How has your financial approach to the hobby changed?

I recall a post a while back speaking about, “how do you pay for the hobby?” I wanted to ask folks how their approach to the hobby has changed in terms of paying for it over time. Eager to hear input.

Ever since getting deep into collecting, I have tried to approach my collection in a financially responsible way: making the collection pay for itself. I would buy a card I’d like, and sell something else in my collection to pay for it. Yet, recently, I’m finding that I don’t want to get rid of things that I truly value and am starting to move my collection financial mindset from “pay for itself” to “save excess funds”. Now, instead of selling off my cards (I will still sell things I don’t like), I try to just pay with excess money that I have laying around. This is a big shift from the restricted monetary input with which I used to operate. I believe this will open up new collection goals and keep me happier with my growing collection.


With all the price increases I can’t be spending like I was early on. I literally just sit and wait for bargains these days much like how a spider waits for the right fly to fall into his web :rofl:
Here’s one instance- I really like base set Venusaurs and have been searching on and off for months for a Japanese one.
An immaculate one came up end of last week on ebay and I was straight in with with offer and I managed to win it for just under £80. This card in a PSA 9 is around a £250 card so I’m pretty chuffed. Again just by waiting for the right thing and having cash ready.

On another note im thankful I got my grail card near the start of my re-collecting journey which certainly has saved me some (few thousand😅) dollars.


I usually spend a couple hundred a month on cards. I like buying the new sets, so a lot of money goes towards that. With singles, I usually try to spend under $20. A lot of the old wotc holos, ex era ex cards, crystals, e series, etc are just too expensive for my price range right now. There are a ton of really nice promos and artworks that are significantly cheaper (and in many cases cooler). Since I’m in school its hard to get a ton of extra cash lying around and I don’t like selling cards I own, so this is where I’m at. Assuming I can get a decent job soon, I’m sure my spending will go up. The next step if you will for me will likely be cards in that $20-$50 range. Also, I’m really not too concerned with condition. I think this makes it a whole lot easier to buy stuff if its light play or moderate play.


I make purchases in two general “categories”: one is pure collection goals that are intended to be just that, personal collection additions. When buying these items I still try to get the best deal I can but am not worried too much about paying over market value. I also do not consider the growth potential of those items either as it’s purely for my collection and I do not intend to sell (any time soon).

That brings me to the second category which is: items that I think have decent growth potential. These are the items I typically buy in larger quantities with the intent to resell in the future at a higher price than what I paid. I’m prepared to wait multiple years to realize those gains but once they have appreciated a certain amount to where I am comfortable selling, I sell them to get my cost basis back and the rest is dessert. I use these funds to further my collection goals.

That’s generally how I approach getting my collecting hobby to “pay for itself” or at least try to :wink:. It’s also a fun learning experience putting my money where my mouth is, looking back over my past purchases, and seeing whether I was correct about identifying something with growth potential or not.


I still buy the cards I like, but it just takes a bit longer to save up than it used to. So this results in fewer cards spread further apart which just amplifies my “quality over quantity” approach to the hobby. I’m also happy I tackled some really expensive cards early on when I was just starting because some of them would simply be out of reach now.

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I’m getting more into a habit of saving up for months for a very expensive card and not buying really anything during that time vs constantly lurking on ebay and winning smaller cards each week or so.

The latter was more fun but the former is making me more financially responsible and is necessary if I want to complete my long term goals.


max credit card and then cry


I first got back into the hobby seriously last summer. I was just ripping modern and stuff I enjoyed opening. However, when the big boomboom happened, I kinda let go of the wheel. I bought outside my means and got myself in a pretty bad financial situation. I learned a lot from this though. I’ve since pulled my shit together and this is my current approach.

I typically have one main goal at a time, like a card or something specific I am gunning for. I skulk around on eBay and what not until I see a price I am happy with and then snipe it. These are generally personal collection additions. I also try to buy card lots that I see potential growth in for the future, so I can sell some down the line to finance my collecting goals. I try to leave some spare money for any deals I may come across. I am a student, so I saved and made some purchases through the summer along with paying off my debts and cutting spending (I have a decent part-time job). My spending has kinda stagnated though since I’ve been back in Uni. Due to my limited spending power, it has become abundantly clear that I need some sort of outline. I recently wrote out a detailed plan on my top 10 collection goals for the foreseeable future, trying to prioritize items based on availability and some light speculation on what may be okay to wait on (for example, most modern stuff I really want I’m putting off until PSA clears their backlog). I try to budget a decent bit of my money to Pokemon spending and set approximate prices in my plan. Ideally, the plan will help me stay focused and guide me in moments of weakness (FOMO) lol.

It took a lot of time to really understand what I truly wanted and I’ve been feeling a lot happier and a lot more in control of my spending. This also involved accepting that there are some items that are simply out of reach for the time being. Basically, I chilled tf out, focused up, and committed to a long-term strategy. Hopefully it works out lol.


I’m doing the marie kondo method and consolidating my collection to fund other purchases. If a card doesn’t spark joy, I will sell it.


Have you regretted anything you’ve sold?

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Yes, but I have learned and I try not to sell anything that I can’t get back.

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I find most of my goals shifted not changed like my shadowless PSA 9 goal is now CGC 9

Just tonight I picked up 11 shadowless common/uncommon 9s for average 17$ with subgrades - selling off my PSA slabs to fund CGC collection

The only only set I’ve stuck with PSA is my no rarity 9 goals, but I’ve also started a CGC 8 set.

In terms of budget it hasn’t changed.

Edit: I also attempt to find deals in my scope of cards and just rinse and repeat if I have extra time to spend listing etc.

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From an “investing” perspective, I’m pretty frozen right now with PSA closed tbqh. Not really buying expensive raw or graded cards at this time because there’s waaaay too many unowns right now.

You really have no control over certain things in the Pokemon market. It’s way more subject to strong forces than the stock market IMO. PWCC withdraws from eBay, PSA closes, CGC price hikes, bulk slabs coming back, etc. It’s not for the faint of heart if you look at it from an investor standpoint.

With that said, I will always buy cards I like. Currently, that happens to be cheap vintage reverse holos & cards to finish my Miki Tanaka collection [:


When I first got back into the hobby a year or so ago I allocated a portion of my savings that I was willing to spend. I churned through that in about 6 months… now I allow myself a little percentage of each monthly paycheck for Pokemon purchases + money received for any sales I make.

you’ve been getting CGC 9 Shadowless commons and uncommons for $17 on average?? clearly i have a poor understanding of where to access items for good prices :zipper_mouth_face:

Spend all of it

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The financially responsible thing to do is not spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on literal cardboard lmao we are all idiots


Here are the cards and prices

Pidgey (9,9.5,9,9) $15

Weedle (9,9,9.5,9.5) $15

Diglett (8.5,9.5,9.5,9.5) $15

Porygon (9.5,9.5,8.5,10) $20.50

Abra (10,9,9,9.5) $31.50

Poliwhril (9,10,9,9.5) $15.00

Staryu (9,9.5,9,9.5) $20.50

Caterpie (9,9.5,9,9.5) $15.00

Kakuna (9,9.5,9,9.5) $15.00

Koffing (9,9.5,9,9.5) $15.00

Nidoran (9,9.5,9.5,9) $16.50

Average = $18.13 not including the $10 shipping

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thank you for the info… most of the shadowless cgc 9 c/uc cards i can find are over $100 LMAO guess i’ll have to keep my eye out (i peeped all those auctions that went off in august for very cheap, was that you :ninja: )

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I’ve been buying a lot of shadowless past few months (typically with subs all 9+)

I’ve really been buying a lot of slabs in the $20-100 range

& Japanese mostly PSA with my strategy utilizing sellers $30 shipping but +$1 for combined so ill end up buying 10-20 cards

Though my collection is probably 90% Japanese 10% English

I’ve been buying 20-50 pokemon slabs a month past few months, and currently enjoying getting into soccer with my attempt of getting into the broader sports world

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