Figure Financials: 2013 Budget Plan

At the beginning of every year, I like to assess my budget plan in light of past performance and make tweaks to push the mechanics in one direction or another. The 2012 budget panned out fairly well, so I felt the need to make only small changes heading into 2013, which I will outline here.


At a minimum, I have to adjust every year for changes in the valuation of the US dollar (USD) against the Japanese yen (JPY). I may also choose to scale the overall target forward or back depending on whether I feel that the overall rate of collection growth is too fast or too slow. The 2012 budget produced a net of 15 figures, which is pretty much exactly what I had budgeted for, so I’m not looking to make any changes there. It’s only going to be currency adjustments for this year.

To calculate the actual sums that are assigned to the rolling and lump sum allocations, I created a spreadsheet—basically the same one as last year, only with the 2012 USD/JPY numbers instead of 2011—to project the cost of buying a certain number of figures over the course of a year in JPY, based on historical pricing and personal experience, then used the 2012 USD/JPY average (¥79.9 per USD) to convert to dollars for my actual budget.

The result is a new monthly rolling budget of $140/month, down from $145/month in 2011, while the lump sum allocation will drop to $660/year, down from $700/year. The remainder of the 2012 budget rolls over into the 2013 budget as well.


I toyed with the idea of changing the dual budget strategies to feed one monetary pool rather than two separate pools, as is currently the case, in the interest of reduced administrative overhead and greater flexibility.

The original intent of keeping the two budgets separate was to eliminate the temptation to dip into the rolling budget to chase after pricy used figures on the secondary market. With 2012 being the “year of the re-release” as it were, the market showed us that waiting for a re-release is often a viable strategy, so I feel a little less inclined now to pay top dollar on the secondary market if I feel that there’s a good chance that a given figure will come around again. That said, some manufacturers don’t seem to do re-releases (Max Factory, anyone?) and there are still some bargains to be had after release if you’re paying attention.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t quite convince myself that it made sense to make the switch, so I’ll tough it out with the current system for another year.

That’s the plan! Check back at the end of June for the mid-year progress report. To those of you formulating your own budget strategies, did you make any adjustments headed into 2013?

7 thoughts on “Figure Financials: 2013 Budget Plan

  1. For me it’s down to self-discipline by enforcing the simple rule “don’t spend more than you make”, which oftentimes is a percentage of the income since one also tends to prefer food and a roof over ones head.

    As for 2013, I’ve had the unpleasant surprise of multiple delays in 2012 which stacked up many figures for a few specific months this year. Much like you I also try to make good use of a rolling budget in order to ensure spending safety when things like delays do occur. As I’ve come to enjoy photography more than the collecting aspect I’m trying to go with 1-2 figures a month providing I find them interesting. This limitation gives me the freedom to ensure that I hopefully never miss out on a figure that I really want.

    • Living below one’s means is a highly sensible approach to life in general, especially when it comes to luxury items, which is what figures are when it comes down to it. It continually amazes me how few people seem to grasp this concept. I met a fellow collector a few years back who fell into the trap of undisciplined spending and pretty much had to give up the hobby as a result. Kind of sad. 😦

      My approach to dealing with the issue of too many purchases coming due at one time is to simply treat the money as allocated as soon as I place a preorder. I don’t order beyond what I can allocate at any given time, so the final point at which the figure gets released is largely irrelevant, aside from personal inconvenience, as the money’s already there and waiting.

      On the flip side, this approach basically shifts potential resource contention to the front end. I can’t always order everything I might want if too many preorders open around the same time, which happens a bit more often than I would like. Perhaps I’m not selective enough.

  2. My method is the same as neathgrim’s. It essentially comes down to self-discipline. I was a bad girl last month and picked up pricey figures I missed out on last year, but for the rest of this year I’m trying to keep my pre-order list relatively small.

    This has been surprisingly easy so far even though some really nice stuff’s coming out this year. I won’t pre-order a figure if I feel the sculpt doesn’t justify the cost, like with CM’s Corp “Hida Namie” figure. I LOVE pink haired girls and Satoshi Urushihara designed stuff, but that figure does not look worth 8800 yen to me. (Once she hits the bargain bin she’s ALL MINE) Figure costs keep rising, so it’s getting much easier for me to be horribly picky about who I add to my collection.

    • Assuming that you were really intent on getting those figures anyway, it’s probably best that you bought them sooner rather than later, pricey though they might be. Prices only stand to rise over time as supplies continue to constrict, so you’re cutting your losses in a sense by buying now.

      Playing wait-and-see with the bargain bin is probably a good choice if you’re on the fence with a particular figure. I just know I tend to have bad luck in that I seem to miss all the good deals on figures that make their way there. It seems like whenever I check the bargain bin, it’s just stuff I wouldn’t want either way.

      That Namie actually caught my eye a bit. I don’t feel like anything I’ve seen come out of CM’s Corp. would be worth the asking price, but I was at least mildly impressed with how well they captured the look of Urushihara’s style in the sculpt.

  3. I don’t plan my budget in advance for the new year. The market is always on the move and I don’t know what nice stuff will be announced throughout the year. Since I disliked how the bunny maid Sonico turned out,some money has already been saved, though 😀

    What I planned in advance for this year was that three figures in each month is the absolute maximum of orders. Last year it were a few months with 4 or more figures and thats bad when I want to keep up with writing figure reviews and finding a place for all new arrivals.

    My overall plan is nof to overstep 27 figures, in fact I even want to buy less in 2013.

    • It sounds like you do plan a bit in advance, even if it’s not for a certain amount of money. Setting goals like staying under four figures a month is basically budgeting quantity instead of money. I think its a valid approach and more flexible in some respects than how I do it. I’ve actually considered off and on about switching to an x figures-per-time period style of budgeting, but I never quite convinced myself it would be worth it to switch.

      “Keep up with writing figure reviews”. Hah. You make me feel like a lazy bum. I only averaged a little over one figure a month last year and by the end of December I had reviewed less than half. 😦 I sometimes think I should make a rule that I have to review a figure I have before I can buy a new one, but I think that would end disastrously.

      • Hehe it’s more space planning than budgetig, but you are partially right ^^

        Well, that would be a cruel restriction to connect the figure purchases to writing reviews.
        I buy my figures because I love the hobby and taking pictures of the pretty ladies, often I have the luxury of time to write the review close after I took some pictures of the figure.

        I actually haven’t reviewed every purchased figure, I passed on writing reviews of the recently purchased nendoroids, their too flimsy.

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