Sprue Cutters Union #10: My Spending Habits

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, so I could just leave you with the image above and call it good, however, that isn't my style.
I've gone through many different interests over the span of my life, and most of them have required a decent amount of monetary input. My ability to participate in any activity is inversely proportional to how much money I must put into it - the higher the cost, the less involved I am. With three young children and a wife to take care of on my sole income, there are far more important things that I need to afford over a plastic model or some paints.

That said, I don't spend much on this hobby. I've built up a decent sized stash, enough to keep me busy for at least the next year or two, so I don't need to continually purchase another kit whenever I finish one. When I do get a new model, it arrives as a gift for my birthday, Christmas, Father's Day, anniversary or other such holiday or special occasion where exchanging gifts is expected. Moreover, if given the opportunity, hobby related material is generally what I ask for in these instances. So, I'm not going hungry by any means if you're worried.
If in the rare instance I have some spare cash burning a hole in my pocket, I may get out to the hobby shop or Michael's store to purchase a cheap kit or something else I may need. The glorious thing about shopping at Michael's, which makes up for its poor selection, is that I am always accompanied by a forty-percent off coupon. Most of my kits are inexpensive Revell-ograms or out dated kits from Fujimi and what not. They fit perfectly in my budget, though I sacrifice certain luxuries like detail and fit. That's just something I have to accept.

I'm perfectly content with most kits out-of-the-box, even most that I've acquired from Michael's. If I had the money to spend, by all means, I might purchase some aftermarket goodies. But in my current state, I never do. I have never, to this day, purchased any aftermarket additions to any model I have built with the exception of several decal sheets. However, when it comes to cockpits, tracks, interiors, wheels, etc, what I get in the box is what I work with. I just can't justify the expense.

My wife is very much aware of what the hobby costs. Justifying the expense means proving to her that what I'm purchasing is absolutely necessary. Adding another kit to the stack of models that will just collect dust for the next several months is not, in her mind, a justifiable expenditure. But that is understandable to me, like I said, there are far more important things out there. However, she is more likely to excuse the purchase of some paint, which is used on a consistent basis, and only costs several dollars a jar and lasts for a long time. So, I'm more inclined to buy supplies rather than kits.

There are times I wish I had more of a budget to devote to the hobby but most of the time I'm content with what I've got. I'm not the kind of guy that needs that next great kit, but even if I did need it, I couldn't afford it any way. Though modeling is a huge part of my life now, I'd like to think that I have my priorities arranged in a manner that pleases everyone in the house. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times - a happy wife is a happy modeler.


Part of being in the Union means you must include links to fellow contributors' posts within your own response. If you liked this post, then perhaps you'll enjoy what some other modelers have to say about this topic!


Want to join the Sprue Cutters Union? Its simple. If you model and have a blog that is all you need to start. Just write a post in response to the weekly topic, copy the link in the comments section for that week's assignment and you're in! Check out more detail about joining the Sprue Cutters Union.


  1. LOL.....that picture is almost the story of my adult life!! Great post, mate :)

  2. Very interesting read and yes it is true about the gift side to keep things coming in. I have gone that way of late myself, except for the odd eBay win. I am firtunate that i have a large stash but do we ever really have enough????
    Well done and a great read.

  3. Here is my entry http://dknights.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/sprue-cutters-union-10/

  4. Great post Jon. Here's my contribution

  5. your last statement, man that's so true!

  6. Hi Jon, I'm in the progress of building myself a Wordpress site (with a blog) and have written a post for this. I'm working this week on getting the site fitted out and all of my models onto it. You can check it out here: http://billweckel.com/2013/09/scu-spending-habits/

  7. Here is mine.... late again!


  8. Hey Jon. I empathise deeply with your response. Even with two incomes, luxuries like models, paints and the latest rule book all have to be justified, not because money is particularly sparse, but because that's how we maintain control over our finances. Planning a purchase, building a kit, assembling an army, all take planning and book balancing, just like the rest of our lives.

  9. Also late is my entry:


    cheers for all the great posts - good reading every week.


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