Welcome, friends, to another look at my wildly mis-spent finances (or perhaps my wildly misplaced values). Like last year, I started at the beginning of the year and kept track of everything by day. Why? Just for your entertainment, really - as well as my own embarrassment.
I really did a terrible job of sticking to the budget this year. Why? Let's see if we can tell from the monthly breakdown:
Well, there it is. If that's not everything, then it's darn close. There were 113 days in 2010 where I bought something, and the majority of those trips involved multiple purchases at multiple stores - that works out to be a buy every three days or so. However, I did a crap job of sticking to my budget. Absolutely horrible. Why? Because of a change in the way I shop.
Last year, Toys Я Us and Walmart were tied for the #1 spot - this year, TRU pulled way out in front, and Walmart fell into third place, behind newcomer Corner Store Comics. Since the Big Three basically stopped carrying Mattel's DC Universe after Series 7, I started ordering online; similarly, my local comicshop stopped ordering the Minimates I wanted, so I got those from CSC, as well.
The downside is, I've never been one to buy a ton of things online. So when I was calculating my monthly totals, I'd completely forget that I'd placed a $100+ order that was due in a few weeks. In 2011, I need to better remember these "phantom" purchases.
Another surprise was the quick rise of discount stores: combined, TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Ross Dress for Less amounted to more purchases than old mainstays like Kmart or the comicshop. Amusingly, most of the things I got there are things I would have bought at more expensive stores, if it had ever shown up.
A few notes: a five-figure box set counts as one purchase, but as five figures. Build-A-Figures are not counted in the totals, even if I buy all the pieces to assemble them. Things that I bought for trades aren't included on the list, but the things that I got from trades are. I get a 10% discount from my regular comicshop, which is included. Any coupons or sales have been subtracted before the items go on the list.
Here are some numbers:
Total number of purchases: 371
Total number of figures: 635
Total money spent: $4,302.92
Average spent per purchase: $11.60
Average spent per figure: $6.78
Average per month: $358.58; 30.92 purchases; 52.92 figures
Average per week: $82.75; 7.13 purchases; 12.21 figures
Average per day: $11.78; 1.02 purchases; 1.74 figures
TRU: 119 purchases
CornerStoreComics.com: 45 purchases
Wal*Mart: 43 purchases
Target: 31 purchases
Entertainment Earth: 14 purchases
Comicshops: 10 purchases
Kmart: 9 purchases
TJ Maxx: 7 purchases
Ross: 6 purchases
Five Below: 4 purchases
FYE: 3 purchases
Longest gap between purchases: 10 days (Oct. 23 - Nov. 1)
Most days in a row with purchases: 3 (Mar. 10-12, 19-21; July 5-7)
Most expensive day: August 28 ($246.11)
There were still quite a few things I wanted to get and never did, but notice that the ratio of figures to purchases is nearly 2-to-1: multipacks mean you get the most toys for your money! Still, 2011 needs to show a hard improvement!