Budgeting issues.

by Alison Rasmussen

Sweet Roses PJ, originally uploaded by alington.
In order to stop arguing about how much money we each spend on our hobbies, my husband came up with an "allowance" type system for both of us last year. We are each allocated equal amounts monthly just for hobby use. It's a good system that forces budgeting, plus I work at home as a mother of four, so I don't bring in a paycheck.

In the doll world, pre-orders or long lead times for dolls are often necessary, so we have negotiated a system in which we are allowed to occasionally spend ahead a month ahead if needed. I use layaway whenever possible, but sometimes it's not an option.

This year has been a crazy year for dolls. My collection has diversified. My SD-sized ball-jointed dolls have grown in number. And it's been a terrific year for Alice in Wonderland collectors. In addition, I discovered the joy of restoring Barbies, and have started reassembling the 1980s-era pink box dolls I loved in my youth.

Well, it's only April, and I calculated that, including my pre-orders, I have spent my doll allowance for the entire year. (Oh no! I just realized I forgot to include the two Integrity dolls and a DollHeart outfit I pre-ordered. Ugh!) It looks like it's going to be time for a fire sale pretty soon. I have some Tonner dolls who aren't getting as much attention as they used to, and they are lying around, neglected, in their boxes.

So my post, rather than to gripe about having blown a year's worth of money in four months, was to discuss how to make up for that sort of mindless spending. As in, what do I do now?

  • First, I'm deleting all my saved searches on eBay. If I don't have the money to spend, why watch any auctions of that Golden Dreams Christie I so desperately want to add to my collection? That's plain torture.
  • Next, this coming week, it's time for round one of ruthless organization. I'm going to check every doll and outfit in my closet, wigs and shoes included, and I will post any unwanted items for sale. First on the DollPage, then on eBay, if they don't sell.
  • Next comes maintenance on the dolls I keep. I have a lot of dolls due this month. Before I buy more dolls, I will replace eyelashes, suede and body blush and restring as needed. I will invest in  new eyes and wigs, so the dolls I have are more versatile. Possibly a few new outfits, too.
  • If I get really desperate, I can always sell some of my eggs. Or if they misbehave, one of my children. Or a kidney on the black market. Or I could grow my hair and sell it. (That's never going to happen--I haven't had long hair since high school!) I could get a job at night as a dancer, maybe. Or a rich lover. Who likes dolls. Anyone perhaps I could meet at IFDC? 
  • I've got it! I could develop a drug addiction, and then my doll addiction will seem like no big deal in comparison! (Please know that I'm not really being serious about this. I take drugs very seriously.) 
Ugh. I sometimes wish doll collecting were a little less expensive of a hobby, or that I liked cheaper dolls. Or that I could find more vintage Barbies at our local thrift store. Or that BJDs were sold at Costco or the supermarket, so I could hide their cost with the groceries.