Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Card collecting maturity

I’ve got a big, life-changing event coming up this December. I’ll become a first-time dad. I’m expecting a son in late December. It’s shifted my financial priorities around a bit, as I find myself asking “do I really need this?” a lot more than ever. I’ve still maintained my collecting, just to a smaller scale – a $3 eBay purchase here or a value box of Topps there. Each time I’m about to make a purchase, I really ponder.

This past weekend I was at Target. I ventured to the card aisle and was prepared to pick up a $14.99 value box of Topps. As I carried it around the store, I happened to walk past the infant/toddler section and saw a bunch of clothes neatly stacked. In what I feel like was really my first act as a dad, I did something I didn’t expect. I walked over to the card aisle and put the value box back.

I then returned to the infant section. I picked up a pair of little pants, a sweatshirt, and two outfits – my total? $18.88. Instead of buying cards, I bought my son clothes. It was a gratifying experience and it really seemed to make it a lot more real – I’m going to be a dad.

I hope to one day collect cards with my son, and I hope that in the near future I’m well enough off financially that I don’t have to think as hard about these purchases. However, I’ll definitely never forget the time I put cards back and bought my kid clothes, and the feeling of satisfaction that it gave me.


  1. Congrats! I think you'll love being a Dad. It's pretty amazing.

    And, yes, it can make you rethink your collecting. Maybe you'll just refine your card priorities. I think that can be just as fun. And, the world of blog trading sure can help, as you well know.

  2. Nice post, and I'm excited for your upcoming adventure! I know the feeling on the shifting priorities...

  3. Good stuff. But you should have stocked up on diapers. You go through those things at an insane rate. I'm sure 90 percent of my budget was diapers 12 years ago.

  4. Congratulations, decisions like this only get easier from here on out. Best of luck with the little one!!

  5. Congratulations! Never underestimate the value of thrift stores, especially when it comes to clothes for a quickly growing organism. If you can find a thrift store with good quality clothes, you can save a good bit of money. Though $20 for three changes of clothes isn't bad. Just save your $50 and avoid buying the Harley Davidson leather jacket. (Or do they cost more?)

  6. Ditto on the diapers. Also on the thrift store. Even better, make really good friends with someone with a boy 6-12 months older than your son. Think of it this way: You may be putting back Value boxes now, but in 5-10 years you'll be buying legos and hot wheels and Star Wars toys and video games! And dad will have to field test all of these things! For safety reasons, of course.

  7. We discussed this before, but don't forget, my birthday is Dec 4th !! It sounds like you already have it figured out as far as priorities. All the above advice is pretty sound.I'm sure everything will work out and fall into place as time moves on and you will learn on the fly as we all did !

  8. Great post, LC - I understand completely and applaud your discipline. You already get it (it is ALL about him, now) and he's not even here, yet. What does that mean? Means he's a lucky kid.....(and not only because we've all seen your TTM stash that will, may we assume, one day be his).

    Reorganization of priorities is key, but don't forget yourself. The collection additions may become fewer and far between, but Potch is right; it can easily be just as fun (if not more so) to wait, save and focus in on what you really want. Sometimes it improves quality for the collection, because the releases you may be "meh" on or the magical allure of a formerly inescapable random blaster will fade away. It's like anti-beer goggles for trash wax.

    The best part of life if headed your way in a few weeks and our hobby will always be here for both of you. That's pretty cool and another reason why some of us love it so much.

    Congratulations and enjoy the ride!

    (ditto on the diapers and hand-me-down/consignment approach)

  9. I won't repeat what the others have said, but ditto to all. Congrats on soon becoming a dad, there is nothing like it. You sound like you've got your priorities already in order. That's over half the battle.