One thing you’ll notice when getting into figure collecting is how much people post on Reddit and various other forums about their struggles with budgeting. This post is to act as a guide to help you keep your finances in order and save a little bit of money.
So, let’s discuss 2 VERY EASY ways to save money on collecting figures by using credit cards and a simple spreadsheet.
I guarantee you, if you understand the fact that you make ‘X’ amount of money and only spend that ‘X’ amount, you can benefit so much by using credit cards. Personally, I never use debit cards because there is almost no benefit. I think you guys are responsible enough to understand that you can only spend what you make!
Credit card YouTubers
Following these guys helped me a ton and I know it will help you too! If you want to use credit cards to specifically save you money on anime figures, then this blog post will be enough. If you want to be more elaborate, check out my recommended list of YouTubers to follow for credit cards,
- Ask Sebby
- Daniel Braun
- Brian Jung
- ProudMoney – Credit Cards & Personal Finance
- Even Graham Stephan has some good videos on credit cards
Why credit cards benefit you
- Creating a credit history
- Improving your credit score
- Increasing your approvals for a loans
- SAVING YOU MONEY ON ANIME FIGURES
- Any dispute over payments will be handled by your credit card company; debit card disputes may hold your money until it is resolved
If you want an easy place to see your credit score on demand, sign up for Credit Karma. It is free, but they do use your information. You’ll be able to track your Transunion and Equifax credit score. The 3 credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Just follow one of the YouTubers that cover more in-depth. For this blog, I’ll introduce you to some basic, easy to get approved credit cards. If you already have a credit card, you’re more likely to be able to take advantage of better credit card deals.
Credit card utilization
Generally, you’d want to carry about 1% – 10% in credit card utilization. Credit card utilization is your combined credit limit from all of your credit cards. You can apply this 1-10% rule to a single credit card limit as well. So, if you have $1000, in credit limit, don’t hold a statement balance of more than $100. If your credit card utilization is $10,000, don’t hold a balance over $1000.
Statement balance vs current balance
Each time you make a purchase and the transaction is officially posted, it will be reflected on your “current balance.” Current balances are not reported to the credit bureau until the statement due date hits.
Each month you have a due date, you can just pay off any current balance you have at the time. Once the due date of your monthly balance has passed and you are still carrying a “current balance,” then it will be reported on your next “statement balance.” The statement balance is reported to the credit bureau and this is where your credit card utilization comes into play.
Once the statement balance is reported, the credit card company will send you a statement balance report with all the purchases and what you owe. It’ll give you the “minimum payment” and the total of what you owe. Generally, credit card companies don’t charge you interest during the first 21 days, to give you time to pay off your statement balance. It’s usually by your next statement balance that you didn’t pay it all off, that you accrue interest. You’ll have to read the fine print to see what each credit card company does.
Look for these credit card benefits
- 0% intro purchase APR: This means when you buy something, you won’t get charged any interest for their offer of anywhere between 12-18 months when you carry a balance
- There are tons of bonuses for opening an account like $200 off $1000 purchase within 3 months; you can easily subsidize your collection!
- Cash back 1-5%, rotating categories like gas, groceries, restaurants, travel
- 0% foreign transaction fee; typically in travel rewards credit cards; this helps if you are buying from an overseas store like AmiAmi
- If you are in a bind, credit cards may provide 0% interest for 12+ months, for balance transfers of anywhere between 3-5% of what you are trying to transfer. Only use this for emergencies!
Most people are scared of accruing interest. There are so many options of 0% intro purchase APR credit cards, that you SHOULD NEVER have to pay a single dime in interest. You can literally open a new credit card each year with similar deals and rewards.
I recommend these credit cards for beginners
Below, is my recommend list of credit cards for beginners. Again, if you want to go deeper into the game, just follow those recommended credit card YouTubers. This is going off the assumption that you are a beginner to credit cards. Also, I use this website called US Credit Card Guide. Go ahead and check them out to find other options for you.
Discover It Card
This is probably the easiest to get if you are a beginner.
There are rotating categories each quarter. So one quarter, they may give you 5% cash back on purchases from Amazon or deals like that. You get a $75 or $100 statement credit for opening.
Please use my referral here
Love Bitcoin?! Get 1.5% cash back on every purchase. Specifically, I use this card to make purchases overseas since it has 0% foreign transaction fee. Every end of the month, you get paid out in bitcoin into your wallet!
Please use my referral here
Citi Credit Cards
- Citi Double Cash Card; get 1% back for spending and 1% back for paying off your card
- Citi Custom Cash Card; you can get 5% of the top eligible category. Ideally, you can use this card only for whatever category you choose to maximixe your rewards
No referral, but I highly recommend these 2 cards! Both of these cards gives you 0% purchase APR for 12 months+.
Chase Credit Cards
The Chase Freedom Flex gives you rotating categories like the Discover IT card. Opening an account gives you $200 off, if you spend $500 within the first 3 months. You get “0% purchase intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.” See more benefits by clicking on the referral below!
Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited referral here
Wells Fargo Active Cash
This card is like the Citi Double Cash Back, in that you get back 2% cash back on any purchases. There’s usually a 12 month 0% purchase APR.
Bank of America
- Customized Cash Rewards; you choose which category you get 3% cash back
- Unlimited Cash Rewards; every purchase is 1.5% cash back
No referral. But both of these cards give you the $200 off $1000 for opening. There’s usually a 12 month 0% purchase APR as well.
Last thoughts on credit cards
If you don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of credit cards, then simplest thing you can do is just simply payoff your credit card after it’s posted to your account. You get the rewards and don’t have to deal with any statement balances.
It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s really not. If you can do simple arithmetic, then this is very easy to do. Keeping track of all my money on a spreadsheet has given me financial clarity and I’m 100% certain it will for you as well.
This will get you jump started on your journey—to take full control of your money and know how much you have at any given moment in time. Anytime, I make a purchase or make a payment, I update my “Google Spreadsheet.” I know on what day, “what I paid” and “how much I paid.” All you have to do is log into your bank account, credit card account, brokerage account, etc; to make sure the numbers are accurate.
So, let’s get started!
You can use any basic spreadsheet app or if you have Microsoft Excel, that would be perfect! If not, go ahead start a Gmail account. It is totally free and they give you 15 GB of storage. Once you have your Gmail account setup, go ahead and follow the steps below.
1. How to get to “Google Spreadsheet”
Click on the “9 dotted” menu and click on ‘drive’
Click on ‘new’
Here you have a blank spreadsheet to get you started in managing your money!
2. Creating a basic layout for your budgeting
Here is a basic layout of what you’ll need to use to manage your money.
DOESN’T EXCEED your DISPOSABLE INCOME!
Below, the highlighted in green, is where you’ll input your income.
I calculated based off of bi-weekly paychecks. We are assuming the person is making $25/per hour. If you work full-time, you are most likely pulling in at least 40 hours/week and times 2, you will get $2000 pre-tax for 1 paycheck. You can adjust it for taxes and change the calculations; but for this blog, we are are going to keep it basic. Change the formulas to whatever your hours and wage is.
There is roughly a little over 4 weeks in a month, so to get your income for the month, you’ll be getting at least 2 paychecks. So, 2 paychecks at $2000, you will be making about $4000 per month. All I did here was to add the bi-weekly income in cell ‘B2’ and times it by 2 to get the monthly income.
A. Below, highlighted in red, you’ll input your fixed monthly income.
On the left side of “Costs Monthly,” you’ll want to list out everything you MUST PAY in order to maintain your living. Rent, car, utilities, food, gas, any subscriptions services like Crunchyroll; you’ll want to list out what you have to pay for the month. On the right-side of where it says “BlockFi due 8th,” you can input what debit card or credit card you use to pay for whatever service. That way, you can log into that specific account to make sure everything is correctly charged on that date. If you have more than one subscription, you can just add more rows to the “Costs Monthly.“
When you input the “=SUM()” function. You can highlight all the cells that include your costs and Google Spreadsheets will automatically add it all up for you. That’s how it ends of look like “B5:B9” for the “=SUM(B5:B9).”
B. Below, highlighted in orange, you’ll calculate your estimated “disposable income.”
All you have to do here is add the cells of your “Monthly Income (E2)” with your “Fixed Monthly Costs (E3).” Under Disposable income, just insert the “=SUM(E2:E3)” function
C. Below, in the yellow, you will populate all of your credit card balance, if you hold any.
Depending on what credit cards you use, you’ll want to list them here. You can also add in the due dates to make it more specific.
Again, just input in the “SUM” function and add the cells with the “Credit Card Balance” in the formula.
Assuming, you are planning on paying off your credit card balance within that same month, you’ll add the “Disposable Income” with your “Total Credit Card Balance.” Now, you’ll have all of your costs accounted for and you know EXACTLY how much money you can deploy to investing, extracurricular or anime figures!
3. Enter in your anime figures costs
Now, for my fellow anime figure collectors, this is the part that will help you most. Personally, I use a separate spreadsheet just for anime figures, but you don’t necessarily need to do that.
Below, start a column for “Anime Figures,” “Costs” and “Date Released.” On the right of that, you’ll want to know the total cost of the figures you owe, so go ahead and name it “Total Cost of Figures.” Then, label each month like “April 2022,” “May 2022” and so on, as seen in the image below.
In the “Total Cost of Figures” cell, go ahead and insert the SUM formula with the costs of all your figures in column J. Notice, you can manually add in the cell by separating each cell by commas like J2, J3, J4 or you can just group them like J2:J4.
Now, go ahead and input the formula for each month. Use the ‘SUM‘ function by adding only the cells expected to release that month. This cell represents your total cost of figure you owe for the month.
With anime releases constantly shifting, you’re going to want to keep track on which month, you’ll roughly have to pay.
Right night to the cell with your “Disposable Income w/ Credit Cards(E9),” go ahead and make the the cell labeled “Income-April.” You can rename it to something better, but the purpose of this is to know how much money you’ll have left after you paid all your figures you owe for the month. You’ll use the “SUM” function once more by adding the “Disposable Income w/ Credit Cards (E9),” with “April 2022 (L8)“
There you have it. Now you have a basic spreadsheet to help manage your life and collecting hobby.
In a couple hours of playing around with it, you should be able to get the hang of it and customize it to fit your situation. It’s literally just getting the spreadsheet to add the cells together.
If you need help, don’t be afraid to leave a comment or DM me on any social media platforms that I am on. At the end of the day, I hope this at least gives you a first step into managing and saving your money. Don’t turn your hobby into some crazy debt! Don’t forget to like and share this post if you think it has been helpful!