Anyone else feel like they are battling collecting addiction?

Good post and video!

To add on that, I would suggest to people to evaluate the seriousness of the issue by just doing a break (1-6 months), and if you can manage a break then you are in control and nothing to really worry about. Thereafter, just manage your time and finance in a balance way and invest in yourself and family.

However, If you find yourself the need to chase or worse buy on a daily basis cards/collection, or if you find yourself having spent far too much than your initial goal or what you can really afford, then we should seriously discuss it (entourage or even specialist) and evaluate a path that can bring “addiction” level to a benign level.

Do not underestimate the impact addiction can have on you and your entourage.

But never forget, for most, it’s a hobby and you are here to have fun.

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I definitely have experienced this. I had to take a break from buying and the community for the past 6 months just because I couldn’t afford to be buying what I was. I had to recalibrate and get some self-control, so that I wasn’t just throwing money at cards to scratch an itch. Sometimes it’s tough to fight the irrational fomo, thinking that if you don’t buy this thing now, you’ll never have it.

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What a great and important thread! It hits so close to home - like a lot of people on here, I started collecting shortly after covid hit. Really unique financial time, since I had a lot of stimulus money, small inheritance from a recently passed away family member, and stepped into a new job that came with a 12% raise. All of it added up to me buying cards at a completely unsustainable rate for about 7 months before I finally acknowledged the problem and began to set personal and financial boundaries…along with a pretty uncomfortable conversation with my then-fiancee. (Now wife so it worked out!) I’ve got an addictive personality - former smoker, overweight stress eater, etc. So this hobby reinforced a lot of those chemical reactions in my brain. Same as everything else - it’s willpower, organization, and being able to repeatedly pick yourself back up from failing and try again that are keys to success.

My financial situation has had its ups and downs over the past 3 years but I’ve got my Pokemon, MTG, and LEGO collecting hobby to manageable levels now where I’m setting a dollar limit each month and mostly sticking to it. With a wife, daughter, and house I can’t afford not to have it under control!

Props to OP for broaching this topic and thanks to everyone else who has shared personal stories and advice.

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See I am fortunate I do well financially and I am very on top of my bills so I can’t say that I’m not responsible in my financial affairs and believe it or not I am an accountant as my main job and I do work a second job to help pay for my addiction and other fun trips like collect a con. Now the issue is I know I feel like I’m wanting to spend way more than I should. Im definitely always on eBay, Amazon, Amazon Japan, buyee, stock x and I’m probably always consuming content from different creators. I have been in the hobby since just before the boom of Logan Paul and I do generally love the hobby. I will say I’m not sure if it’s a mix of addiction, a buyers high but I almost always feel like I’m wanting to more, always after the next thing. At 30 years
Old with a fiancé and being an adult I know I can’t just blow all my money on a hobby but it’s definitely hard to not hit the buy now button a lot. It might be too that I think part of it is the fact that I definitely love these new sets way more. I have to say since sword and shield base I feel like every set with a couple of exceptions have been bangers and I’m always want them all. From alot of everyone responses I think everyone has experienced this at some point in the hobby. It is hard I do feel because just like everything since post Covid prices of everything have skyrocket and even post Pokémon super hype I feel like everything is very high and the days of being able to buy full sets in NM are very hard. As a collector it’s great to see my collection definitely go up in value but I never got in Pokémon to be rich I did it because I love the cards and the community. But I feel I have small sense of addiction but I do know that I’m self aware of it. I do believe because I have a family that’s the main reason why I haven’t spent every dime in the hobby not because I know I shouldn’t.

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If it brings you happiness, peace, and joy and it is not effecting your personal relationships or finances my personal belief is that you cross the line from “potential addiction” to passionate. How you spend your time is up to you and only you.

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Just a few things that I try to practice while learning about Stoicism over the last couple of years which have helped me immensely, especially with this hobby:

You have power over your own mind - not outside events. realize this, and you will find strength - Marcus Aurelius

There are reasons why we are in this hobby as collectors. Those reasons / feelings maybe different for you and me. But the thing we have in common is complete control over our mind to acknowledge these feelings (which you have already done) and not get further disturbed by them.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts - Marcus Aurelius

It may seem that the situation is bad but it is how you label it that makes it bad. Try looking at this from another angle, specially the positive side of it and it may not seem so bad after all.

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.- Seneca

The next step is simply taking action in the right direction. Sharing your story seems like a good first step.

I sincerely hope you find the answers you are looking for. Thanks for sharing your story.

Cheers!

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I’ve just recently started reading into Marcus Aurelius and holy smokes there is so much value in Stoicism. Thanks for sharing!

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without super deep diving into psychology and conditioning, I think it’s safe to assume you know yourself better than anyone else.

personally, what I find healthy, is on the first day of each month I have $X auto-deposited into a “fun” bank account. that’s my allowance for the month. if anything is left over, it rolls into the next month. if I really want something, I gotta part with something to add to the funding. I feel it’s a good way to discipline yourself on spending and it really makes those purchases feel that much special.

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This is a great idea for people struggling with overspending

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I think this is one of the major factors that actually exacerbates the problem. It’s true but it’s one of those little lies you can tell yourself if you really do have a problem.

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When I first started I was amazed at the prices of the Japanese promos in Japan via Yahoo auctions, I quickly maxed my credit cards and then took a large chunk of my savings to pay them after that, this was back in 2012-ish, then I learned restraint, don’t go that path.

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One thing that has helped my curb my spending is working towards a goal that will (likely) require years to achieve. I’m not even sure if the goal is achievable or realistic, or if I’d even still want to pull the trigger when the time comes, but the mentality has shifted from “oh cool I can spend this all on whatever” to “this will help contribute to the goal, let’s keep it”.

In other words, it’s made me more critical of how I spend. I don’t justify purchases by telling myself I’ll sell them (as often), which is important because I’d almost never sell the item :clown_face:

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I definitely developed unhealthy habits buying error cards last year. With nearly any other kind of card I’m responsible with how I spend, but when a rare error appears I get nervous this will be my only chance ever to obtain it / I need to buy it to ensure it’s in my collection.

It doesn’t help that some my favorite cards are indeed the errors I’ve purchased, so the combination of “I love this card” plus “It might never be for sale again” makes it easy to spend more than I had budgeted. Especially when cards like these often come out of nowhere and you can’t really plan for an auction date.

I had to take a step back and realize I don’t make the kind of money to just buy every cool error I see. I hated having to sell other cards to finance error purchases. In 2023 I’ve made a conscious effort to cool down buying and even sell some error cards and mentally accept the fact that I won’t be able to own every error card I want. I even passed on a Chansey holo shift :sob: (though to be fair, it would’ve been my fourth)

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I can definitely relate with that. I’ve gone pretty hard filling out gaps in my collection over the last 2 years. I’m happy with the cards and don’t have major regrets, but need to be much more realistic with my 2023 goals so I don’t end up in a bad financial spot. Been trying too hard to play keeping up with the joneses. :pray:

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Echoing the sentiment here, I had to take a few months break from all pokémon youtube channels in 2020 and from all communities and from all marketplaces.

It made a huge difference for me and helped a lot in the “is Pokémon consuming my life” department

I am also on an Instagram cleanse. Gotta cut all the sources that make me FOMO.

Good to remind myself frequently that collecting is supposed to be a safe space where I just responsibly acquire cards with art that I like and appreciate all the effort that has gone into Pokemon to make it such a wonderful franchise.

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My most recent hiatus was partly due to me feeling uncomfortable with my Pokemon spending. It has really helped me put things into perspective. I do anticipate buying cards, but I am really going to focus on grading cards I already have. It is easier for me to manage my spending with regard to grading and having a PSA submission out is exciting. The organizational aspect of the process is very satisfying because I get to look through my collection and admire what I already have.

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I think this conversation is more important than ever now that we are constantly exposed to social medias and content about our favorite hobby. I overspent sometimes, and I can definitely relate to people’s answers to this topic.
What helped me the most was: sit down, have a conversation with myself, and find out what I really want to buy, write down a list, and ignore the rest. Collecting is supposed to be fun and shouldn’t compromise other aspects of life.

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