(Written by Sarah)
In a perfect world, everyone would get everything they wanted. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and our wants far outweigh our means. We simply can’t afford everything we want. We have to spread our purchases out over time; otherwise we end up spending food-money or charging too much on credit-cards.
That’s why we have to decide what’s most important and get those first. Prioritize our desires. While I know this applies to everything in life, here I’m specifically talking about buying LEGO. There’s much more LEGO out there than we can get at one time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eventually get the LEGO sets that you want the most.
The following is some advice on how to get what you want without breaking the bank, racking up credit-card debt or pissing off your significant other.
1. Choose Your LEGO Themes Wisely: Do research first as to whether you’re really into the theme so you’re not disappointed later. Often times we see advance images of various LEGO sets, but they don’t always live up to our expectations. Make sure to read the full descriptions online and talk to people. Many LEGO fan-sites have reviews of sets, sometimes before they even come out.
2. Choose Your LEGO Sets Carefully: When you have decided to get a new LEGO theme coming out, you’ll want to spread out the cost by buying a few sets at a time. Most small LEGO sets, especially impulse-sets, sell out first. Generally, it’s a good idea to get LEGO sets under $30 first and save up for the big ones. Most of the large ones will sit around on the shelves for a while because they are beyond most people’s budget.
3. Wait for Sales but Watch Your Spending: It’s always good to buy LEGO on sale, if at all possible. But it’s real easy to buy more than you really should because the discounts can be really sweet. If a deal is too good to pass up, weigh the consequences of going over budget. Are you willing to eat ramen for the rest of the month? Or is that interest payment going to be worth the savings? If the savings greatly outweighs credit charges, it could be worth it. Though you have to be dedicated to paying it off the following month or else the charges will eat through whatever money you saved from the sale.
4. Ask for LEGO Sets as Gifts: A great way to enjoy yourself at your birthday or for the holidays is to get LEGO as gifts, but make sure you let people know exactly what you want – especially from non-LEGO people. Giving the set name and number is definitely a must; otherwise you better be happy with that Mega Bloks set! Also, if there is a big LEGO set you want, suggest that people should go in together to buy it for you. They’ll enjoy pitching in for a big gift and you’ll certainly get what you wished for.
5. Know Your Credit Card: This is a little trick I’ve picked up over the last year, but it must be done wisely and carefully. Check when the periods end each month. Then, if there is something you really want, but know you won’t be able to pay soon, wait till the period is over and buy it. Then you won’t owe on that for a couple of months.
For example, the period ends on the 5th of every month. So the period from July 6th to August 5th should be due around September 5th. Wait until August 6th, buy what you want and it won’t be due until October 6th. Just remember that you have to pay it then because you don’t want the interest to build up and make your LEGO all that much more expensive.
Now, I can’t say I’m all that good at following all of my own advice, but I certainly haven’t gotten into as much trouble lately as I did when I first started this hobby and didn’t control my spending at all. It’s a really good feeling to space out my LEGO buying because now I’ll always have something to look forward to. Plus, always having something on the radar to buy means that I’ll be able to jump on those great sales when they come up. It feels great to buy LEGO at a discount and know that if I hadn’t waited, I wouldn’t have gotten such a good deal.
Now it’s time for you, readers, to let me know your triumphs and trials of budgeting your LEGO purchases. Is it easy for you to wait and space things out? Or do you have this burning need to buy everything as soon as it comes out and you just can’t say no?
Let me know in the comment section below what your normal modus operandi is. Is it something you want to change or are you happy just the way it is?