A Question of Money

I was listening to a radio programme yesterday on the CBC Radio.  A man who was a huge collector or something (I am not quite clear what it was because I picked up the programme as it was finishing) was talking about his spending contract with his wife.  He had written a contract that specified how much he could spend a month on his hobby.

The hosts took him fairly seriously and the guest didn’t take himself too seriously.  He also explained that he often broke the budget for “special sales/events” that fell outside of the contract.

It got me thinking about how I spend money on hobbies.  I don’t really have a budget.  I control my spending the old fashioned way….fear that I won’t be able to eat if I spend too much.

Then I started thinking about my hobbies and which ones cost the most money, which ones cost more money than I expected.  Cycling has been the least expensive.  Once I bought the bike, except for some clothes and some nutritional supplements, there isn’t a huge ongoing cost.  Of course, going on cycling trips, which I have done, costs money.  Of course, I think of these as vacations, totally unrelated to my club cycling.

I balked at stamp collecting because it seemed like something that my start off small, but grow to something huge if left unchecked.  You might start off collecting one country and used stamps and then up trying to collect the world in mint stamps.  Deluxe books for stamps cost a small fortune, not to mention inventory software and travel to stamp shows.

I suppose coins are much the same.  The book to house the almost one hundred years of the Canadian penny is probably worth more than the pennies themselves.

Hockey cards seem to have so many sets and special cards that you’d be through your budget in no time.

I suppose all collections start like that.  They start small, but they grow.  Suddenly you are spending more money on storing the collection and reading about the collection than actually collecting.

How do you set a budget for whatever your hobby is?  Is it a monthly amount or a yearly amount?


The Inadvertent Collection

I was rummaging around in a drawer and found three pennies wrapped in a scrap piece of paper.   Being inquisitive I took a closer look.  Indeed, they were “special Pennies.”  That is to say they were from 1967.  Now I know what you’re thinking.  Actually, that isn’t true.  I have no idea what you’re thinking.  Probably some of you are wondering about the value of the coins.  Some of you are sure that the coins are worthless.  And some of you are laughing because you know where this blog is going.

All across this sometimes snowy nation (and I suppose other nations as well) you can find these supposedly special coins tucked away in drawers, boxes, coffee cans and wherever else they can be put.  We collect, or perhaps horde is a better word, these coins because someone told us once that they were valuable, or would be valuable.  Maybe we came to that conclusion by ourselves.  However it came about, whenever we find these coins in our change it is like we won the mini lottery, and these coins get rescued from our pockets and change purses to live amongst their own kind.

In Canada, the mint has capitalized on our tendency to amass these special coins and releases them with annoying frequency.  I guess there are tin cans, and jars all over the country calling themselves home to these new collections.

For some of you collecting as a hobby is nothing new.  For those that thought they were not taking part in a hobby, guess what?  You are taking part in a hobby, you just didn’t know it.

I should point out to my fellow Canadians that there is one more wrinkle to this inadvertent collecting that we all participate in.  While you’re looking for those special pennies, you will probably come across your collection of Canadian Tire money.