What did you learn about money when joining the hobby?

May 22, 2018

    1. I’d love to read more people’s responses to this topic! It’s really interesting and different for everyone.

      I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I bought my grail, this hobby taught me that I really do have the discipline to save towards something I want. Spending two thousand dollars on a doll would have seemed impossible to a younger version of myself, but I did it without running my bank account dry because desperately wanting this doll forced me to work on figuring out what I really want vs what I like but can live without. That ability to discern what to buy has carried over into other aspects of spending like with clothing, makeup, shoes, and even household items and food. I’ve had other expensive hobbies before getting into BJDs where I definitely did not learn this valuable lesson, and so it still surprises me how much I’ve discovered about myself through something like buying dolls.
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    2. I've learned that I can raise money very quickly, but spending all of that money at once will make my wallet hurt for weeks. I raised enough money for my first doll in a matter of days, but wow, I had to really cut back on my normal groceries for a few weeks.
    3. I only learned how to work the credit card system. XD Charge a doll, take a year of "free interest" to pay it off, then get a new card with another "year of free interest" promo. haha!
    4. Many people think I spend money frivolously and I'm sure it looks like that from the outside, but I'm actually really, really careful with it. I think when you have a major goal, it makes it easier to see how much the little purchases add up to.

      Because I just spent a lot of money on a doll, I'm going through my expenses to see if there's anything I can cut back on. I just learned my local library gives free newspaper subscriptions, for example. And like a lot of people have said, cooking for yourself can be both really fun and a great way to save money.

      For me, it's just important that my financial choices are mine and no one else's. Money can be somewhat of a taboo topic but it really is important, even when it comes to luxury items! Not just in terms of, "I need it in order to afford my life" but also in terms of, "I can use it for the things that make me happy, and make my own decisions about what is worthwhile." I know I work very hard for it, doing long night shifts at minimum wage, and so what you chose to use that effort for does matter. Maybe some people choose to buy good food, maybe some people save for travel ... it's an expression of yourself, in a way.
    5. I got into this hobby very young. I was probably in freshman high school? I never worked at the time, but I did make little money doing Youtube. The prices of bjds seemed unachievable, where I didn't even think about getting one because it seemed like the impossible. My first doll wasn't a bjd, but an.. "off-topic" (?) doll. It was within my reach financially. I saved and bought my first doll. After doing this, it made me... greedy? LOOL for money.:wiggle I got my first job a year or so later, and got my paychecks. That's when I learned that it IS possible to get my hands on a bjd!! I quickly learned to work hard to achieve goals. It was really motivating to work harder, save money, and felt the nice feeling of treating myself:lol:
    6. I'm learning that it's important to really think though decisions/purchases before finalizing them. To like, look at all of my options and hold onto an idea for at least a month before acting on it. It's easier to make a choice I won't regret than to go through the whole reselling process lol
    7. I learned the importance of having a "doll fund." I put money in an account that is earmarked only for doll related things. In this way, I know I can purchase what I want when I have enough money in the account.

      I also learned that I can purchase dolls and at the end of the year I am still solid financially.
    8. Being in this hobby really put into perspective the worth of material things! The year before I got into BJDs, I would drool over designer handbags and constantly refresh secondhand online shops wanting to take the plunge, but something held me back. Then I impulse-bought my first BJD, and now I have zero desire for designer bags. I just get much more utility out of a doll, who can be redressed, get a new faceup, and put into a bunch of poses, as opposed to a handbag with some iconic print on it. Whenever I see one now I just think of it in doll terms- that bag is worth two dolls, that bag is worth three, etc. Dolls make me happy and I'd rather invest in them than something I didn't actually have that kind of connection with.
    9. I learned how to separate budgets to take stress off. When I first got into the hobby, all of my 'play money', funds I had left over after bills and such, was in one pot so I never really knew how much I had for certain things. By separating it into doll, cosplay, random nonsense, etc categories, I got a lot better at budgeting for big expenses because I knew exactly how much I had budgeted between them. I still allow myself to move money between the categories, but that forces me to consider if I'm willing to give up buying, say, a new video game this month in order to afford doll things.
    10. That I definitely have a spending problem :sweat
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    11. Probably that I don't put a price on dolls like I do with some other things. Also that I'll happily spend more on a handmade item of doll clothing than I will on everyday clothing for myself.
    12. I've learned the value of art and why things are allowed to cost as much at they do.
      I remember I used to look at Dollfie Dreams when I first found out about the bjd hobby and think that $400 for a doll was ridiculous but never looked into the specifics as to why a doll would dare cost so much :sweat
      Now I can understand why dolls are valued to be so much and don't really question it anymore. If you asked me if I thought $200 for a doll was ridiculous when I was 15 compared to now, 15 year old me would say that $200 is ridiculous but me now would argue that $200 isn't bad at all! Rather, on the lower end of the spectrum anyways!
    13. It taught me how to prioritize money.
      I would typically have no problems buying drinks, snacks, etc. Now I stop and really think hard on if I REALLY want to spend that $1.50 for a drink of $5.00 for lunch or if I just want to bring my own.
      Same thing with other dolls, I have had to learn to what dolls I really want and what I can live without. Making a hybrid also saves money and I enjoy buying second hand dolls too. Now that I have learned to do faceups, restringing, sanding, etc. I am not scared to buy a super beat up doll for $150-$200 and fix it like I once was.
      Also...I learned that I have an addiction and a spending problem. But my bills are paid, kids are fed, clothed, spoiled, and happy, so...I'm not too worried.
    14. When I'm watching YouTube doll channels for off topic dolls the reviewer is always like "30$ is a LIITTLE BIT steep but the QUALITY is great"

      On bjd channels, people rarely bring up the how much they paid for the doll unless they got a good deal.

      But back to the question. When I'm in the hobby I tend to get more ambitious about making money and plan my purchases.
      #54 moonbabe, Jul 28, 2020
      Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
    15. This hobby has really taught me to think about what I'm spending my extra money on. Instead of buying fast food or a pair of shoes I don't need, maybe I can save that for things I actually want - like a new doll or doll clothes. This hobby has also taught me to delay gratification and putting money aside for things, rather than using credit cards. For instance, I have a separate savings account for doll-related things that I'll throw extra money into.
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    16. This. My husband is helping me budget now because I have a tendency to just buy without thinking if I see something I need or like. :sweat
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    17. I realized, after buying two dolls and debating on a third, that this was my money which I had worked hard for and it was okay for me to spend it how other people wouldn't.

      One of my friends collects fountain pens; big-budget, rare material fountain pens that are more like art pieces than writing implements. She is picky with which ones she buys, and is smart about it, but spends more on individual pens than I might spend on a vacation. And that's okay. She has enough to pay for rent, food, bills, etc. and the pens make her happy and are really cool to her even if I can only appreciate them at a cursory level. It made me realize that everyone has one or two big-budget things they choose to spend their money on that others would find odd, or even judge them for. For me, it's traveling, and a couple of dolls here and there. And while that may seem like an unreasonable splurge to somebody else, when that's the main thing that makes me happy, then there's no problem.
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    18. It absolutely confirmed for me that I'm terrible with money, and also that I have bad luck when it comes to circumstances that affect money. I bought my first doll on layaway, and before the last payment the job I was working at the time got to be too much for me and I had to quit, thankfully I got my final payment and moved out of where I was living so I was able to put that money into the final payment and it was all fine. When I bought my Saint head I had been working a ton of overtime and then that got cut back a bit and I had to move other plans up that needed my money because of some personal stuff I had going on which resulted in me struggling with the final payment on that one. Then in the time since I moved and got a different job but I found that I'm so terrible with money and self-control that it's been like 5 years and I haven't even been able to move out so I can at least work on the dolls that I already have, and now I'm back to having no job because of my mental health. It's very very stupid because I have been sitting wishing to go back to being more involved in the BJD hobby and then working against myself instead of sorting myself out.

      I'm hoping to retrain myself though once things are a bit less of a disaster in my life, I know I can save money up for things, I've done it before, and I know how to budget in theory (sticking to it is where I tend to fall over), I just need to actually focus my will on one doll and just save for that without wibble wobbling all over the place and developing 80 new hobbies instead of focusing on the existing ones that I love. At least I can see how much of a problem I have with money though, and I am lucky to have a supportive Fiance who I can hand my money to so anything I try to save is more likely to stay saved this time.
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    19. I'm good at saving money than spending before I bought a doll. After I bought a doll. I start to treat money not so seriously. So I bought another 5 soon, and the sewing machine and overlock and a lot of fabric, hahahaha.
    20. Yes, exactly this! For years I mostly avoided spending money on my hobbies, feeling like it was frivolous and self-indulgent. Finally I realized that my art and my hobbies bring me a lot of joy, and that I was undermining my own happiness by refusing to spend money on them. Now that I'm actually fulfilling my passions, I'm happier than I have been in years, and I feel that my relationship with money is a lot healthier (and less Scrooge-like).
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