As mentioned before, Magic the Gathering is not a cheap hobby — and it’s even pricier when two people are playing. I was starting to get pretty worried about overall costs, which is when Tim’s connections really paid off.
A couple that Tim met turned out to be, not just cool people, but our card hookups. They have a lot of cards lying around from old decks, various tournaments, etc. And if they’re not using them, they let us borrow them.
We’re making a new deck — I saw someone playing one and thought I could improve on it (and with a lot of help from Tim, I have) — and that gets pricey fast. There are almost no expensive cards in this deck — expensive being defined as upwards of $10. But there were a lot of ones we didn’t have. To be exact, we need 30 of the 40 non-land cards for this thing.
Now, none of the cards are too pricey. Most are $5 or less. Still, if our friends have even 20 of the cards we need, they’ll easily be saving us $40-50. And when we were getting ready for States, just four of the cards they loaned would’ve cost $50.
This kind of thing is hardly a rare occurrence. Every Christmas, my aunt makes batches of pesto as part of her homemade gifts basket. But she never wanted to pay for a food processor she would only use once a year. Instead, she borrows a friend’s. The friend doesn’t miss the machine for a measly few days, and everyone gets homemade pesto, which always makes us happy.
A lot of personal finance articles focus on how to avoid peer pressure to spend, but you don’t hear as much in the PF world about how your family and friends can help you save and keep you on track.
The long and the short of it is: Friendships can help fuel those frugal fires. Whether it’s borrowing something you need and they’re not using or making a Saturday ritual out of hitting garage sales for potential gifts and other goodies, friends are often an important part of not spending money.
My friends back in Seattle weren’t flush, either. So I was never put on the spot to spend money. In fact, when they worked on plays that they wanted me to see, they would make sure to save one of their discount tickets for me.
With our friends here in Phoenix, we’ve been doing what we can to reciprocate, too. The wife mentioned wanting to get back to using coupons, so I offered up a coupon organizer I had from BlogHer. Not exactly $50 worth of cards, but she was thrilled to have one handed to her, rather than having to find one and actually pay for it.
I’ve also been tipping her off to deals, and I plan to slowly introduce her to rewards programs. I know she’ll love them. As it is, she went crazy with Viewpoints recent reviews-for-Amazon GCs deal and should be getting around $150-200 just in time for holiday shopping.
Any of this sound familiar? Tell me what you and your friends do that reinforces frugal habits.