Goodbye My Cardboard & Pixelated Heroes

Letting Go Of Hobbies To Help Repair Messes I’ve Made

Day 7

How I Plan To Make a Windfall Payment On My Debt

I’ve loved collecting sports cards, memorabilia, game stubs, and signatures of my favorite players since I was a little boy. I’ve gone through periods where I paused my collecting efforts, losing a bit of interest from time to time, but ultimately I always return.

The same goes with video games. I have all of the consoles, an ample gaming collection, and from time to time I go through periods of heavy gaming. Then, I lose interest and move on and don’t touch a controller for months on end.

Looking at the debt that I’ve amassed, I can’t help but think had I spent less time and money on these hobbies, and focused on something perhaps a shade more productive, like learning how to garden, or fix things around the house, that I’d be in a much better spot.

The sports collecting has left me with what exactly? Some cardboard pictures of professional athletes that I apparently still admire enough to spend my own hard earned cash to buy? If I could have all of those dollars back that I’ve spent over the years I suspect I’d be able to pay off at minimum, half of what I owe today.

I’m putting the brakes on gaming.

I’m putting the brakes on gaming.

Lost Time Is Lost Money In My Book

“Video games will rot your brain!” I recall hearing my Dad yell that or something probably a bit harsher than that to me when I was younger. There was no video games in our house. It’s probably why I made friends with everyone who’s parents let them game. I’d come home with the classic Nintendo blister on my thumb from binge gaming at a buddies house over the weekends when I’d stay the night!

I’m not even close to saying they’ll rot your brain, because heaven forbid, I’d be agreeing with my old man. I will go as far as saying, I’m certain I could’ve done so much more enriching activities with those hours than sitting on my butt and playing make believe with some pixels.

If you game, that’s fine. I’m not going to judge you. Only you know if you’re spending that time in a quality manner that you desire. I’ve lost my appetite for it, for good I believe.

I’m nearing 40 and the current spot I’m in has me feeling like my backs a bit against the wall. To break through, control my debt and develop better habits, I need to stop hobbies that I picked up in my childhood.

The good news is I’ve talked to Mrs. Time to Fi about this very thing. She’s going to help me photograph and sell my sports collection. We debated about passing the collection on to my children, but ultimately agreed that it would be best to use the funds from selling them to make a minor windfall payment on our debt.

I made her aware of this site, but haven’t shared the details of it with her yet. I’m not ready, and she’s gracious enough to understand and know that I’m doing what I need to do to fix this mess and fully supports me. I’m certainly thankful for that.

I estimate on the low end I can get a minimum $1,000 from my collection. If the markets good, and I think it is for what I’ve acquired over the years, I’ll probably get closer to $2,000 for it. That’s a nice dent on nearly $20,000 of debt. We’re talking 10% closer.

I’ll take those funds and apply them to my lowest balanced cards. I’ve debated putting the money against the loan and wiping that out, then getting another one to cover the remaining credit cards. That’s just not going to happen. I’m not swapping debt for debt, regardless if it looks good. I’m just rolling up my sleeves and taking care of them as quickly as possible. Maybe if I work harder for it I’ll be less likely to get into this spot again? It’s worth a shot at this point.

So, good by Stan “the man” Musial, Sandy Koufax and all the cardboard legends I’ll be parting with. I’d like to say it will be bittersweet, but I know it won’t be terrible. I’m already relieved to be letting these cardboard relics go.

On the same hand, I’m done with video games. While I can’t put a tangible expense on them, I’m still unsure of what I believe my worth to be outside of work, I do know that the hundreds or more hours I have put into them over the last few years, could’ve been much better spent, at least for my ambitions.

If you’re facing a similar situation, and I know others are, take a moment to reflect how your hobbies have impacted you or your families life. If they enrich you in ways you can’t envision anything else replacing then keep at it. I know some collectors that are responsible and have a fantastic time with their hobby. If you decide to move on, for whatever reason, be sure you get what you feel is a good return. I know I won’t settle for pennies.