal or in place of using their bank account directly. i do know some people who say they do it to better their credit score.
       
    15. Yeah, the only reason I've been thinking about getting one is so I can have a credit rating... Otherwise I won't be able to put my name down to find a place to rent. But if I get one its going to my Granny to put in the bottom of her underwear drawer so I can't use it... I'd use it once and pay it back as soon as the bill came if not sooner XDDDD

      Yeah my logic never fails >.>
       
    16. I use my credit card occasionally in order to build credit, as well I find that Visa gives me much better protection with purchases than any service like Paypal does. So long as I immediately pay it off with money in my bank account then it's not an issue at all. Using a credit card responsibly is a good way for young people to build credit in order to one day get a car or apartment. Credit cards are only bad if people treat them as free money. I agree, if you don't think you'll be able to handle a credit card then don't get one, but I watch my bank account like a hawk so I view my credit card almost exactly like I do my debit card.
       
    17. Edit: I'd like to clarify that it isn't that I think using credit cards to pay off dolls is bad. It's the consequences of carrying that balance or paying off the doll and not other things in life like rent and utilities that I was aiming a discussion and debate towards.

      :)

      Edited the original post, too.
       
    18. Thanks for adding that, and yes, I still think that lots of people put desires ahead of needs and savings. There was actually a poll in GD about this, whether or not you would put your finances into trouble in order to obtain a dream doll. I unfortunately wasn't too surprised to see that a lot of people thought they might go into debt or in general put their finances into the red for a period of time in order to get that doll.

      I understand, really, wanting a doll really badly and knowing that sometimes only a few chances ever popped up how tempting it might be, but I'm one of those people that would probably sell a doll or two if she thought she needed the money. I'd hate to have to do that, but paying rent, utilities, and medical bills are just that much more important to me.
       
    19. I agree. I've never thought of CCs as money-they're not. It's not YOUR money and it doesn't really exist.

      So no, I don't believe in going into debt for dolls. I would never buy a doll unless I had the money to buy him/her or knew I could afford to pay off the remaining balance the next paycheck. I'm talking about debt in terms of "I can't pay my bills, I can't eat and I may lose my house/living place" not "oops! I'm 200 bucks in the hole ^^; Good thing people owe me money/I'm getting a raise/I won't buy doll stuff next month". Yes momentary pleasure is a WONDERFUL thing but you won't be so happy if you're living on the street ha ha
       
    20. No. I would never, ever go into debt for something as stupid as a toy. I am extremely money-conscious, I budget like nobody's business and I only have a part time job, I cannot possibly fathom buying an expensive doll. It might be limited, I might never be able to get that doll again no matter what, I might have to watch someone I loathe snap it up and ruin it. But I could never, ever risk my financial security for it. A doll is a luxury. If I have the money and no other debts, bills, or such obligations, then yeah, I'll get one.