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Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Hobby Account and the Plastic Monkey

     A few months ago, Sam Suggested I set aside money in a second account for hobbies- Movies, Books, Art, and Toys. I've had some toys since the 80's, and I have added more than a few to this collection inne moderne tymes. I have posted Pics here, so you know it to be true. So into this account I put whatever I can set aside from Bill Budget, Rent, Car, Medical, Etc. I also add monies I make from selling stuff I have chosen to get rid of.

     It's interesting, because when people discover there is a second account for hobbies, they assume it's money I am hiding from my spouse, when it's often her urging me to put money in there. We Keep our money and bills separate, and I am convinced that is a key to a happy marriage. But Sam likes to make sure I have money there for Mental Health, and to stave off the Attack of the Plastic Monkey.

     The Plastic Monkey is an invisible creature that digs his shiny plastic claws into my back when it's been too long between purchases. I get nervous...I want to go into every store because they might just have gotten that October released Transformer two months early. And he digs his claws in deeper and deeper still, until I buy something I don't want because it's there, or maybe it's on clearance.

     Anyway, somehow, having that second account with set aside money helps me focus on the things I really do want, and will value. I'm not advocating it for everyone, but it works for me.

     I think in their own way, everyone has a Plastic Monkey. It might be video games, it might be photo equipment, or it might be toys that remind you of your childhood. The Monkey isn't evil, he's just insistent. It's all about feeding him enough to get him to leave you alone. I prowl stores. Sometimes I pick things up, and put them back down, and handling them helps keep the beast at bay. I shop online, and see prices that I consider too high. The Monkey chatters a little, but settles. he's a patient monkey, when he's handled right


  1. This is one of those so very simple things that make a HUGE difference. Tip: Whatever amount is put into the hobby account has to be matched by an amount going into savings. AND because we're dealing with a consummate collector issue it's not a 'pay yourself first' scenario. It's a pay the bills first scenario, then divvy the rest up.

  2. I, too, am hugely surprised by the number of people who think telling P.B. to set up a Hobby account is odd. This is what having a hobby account does:

    It takes away the worry of not having enough $$$ to pay for the great new toy/gadget/book/movie P.B wants. AND it takes away the worry of bills not getting paid in order to get the great new toy/gadget/book/movie that P.B. wants.

    I don't touch the $$$ in the hobby account - I have my own. If I were to start jerking P.B. around about that $$$ we'd loose all trust that's been gained over the matter.

    Seriously, I saw it the first day he had the hobby account. Just a huge sigh of relief. And even though the emotional benefits were immediate, there was/is still some adjustment on thinking around it.

  3. Sam doesn't have a plastic monkey- she may have a purse monkey though

  4. You have money left over after paying bills?? How is this possible? You must tell me your secret! After I pay bills the only thing left is the diminishing echo of money flying away from my wallet.

  5. Yep, Kendall, but you have to love the doppler effect from that at least