April 29, 2008

My husband is a collector.  He loves having full sets of things.  There was a time when it was everything Star Wars.  I remember about 10 years ago, before we were even dating, he had an entire room devoted to Star Wars toys.  A few years ago he sold them all.  We had lost touch at the time, but he tells me he got about $6k for the complete collection.  I suspect this was far less than he paid for everything, but still, I’m sure it was nice to get a big payment like that.  We currently have 6 boxes of comic books stored in our closet.  He collected them over his childhood, and I believe some of them are worth a decent amount.  I’ve looked into selling them on ebay, but to be honest, it’s kind of a daunting task. 

His current collecting habit is DVD’s.  He is a big movie buff, and loves to watch movies (over and over).  He drinks in all the special features, and watches the movies with commentary more often than without.  I have to say I like this collecting habit more than the comic books, because I am able to enjoy the movies, too.  However, we currently own around 900 DVD’s.  (This includes box sets of TV shows.)  Last month we spent over $70 on DVD’s and this was for far fewer than he wanted.   In March we spent closer to $150.

Today, we were talking, and I mentioned how proud I was that we have scaled back on the DVD purchases.  His response was, “I don’t really like that” (very serious tone).  I was surprised at his response.  And then I felt kind of guilty.  Have I become some tyrant that guards her money and doles it out for what she thinks is necessary? 

Really, every month when I write the budget, he goes through the upcoming DVD releases and tells me what he wants so I can include it in the budget.  Sometimes I’ll ask if he can wait to get something previously viewed from Blockbuster, but for the most part I account for all the DVD’s he wants.  I think the problem is the “sale” DVD’s.  The ones that have been out for a long time but now Best Buy has in their ad for $4.99.  Another problem is that he feels like “I’m an adult, I work hard, if I want a DVD, I can just go buy one.” 

I get that this is his hobby, his thing.  I am convinced he has to collect something, it’s a part of who he is. And I know there are far more expensive hobbies he could have.  At least he’s not a gambler, right?  I don’t want to get so focused on getting out of debt that he is having to give up things he feels passionate about, but I do want to get out of debt as fast as possible.   Do you have any collections, and how do you keep it within your budget? 



  1. What has worked for me is three checking accounts. A joint, hers, and my account helps distinguish our spending habits. We allocate a certain portion of the budget to her and my account. Once the money is transferred we spend as we see fit for our own accounts; for all those “me” gifts. Once it is spent, we can’t have anymore until next payday. This works, because we can splurge a little when we want to. God Bless in your journey!


  2. i agree with bdo, you need to make a JOINT budget. $70-$150+ a month on shopping is honestly a lot, especially while you are paying down debt. when i had credit card debt i would blow a lot on books, but then i started going to the library instead. while paying down debt, you need to suspend/trim that excess spending b/c income is being redirected to the debt. at least until the debt is paid off. the harder part i think for couples is being on the same page with the budgeting. i think you are handling it well- don’t feel guilty!

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