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How much do you spend on Lego? Tips on buying?

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  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,430
    My technique, I buy most / all of our Lego when it's heavily discounted. Supermarkets in the UK aren't shy when they want to make space for new lines, 50 - 75% off most of the time. 
     I also visit charity shops and I have amassed many many various bits from them. 
     The other way is to ask friends and colleagues if they have any bricks from times gone by that they want to part with. 
     Brickset database says I have spent over £800 on sets, I know it's closer to £400 though.
    Toc13
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,507
    1%? with an average salary that would be around 200€ per year I guess, which sounds very very reasonable (and I highly doubt it is that reasonable)
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    1% of my yearly income would be more than I think I spend. Granted, that's pre-tax 1%, so maybe it would be closer to 1% net income.

    Still that does sound like a lot of money.

    I'd say as long as you don't go broke, your number can be whatever percentage.
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 655
    For me, my monthly LEGO allowance is a little less than 1% take-home pay.  I try to save a fair amount from each extra paycheck (2/year) and any work bonus for the bigger sets (think Modular buildings, Star Wars UCS, etc.).
  • FollowsCloselyFollowsClosely Member Posts: 1,009
    It has been a gradual decrease over the past three years for me. I now only purchase a few large sets a year. Mainly modulars, UCS and any other large set that catches my eye. No more than $2000 usd a year.
      Eventually you get to the point where you just have too much.
    CircleK1265
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,315
    edited November 2015
    ^ Blasphemy, blasphemy! Too much Lego? Blasphemy! *J/K* :)
    kiki180703SumoLegogmonkey76xiahna
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,507
    I wonder how much money 1% represents
  • William_TownsleyWilliam_Townsley Perth, Scotland Member Posts: 880
    I've spent well over a £1700 this year *Gulp*
    kiki180703
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 1,316
    I've spent well over a £1700 this year *Gulp*
    I think that I must be getting close to that, going by my Brickset inventory...

    Actually, worse is that my "Wanted" list stands at £2448 at the moment... And there's nothing particularly ridiculous in there... No Tower Bridges, Sydney Opera Houses or SHIELD Helicarriers, for example!

    I think that I have spent a bit more than I really should have done, but I've forgiven myself, as I have only just re-joined the hobby. Now that I have a good amount of sets, I do see my spend dropping significantly and will only add a few additional sets over the next few months / year.

    As most people have mentioned, just don't ever spend more than you can honestly afford. That goes for anything really, of course.

    As for tips, there's not much I can add, except to say that every purchasing method (Bricklink, eBay, LEGO Store, other retail, etc.) has its benefits and disadvantages. Make use of them all, but only spend on bargains when you really, honestly want the set. Don't impulse buy because it's a deal, not unless you truly have money to burn.

    If you are worried about stealth spending, keep a spreadsheet of all your purchases, to that you can keep track, honestly, on how much you have been spending. Make sure you include all those polybags, CMFs and PAB buys, as they all add up! ;-)
  • CircleKCircleK U.S. - Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 1,055
    It has been a gradual decrease over the past three years for me. I now only purchase a few large sets a year. Mainly modulars, UCS and any other large set that catches my eye. No more than $2000 usd a year.
      Eventually you get to the point where you just have too much.
    "Eventually" depends on the size of your home and your spouse's patience - whichever runs out first. 
    FollowsCloselychuckpJenni
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,351
    Always pay in cash, that way your family doesn't see how much you paid for LEGO on the credit card bill.
    kiki180703pharmjodWilliam_TownsleyeggshenSumoLego
  • William_TownsleyWilliam_Townsley Perth, Scotland Member Posts: 880
    I've spent well over a £1700 this year *Gulp*
    I think that I must be getting close to that, going by my Brickset inventory...

    Actually, worse is that my "Wanted" list stands at £2448 at the moment... And there's nothing particularly ridiculous in there... No Tower Bridges, Sydney Opera Houses or SHIELD Helicarriers, for example!

    I think that I have spent a bit more than I really should have done, but I've forgiven myself, as I have only just re-joined the hobby. Now that I have a good amount of sets, I do see my spend dropping significantly and will only add a few additional sets over the next few months / year.

    As most people have mentioned, just don't ever spend more than you can honestly afford. That goes for anything really, of course.

    As for tips, there's not much I can add, except to say that every purchasing method (Bricklink, eBay, LEGO Store, other retail, etc.) has its benefits and disadvantages. Make use of them all, but only spend on bargains when you really, honestly want the set. Don't impulse buy because it's a deal, not unless you truly have money to burn.

    If you are worried about stealth spending, keep a spreadsheet of all your purchases, to that you can keep track, honestly, on how much you have been spending. Make sure you include all those polybags, CMFs and PAB buys, as they all add up! ;-)
    Well I've bought all the modulars available this year I only started collecting on December 29th
  • Jern92Jern92 MalaysiaMember Posts: 831
    I tend to save for a while, then buy a few sets that I like at once. After being off Lego for half a year, i grabbed the Medieval Market Village, Ecto-1, and Ferris Wheel. Now to go back into another mini-dark age in preparation for the Brick Bank and Ghostbusters building
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 1,002
    never ever pay full retail price!
    VorpalRyu
  • CupIsHalfEmptyCupIsHalfEmpty CanadaMember Posts: 547
    I decided to keep a spreadsheet this year to really see how much this hobby costs. To date in 2015 I've spent $2333.77 CAD on Lego that I intend to keep. 

    Of that $2333.77, only $1,016.75 was on my "Want List" at the beginning of 2015. The rest of the purchases were "Impulse" or Bricks for MOCs that I didn't budget for in my initial 2015 plan. I should have a better grasp of what I spend on loose bricks per year for 2016.

    I still currently have $425 worth of sets on my 2015 Want list, but Christmas is coming :D 

    To mitigate the costs, I do sell off most of the promo sets I get, and I pick up the occasional set to sell. If I factor in profits from sales (After income tax, shipping, fees, supplies), I'm only $523.52 out of pocket, and several hours unaccounted for Lego for the year. 

    To go full circle, I do put all my purchases on my Credit Card which gives 1.5% cash back and has $0 annual fee, and pay it off in full monthly. So I technically have $35 CAD to put towards Lego, but my wife and I use our credit card rewards for a spa weekend once a year for our anniversary. 
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Coming out of the Dark Ages was the most expensive and exhilarating time. During this first 2 years, my spend monthly was around $1,000-$1,500 including building stock for resell. Once caught up with the backlog of wants, but still fully obsessed I was back down to about $500-$1,000 per month. But the last 2 years, there's been a major pull back and down to about $250-$500 per month.

    Reviewing my log book of the collection:

    2015 = $1,800 in RRP
    2014 = $4,100 in RRP
    2013 = $5,500 in RRP
    2012 = $7,000 in RRP
    2011 = $8,500 in RRP

    FollowsCloselyvwong191265tecjam
  • Pumpkin_3CK5Pumpkin_3CK5 CaliforniaMember Posts: 785
    I tried buying self control, but my credit card is maxed out.

    Huzzah

    On a more serious note, credit cards are good if you get points (e.g. Tru Mastercard). Then you can use them points for more of them LEGO sets. Just be responsible with the purchases.
  • William_TownsleyWilliam_Townsley Perth, Scotland Member Posts: 880
    I know everyone is different but I avoid credi cards at all. You just want to spend and buy everything but you don't have the money really. The only really way a credit card is beneficial is if you can repay it in time 
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 585
    edited November 2015
    So, here is my advice from a thread back in July about collecting Lego in your college or uni years, and while it does not exactly address your current situation, it is definitely good to plan ahead. I have only one thing to add to the wall of text incoming that can relate to you now, and I will add that after the jump...

    "Your college years are actually a great time to collect Lego, but it will take some adjustment, much like adjusting to college life itself after 18 years living comfortably with family who (likely) got you Lego and put a roof over your head with a room with where you could store it.

    First of all, for my first three years of college, I had room-mates and not a lot of free space, so you're not going to be able to build and display any sets except for maybe one or two token, small sets. Buying large sets is not out of the question, but when I did (it was a rare occurrence), I had to keep it stored under the bed or in the closet, usually still in its shipping box.

    You're probably asking where one gets the funds to even buy Lego in the first place? This is where my experience may be unique, but if you are really serious about Lego (like I am), I suppose you can pull it off. Basically, I worked every summer. I didn't make a whole lot of money, but it was far, far more than what I got in high school. With college comes the freedom to make financial decisions without your parental interference, so a good chunk of my hard-earned funds would go to Lego. If you are majoring in something that would require you to work an internship for resume-padding, you'll make even more money, since some of those kinds of jobs will pay far more than minimum wage.

    However, the most important thing to remember about buying Lego in college is that you are going to have to play it smart. You will have to resign yourself to the fact that you cannot get all the sets you want right away, and that you will also need to exercise that restraint in waiting for a sale or deal to maximize the value of what you pay for. I discovered eBay while in college, which was both a good and bad thing. As I got really nostalgic for my youth and the Lego sets of yesteryear, I wanted to snatch up old sets from the early 90s, but I had to do at the expense of not getting sets from the current year's lineup, and also waiting for the right auction or listing that wouldn't cause me to break the bank. In this manner, I got lots of sets for ridiculous prices, including a few MISB gems at MSRP (no inflation after a decade? Radical!) and some long-desired holy grails like #8880 Super Car and #6542 Launch N Load Seaport after heated bidding wars. In those latter cases, those would be the only Lego sets I'd purchase for the better part of a year, but it was well worth it.

    Returning these items to my home after graduation was no issue, really. Over the years, I'd use winter and summer breaks to bring back sets one by one from college. Not that I ever had more than one or two to return in a single trip, but I had to be diligent in order to avoid running out of room in my suitcase. My closet back home had lots of space, anyways.

    So, in summary, collecting Lego in college is very doable, but be smart about it and realize your limitations early on. Sadly, that means partly coming to grips that you are no longer a child, but at least that doesn't mean you have to go into a "dark age" or forfeit your hobby. And of course, it only gets better once you enter the workforce! I can't tell you how tempted I've been as a single, full-time employed man to snatch up every Lego set I so much as glance at. But I remember my training in college, and that has led to me making even better fiscal (Lego buying included!) decisions."

    One thing I did not have to worry about during and after college was paying off loans. If you can do anything right now while still in high school to ensure a better financial start in the real world, avoid loans at all costs! College is even more expensive than when I went, and that was to a private university! You are going to want to start applying for as many scholarships as you can! I went to a small public school in the woods of Texas, and there were tons of little, $500 to $1000 scholarships offered by various organizations. Some I had little to no connection to. But I still applied! And I won many of them! Combined with the financial aid package my university offered me and the token amount my parents were left with paying, and I graduated with no debt and way more Lego than I thought I would've bought!

    So, if college is in your plans, start applying for scholarships now! You don't have to be the top of your class, and you don't necessarily have to come from a lower-income household! Then, all the money you make in college will be yours to spend on Lego (among other things)!
    oldtodd33
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,507
    how do you have 8500$ to burn on lego in a year?
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,101
    ^Hard work, good job, sacrifices early in life. It's not a mystery. 
    1265Thanos75YodaliciousBrickDancer
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 970
    Fauch said:
    how do you have 8500$ to burn on lego in a year?
    It's pretty easy if you have the money.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,507
    lol yes. I mean that sounds a bit crazy
    1265
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    ^ Maybe, but it's all relative. $8,500 to one person is not the same to someone else. Very different when one person makes $200,000 and the other makes $40,000. 
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 970
    edited November 2015
    ^^
    Exactly.  Fauch said:
    lol yes. I mean that sounds a bit crazy
    Not at all.  You see the extravagant spending all the time, especially, athletics, movie stars (yeah right), and overpaid celebrities.  Like @Yodalicious stated, it's relative to one's worth.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,507
    a very large majority of people still don't earn 40000$ per year. if most people could afford extravagant spending that would be different. but if the majority of the money wasn't trapped away from the real economy, maybe we could.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    ^ That's not really the point of this specific part of the conversation though. You said $8,500 on LEGO sounds a bit crazy. And maybe it does to that large majority of people you're referring to, but to some people it's not. Just like a $300,000 Lamborghini isn't all that crazy to someone that makes $10,000,000. 
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,001
    $8500 spent on Legos is crazy, regardless of your income.....unless you give an overwhelming number of set away to charities,  children's hospitals, or shelters.
    nicoyagomez
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,315
    ^ With some who are spending that kind of coin, it could also be including sets for resale.
    pharmjodYodaliciousxiahna
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