I presented myself with a challenge: Could I fund an entire day at a gaming convention with just the contents of my change jar? So I changed it in at my bank and funded my entire day at Origins with just loose change. My goal was not to "tighten the purse strings," but rather spend as I usually do at one of these events. (After all, I could not buy anything and bring my own food, but that felt like "cheating" on the spirit of the challenge.)
So, for those of you who were following along with The "Change Your Convention Attendance" Challenge, here's how the numbers shaked out:
In 7 1/2 months of saving nothing but spare change, I accumulated $180.64, so that was my starting balance.
-$20.00 to top off my car with gas for the trip there and back.
-$4.50 (rounded up) for breakfast.
-$3.00 for all-day parking.
-$15.00 for my Origins one-day badge.
-$4.00 for my Indie Games on Demand ticket.
-$8.50 (rounded up) for lunch.
-$8.00 for a well-worn copy of Tomb of Horrors
-$35.00 for The Quiet Year Burlap Bag Edition (been wanting this for a while)
-$20.00 for a very good condition DungeonQuest (auction win)
-$25.00 for What's He Building in There? (board game impulse buy)
-$30.00 for DCC RPG goodies (Against the Atomic Overlord and two Lankhmar modules)
Total spent: $173.00
Came home with $6.64, which will be dumped into the change jar as "seed money" for my next convention attendance.
Some of you may protest. "$180!? That's hardly a challenge! That's more than enough to fund a day without stretching your budget or denying yourself!"
Yes, that was the point. It wasn't to show you how to cut corners or tighten your belt with limited funds. It was to show you just how much you CAN accumulate from just saving your pennies. My saved pennies paid for today without me paying a single cent from my checking account or making a single charge on any cards. In my head, I just enjoyed a day for "free."
And that $6.64 remaining will help pay for some gaming awesomeness next year.
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