How is the hobby affecting you financially? [Poll]

Nov 10, 2020

  1. I have a high paying job, and affordability is not an issue

    61 vote(s)
  2. I scrimp and save until I'm certain that I have enough to afford it comfortably

    150 vote(s)
  3. I buy them on layaway because the payments are within my budget

    113 vote(s)
  4. I buy them on layaway, and am subsequently drowning in debt

    7 vote(s)
  5. I settle for dolls that I don't love, because the price is good

    10 vote(s)
  6. I buy what I like and am living on ramen and water

    35 vote(s)
  7. My credit is ruined and I concede that I have an addiction

    5 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
    1. I've been thinking about this question for awhile, because my own ability to afford BJDs has changed over the years. This is an expensive hobby, to say the least, so I'm just curious as to how many people can easily afford it, how many approach it wisely and with circumspection, and how many let their love of dolls overshadow their lives or cause stress in their finances.
      • x 2
    2. I don't make a lot and support myself entirely, but I also don't have any who depend on me financially (no spouse, kids, pets). I've probably spent too much on dolls in proportion to my income (usually a grouping of purchases followed by longer periods of no spending), but I've never gone into debt and have only bought dolls/accessories that I could pay off straight away. I've also only ever bought secondhand/in-stock and admittedly tend toward the "cheaper" end. I do have a bit of a problem with impulse buying but have been working on it; it helps that I am learning what I want to own versus what I just enjoy looking at in others' collections.

      Edit: In conclusion, I would like to think I'd have more money in the bank if I hadn't gotten into BJDs, but knowing me I'd have found some other hobby to spend it on.
      #2 Rakonto, Nov 10, 2020
      Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
      • x 4
    3. Things have changed over my nearly 13 years in the hobby. When I was new to the hobby, I wasn't making any extra "fun money", and I funded my first doll by selling off Barbies, fashion dolls, action figures and anything else of value until I could afford him, a wig, eyes and boots. I made his clothes from scrap fabric.

      After a couple of years, a promotion at work and a more permanent home, I had extra money to enjoy things and frequently bought dolls and accessories. About 5 years into the hobby, I had a job change and I often had 2-4 dolls either paid off and waiting or on layaway, just because the wait didn't seem so bad as I was slowly paying them off.

      Now, in the past year, things have changed drastically for the worse and money is very tight again. I'm still enjoying the hobby, but there is no extra money from our income, and I've sold off a lot of dolls this year. I've used some of that money towards our savings, but a little of it to buy new doll stuff. Since money coming in from selling stuff is so sporadic and inconsistent, I wouldn't dare put a doll on layaway without knowing 100% that I'll be able to pay it off. I have never used a credit card to buy dolls and never will. We never use credit for any luxury items. If we can't afford it by saving, we don't need it. Bills, groceries, dog food/vet and other necessities always come first.
      • x 3
    4. Thankfully I have a decent paying job now and I could probably spend more on dolls than I currently do, but after years of paying off student loans and finally getting my financial life in order, I promised myself I’d never rack up any consumer debt. I budget for hobbies and make sure I have enough money to pay upfront from my hobby budget before purchasing anything. That being said... I’ve cut down on other non-essential expenses (eating takeout, new running clothes, etc.) in order to free up money for BJDs :roll:
      • x 2
    5. My jobs are all temporary, but I have no dependents, so while I'm working, I can usually buy what I like. I like to budget enough to buy dolls outright, and even when I buy on layaway, I always have some emergency money if things go south. The tightest times are months after one job have ended and before the paycheck for the next one. I try to have my savings in order, but I sometimes wonder at the amount I spend on hobbies proportionate to my income.
      • x 3
    6. Overall, I make it a point to not allow the hobby to impact my financial situation. It's very important to me to keep it in proportion, especially since my finances are not separate from my spouse's. It wouldn't be right for me to allow a hobby of mine to start cutting into the household budget to a degree that impacted my family negatively, and since we don't have a large household income by any means, it wouldn't take much doll spending to get to that point of negative impact on others.

      I save up a little at a time, and I sell things I no longer want to make extra money for hobby stuff. I don't buy dolls unless I actually have the money for them-- no buying on credit. And I don't buy dolls incredibly frequently. I tend to buy secondhand wherever possible. I also use inexpensive bodies to make hybrids in order to make my dolls affordable. At this point, more of my dolls are hybrids/secondhand purchases than not.

      However, I never buy a doll I don't really like just because it's cheap. I pretty much planned out my doll collection when I started, and I save and wait and watch the second hand market and avoid buying anything that's not actually on my wish list. No wasting money on "consolation prize" dolls for me.

      Fortunately, being extremely frugal with my doll buying hasn't diminished my experience of the hobby at all, since the crafting and sewing aspects of it are my favorite parts and can easily be enjoyed without constantly buying new resin.
      #6 thedarkeststar13, Nov 10, 2020
      Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
      • x 3
    7. I'm a college student and have a small job on the side to pay for food, but aside from BJD my hobbies include collecting various vintage and antique collectibles and clothing, and my collection of Gunne Sax brand dresses tripled in value since I originally purchased them, so I sold a lot of the ones I didn't wear anymore so that I could spend that money on BJDs instead.
      • x 1
    8. When I first started the hobby I was 17 years old, so I didn't fund anything of my own. Thankfully my parents made decent money and my Mom also collected dolls (reborns), so she enjoyed buying my dolls clothing, wigs, accessories and such too.

      Now my income is somewhat sporadic, my husband and I make less money now than we did a couple years ago because we wanted weekends to be spent with our kids. Both of our kid's birthdays are also at the end of the year (what were we thinking?!) so October and December we are BROKE! Everything will be fine again at the beginning of the next year and once the warmer months hit, but it's rough right now. :sigh

      Oh! Plus I just started Nursing :doh
      • x 1
    9. Over my twelve years in the hobby my situation has changed greatly.

      I was still in school when I started, so I had to wash a lot of cars (my dad sold second-hand cars) to scratch together money to buy anything doll-related. I would get what I can on birthdays/Christmas as well. In fact, my first doll was a combined gift for, and I quote my dad, "everything you would have gotten a gift for this year" :lol:

      When I moved in with my back then girlfriend, things got trickier because I now had to pay rent and feed myself. I had some jobs that often didn't pay on time, sometimes months later. Gaming industry does that to ya. I always had to be really, really sure I could afford something now, because in a couple weeks I might not get paid and then don't know how to feed myself. That was the time I heavily relied on commissions too, both for day to day expenses and anything hobby related. I only could buy something, when I could pay for it with my commissions.

      I then took on an apprenticeship and things got REALLY tough then. Burned out from commissions and I earned way, way less than before. Hobby pretty much came to a halt during that time. If I wanted something, I really had to scratch it together. Usually again with commissions, which I actually didn't want to take anymore. But it was that or no hobby stuff.
      And, as sad as it is, being in this hobby while not buying stuff? Basically makes you not exist. Especially when you can't work on your own dolls.

      Nowadays I live alone and have higher expenses because of that, but I earn very comfortably. Nothing crazy, but enough to pay my bills and still be able to splurge a bit every month. I technically have the time and energy now to make even more money with commissions, but I am just so tired of them. So I just live with my regular job money.
      I can, more or less, buy what I desire whenever I want. I don't have to think twice whether I can buy an outfit or not. However, I still don't buy extremely much and I still have some limits how high I am willing to go for certain things. There is not a lot of things that interest me, I am not really looking to expand my current collection anymore, and I enjoy being able to put aside money as well.
      I also like to buy art commissions nowadays too, so that eats up some of my "fun money" as well.

      No matter what though, I still bought what I liked, I was never one to settle for less. During some parts of my life it just meant having to save for a while. Anything else felt like a waste of money to me.
      I also never put myself into debt, and I most of the time avoided layaways too. If it was paid, it was safe, and I didn't have to worry about missing a payment.
      • x 3
    10. I answered 'buy what I want but live on ramen and water' but it's not exactly to that degree. I buy what I want, but hold off on things like clothes and shoes. I live comfortably, but all my extra money goes into the hobby.
      • x 4
    11. When I started the hobby, I already was in a very steady job and had been for the last 20 years with no kids as well as getting a decently sized inheritance from my dad a few years ago. But even with that, if you're not watching, your paycheck and your savings can be easily be blown...I've bought most of my first dolls on impulse and that was bad and it was on top of other merchandise I was buying along side. So, none of that now..hopefully I can see my bank account slowly grow again instead of shrink lol.
      • x 1
    12. I'm a scrimp-and-saver. I'm a teacher in the lowest paying state in the US. I support my family--which is now down to just two old empty nesters. Outside of dolls, I don't have a lot of expensive tastes--my car is paid for, my fixer-upper house will be paid off in the next 5 years, I don't buy a lot of clothes (for myself), my phone and computer are old, etc.

      I do not go into debt for dolls, including layaway. When I got addicted to Minifees, I sold a bunch of my un-played-with SD dolls, and was able to assemble quite a nice 1:4 scale family. Normally, though, I buy about 1 doll a year.

      My only other expensive hobby is travel. With the @#$!!! pandemic, the trip that I had paid for over the last 3 years was canceled. My consolation is that the travel refunds were enough to buy a Feeple60 and an Ipplehouse JID, both of which would've been out of my price range (together, at least).

      Twice, I bought a "cheap" (heh, as if $140 was nothing!) doll instead of the one I really wanted. Both times, I regretted it. So now, I don't settle.
      • x 3
    13. I used to have some money I would set aside monthly to put towards hobbies. But at this stage in the hobby I fund one doll by selling another doll or combination of clothes/accessories. I also trade quite often. My dolls are almost entirely self-sustaining at this point and I've gotten lucky with some good deals I got on dolls as well. My tastes seem to always be changing so with this setup it works for me. :lol:
      • x 2
    14. I buy on layaway which had been fine up until my partner broke things off and left me with all of the shared housing bills. Now, I’m “drowning” and am pretty terrified of losing my half-paid layaways (I have two remaining).

      Im trying to sell my minifee as that will cover about 40% remaining on my larger layaway and give me a month of breathing room to try and get back on top of things.

      before this, I was fine with layaways and never missed a payment. It’s the best way to get new things if you can’t find what you’d like secondhand!
      • x 2
    15. I don't like layaways at all, so I prefer to buy only things I can afford paying in full.
      That's a reason why I settle with more affordable dolls, or just wait for sales so I can afford my wanted lovely doll.
      I was lucky this year and, it's my first into dolls and since I didn't spend a cent on what I usually did (staying coped up in the house if not for work didn't really let me spend on trips or other stuff) I saved quite a bit and could buy with no issues what I wanted.
      But this hobby is absolutely expensive, and I don't plan to hoard dolls I can't play with or that are way over my budget: in the next years I will buy accordingly to my financial disponibility, I don't wanna go broke. I already bought too much this year (3 dolls), but I give myself that this virus madness got me depressed and waiting for dolls and playing with em really helped me not going into full despair.
      • x 2
    16. I have a decent job, but because dolls are so expensive and I have more expensive hobbies, I save up to purchase one doll a year. Sometimes my funds would allow more, but I honestly am proud of my discipline.
      • x 3
    17. I'm only buying a new doll when I can afford to pay the full amount at once, so I always set aside some money in case I see a doll that I'd like to purchase right away. And if the doll is currently out of my self-set price range - I don't buy it, simple as that.
      For a while now I've been working for a debt collecting company and I know from this work how long and tedious it can be to get out of debt, so I can 100% say that I'd never go into debt for dolls - it's just not worth it.
      • x 3
    18. I started saving obsessively after high school, and I accumulated a lot of cash by not buying anything frivolous for years. I had never had an expensive hobby before collecting dolls (and to be frank I was very depressed and overworked, so I hardly had time for fun things), so outside of necessary payments I just squirreled every single paycheck away.

      So I guess I just saved, but not specifically for the purpose of buying dolls. When I finally discovered dolls I just... already had a pretty big nest egg waiting there for me. I don't use my savings much, but it gives me the financial confidence to be able to invest in such an expensive hobby.

      That history of stinginess has also led me to just being extremely frugal in my doll buying habits. I don't settle for inexpensive dolls, but I refuse to buy a doll over my (arbitrary) budget and I buy dolls and accessories mainly from taobao where they're much cheaper. I set pretty strict limits on myself.

      I also have the privilege of living a very simple life, so I don't have a ton of extra expenses to worry about currently. My job pays pretty well. I don't have a car to pay for (I use public transit and my job is even close enough to walk to), rent is low. I don't think it will be like this forever, but for now it makes things easier.
      • x 2
    19. I'm okay. I'm an impulse purchaser but have been very strict with myself. To date as I wait for my first doll I have only just now bought them some clothes and a pair of eyes. The doll was not a grail (both limited sculpts) but along the lines of the elf boy I wanted and on sale.

      I do window shop a bunch and don't want to do things on a layaway in the future so the plan is to squirrel money here and there if I want to continue colkecting.
      • x 2
    20. I usually do layaway, so I can space out the payments at a reasonable amount each month. My doll purchases are under $300, so not a large amount. Plus I have savings, so if my income wasn’t sufficient, I could still pay off the doll. Selling dolls to buy new dolls has been helpful too. I’m hoping to get well enough to get a regular job and have lots of savings and spending money!
      • x 2