Gaia Point

Balancing Money for Your Hobbies

Some of you who are Anime and/or Video Game fans might be also audiophiles, or at least want better equipment to enjoy your shows and games. Maybe you have browsed audiophile sites and maybe lurked at some forums and got super jealous at others’ fancy and pricey equipment.

You also may have noticed that the price of equipment is rather high, and certainly out of most of your budget ranges (very out of mine). But for you who cannot enjoy Blu-Rays with built in laptop speakers, or watch Anime on a 19″ or smaller screen, you would want to upgrade those too. You want quality without sacrificing all your money.

You need to pay bills, have decent food, provide for those who you care about, and still enjoy your hobbies. Buying anime goodies and video games collectables are certainly not cheap! Certainly adding premium audio and video equipment does not help!

How Can I Afford It All?

Starting out in any hobby, you will need enough money to at least enjoy it all. You probably are not depending on your parents for money, or they might be helping pay for school or rent at least, but any extra money you will need to earn on your own.

Maybe you are earning or plan to one day earn as much as the high-baller audiophiles you have met and seen online or in real life. Many of you can and will in the future, but what about enjoying your music and games now? Having a nice, modest upgrade to your system can help you enjoy your media more.

If you are not earning a lot at all, or just enough to live by, and are putting any extra cash for small improvements. Don’t worry, you are not alone in feeling this.

You will need to setup a budget of sorts. There are plenty of gurus and experts on budgeting, doing a google search can yield numerous results. I don’t see myself as an expert in this field, still learning as I go, but I can at least offer my tidbits and observing with this.

Finding Balance

Now I do not know what your budget and expenses are in your life, but you are probably budgeting in your own way. For me, I usually find deals and subscribe to newsletters for anything that could be on sale.

Even for a site like The Poor Audiophile, their products and recommendations are out of my range. For me my budget for equipment fall roughly around $600 or below per part. That is my budget, and even if you say I am being rather cheap that is my set price range. I believe in balancing great quality over reasonable price; I am not willing to spend five figures just to improve the quality for 1% or less.

Monoprice site

A Site With Great, Affordable Audio Gear

One site I like going to check out for deals is Monoprice. From what I have seen online, they are a really affordable place to get quality gear and great prices. I recently bought a new sub-woofer for my home theater system, especially when it was on a sale. I know I could have bought a new sub-woofer anytime, especially at this range. But this was the right time to buy, after just moving to a new apartment, and a recent pay bump at work helped with my decision.

Now I didn’t ‘splurge’ and bought a sub-woofer that could have costed upwards beyond say $500.00 (like this $12,000 baby). I wanted something that will certainly improve my system but not end up owing money to the bank for months or years on end. After seeing reviews on the site as well as on forums, I decided that this small upgrade was good enough for my purpose. I will hear the quality myself when I get it and place it on my home system.

Other Hobby Expenses?

Not just audio components that I like to get, like you there are many games and Anime stuff I like to get. I also still collect music CDs and Blu-Rays. Two albums I want to get soon are (in anticipation of the next Final Fantasy XIV Expansion and Final Fantasy XV release):

Final Fantasy XIV DualityFinal Fantasy XIV: Duality Arrangement Album

Final Fantasy XV Soundtrack CollectorFinal Fantasy XV: Original Soundtrack Collector Edition

Of course, there are probably more games, music albums, and other anime goodies I would want to get (let’s not go into figures and model kits). And after all that, I would want a satisfactory system that can playback my stuff at a level good enough for me. Even if replacing each component one at a time, that is a great upgrade!

I also have to consider getting the following in the next couple of months: a new couch, maintenance parts and service for my 10+ year old car, some computer upgrades, and other things not on my mind at the moment. Constantly balancing my bank account with bills and wants is a struggle we all face. Or when .

Maintain that Money Balance

Before your next sound upgrade, make sure that you can afford the next piece. Do research by reading reviews, compare specs, and not buying on a whim. Think about also your other hobbies you want to use your money with, and more importantly your responsibilities. I do not want you to overspend on equipment, and still have enough in the end.

Spending on hobbies efficiently is what I strive for, and for you too.

How do you budget your equipment and hobbies?