(Topic ID: 242640)

What do you guys do that you can afford pinball?


By Trooper11040

13 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 370 posts
  • 235 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 hours ago by Zablon
  • Topic is favorited by 17 Pinsiders

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    There are 370 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 8.
    24
    #1 13 days ago

    So I currently own only 2 pins...A TWD Prem and a NGG, 2 slot machines and a super chexx pro...I’m a state trooper in PA, and the sole provider in my household. My wife is a stay at home mom with 2 young boys. What do you guys do to make the money to buy these expensive toys we love? My wife is always ready to shoot me when I bring home any new toys lol

    57
    #2 13 days ago

    Be single

    #3 13 days ago
    Quoted from Trooper11040:

    So I currently own only 2 pins...A TWD Prem and a NGG, 2 slot machines and a super chexx pro...I’m a state trooper in PA, and the sole provider in my household. My wife is a stay at home mom with 2 young boys. What do you guys do to make the money to buy these expensive toys we love? My wife is always ready to shoot me when I bring home any new toys lol

    I own a family business with my brothers.

    No wife and no kids = more for me.

    #4 13 days ago

    I'm a software developer that comes from a family of accountants. Living way below your means is what all the cool kids are doing

    #5 13 days ago

    I'm a PTA and work with special needs adults
    at a day program. I work some nights and weekends
    at a couple of nursing homes to help fund pinball. Also
    build some rustic furniture and sell. Only way to go for
    me because my wife thinks buying these things is crazy.

    22
    #6 13 days ago

    Play on location and buy cheap projects, then take forever learning how to fix them.

    #7 13 days ago
    Quoted from edward472:

    I'm a software developer that comes from a family of accountants. Living way below your means is what all the cool kids are doing

    Ha, pretty much this for me. Buy cheaper games and projects and fix them. Have a house/cars/etc. in the middle of the budget instead of the maximum I could afford - don't get "house poor".

    #8 13 days ago

    Software Engineer and product developer. All my kids are grown up (well at least they think they are). However... I'm not dropping 7K on every new machine that hits the street... My collection is fairly static for a while then I cycle them out. I actually enjoy cleaning them up and restoring them as much as playing them... so that keeps me busy.

    65
    #9 13 days ago

    Who said any of us can afford any of this ?
    lol

    #10 13 days ago

    Everyone is at a different income level and time in their life.
    Doesn't make sense to look at others and try and figure out what they do to afford what they have.
    Some are wealthy and some are highly leveraged and in debt.
    Buy what you can afford and enjoy.
    Best thing about this hobby these days is there are lots of places to play on location and people close to you with pins that are willing to have you over.

    10
    #11 13 days ago

    I fund my pinball purchases by putting all my small change and 5 bills that i get in a jar at the end of the day - you would be surprised how much you can accumulate in six months or a year. it allows me to buy something about every 2-3 years with my savings. This is like 10 years worth but i did have to add a bit to get my latest - sweeet machine

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    26
    #12 13 days ago

    i live with my parents and got a part time job. spend it all on pins and i am only 15.

    14
    #13 13 days ago

    Proud aviator. I seem to recall a similar thread on pinside recently.
    Having a wife and kids is a blessing. The games will come and go over time. Hopefully you can find some local hobbyists to share with.
    Likewise I live in northwest NJ. I am 100% happy to share my games with anyone who might want to visit (and I happen to be home).
    Here are some older pictures, collection has grown since then.
    -Jim

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    #14 13 days ago

    Well, for my 1st pinball, I cut lawns, did some small engine repairs (lawnmowers) and clean-outs. I was 13-14 years old. This was around 1975-6 and was able to purchase a Tropic Fun. It snowballed from there and by 1980 I was able to buy my 1st NIB (Space Invaders pin). Fun times.

    #15 13 days ago

    Manipulate, Steal, Conquer.

    #16 13 days ago

    That's easy, manage funds strictly!

    #17 13 days ago

    I shouldn't. I'm a teacher and my wife is a school counselor, no kids only 1 car payment. We both had a mid life crisis at about 40, found that pinball gives us so much joy that we cashed in all our savings and quit putting extra payments on the house. Our reasoning is that if we hit a rough patch we'll just sell some pins. When we reach our 8th pin or so we'll have no more room and the expense will go down as we start trading out.

    #18 13 days ago

    I followed my father's advice:

    1. never own anything with a mouth
    2. buy 3 yr old cars with 30k miles
    3. make money while sleeping (investing)

    #19 13 days ago

    I have a day job that covers living expenses and a number of side endeavors that pay for hobbies like pinball.

    It also helps that I have nieces/nephews and no kids myself (that I'm aware of! )

    #20 13 days ago

    I eat a lot of ramen.

    #21 13 days ago

    Work in Desktop support. No pins, don't get paid enough. I play on location

    #22 13 days ago
    Quoted from Trooper11040:

    ... What do you guys do to make the money to buy these expensive toys we love? ...

    When you're an addict, you find a way.

    15
    #23 13 days ago

    I'm Frieda's boss.

    frieda (resized).jpg
    #24 13 days ago

    I've been in logistics most of my adult life. I picked up the majority of my "A" list games in the 2000s, before they went wild, not necessarily because they were "A" list games, they just happened to be ones that I liked. I'd work, save the money, and get one. I paid TOP dollar for a HUO Monster Bash when I got it ($3400.00) - that's the most I've ever paid for a game beside my only NIB game (MeTLE.) 20+ years down the road to now, I buy/fix/sell games, make a couple bucks (or not), and keep one here and there. We have our core collection of favorites, and rotate others in and out.

    #25 13 days ago
    Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

    When you're an addict, you find a way.

    This.

    Quoted from starfighter:

    I followed my father's advice:
    1. never own anything with a mouth
    2. buy 3 yr old cars with 30k miles
    3. make money while sleeping (investing)

    This.

    I have no wife or kids. I’m in sales, and I’m also a landlord. So, other people pay my mortgage, and my income goes to having fun and savings.

    My collection isn’t fancy or super special to others - but it’s mine and I love it.

    #26 13 days ago

    I've been in logistics most of my adult life. I picked up the majority of my "A" list games in the 2000s, before they went wild, not necessarily because they were "A" list games, they just happened to be ones that I liked. I'd work, save the money, and get one. My wife and I also used to make mods before 3D printers came along. We have a couple rental properties too. I paid TOP dollar for a HUO Monster Bash when I got it ($3400.00) - that's the most I've ever paid for a game beside my only NIB game (MeTLE.) 20+ years down the road to now, I buy/fix/sell games, make a couple bucks (or not), and keep one here and there. We have our core collection of favorites, and rotate others in and out.

    #27 13 days ago

    Work in fast food establishments!

    #28 13 days ago

    Retired. Zero debt.

    #29 13 days ago

    This!

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    #30 13 days ago

    First one I got off eBay cheap.
    Second came by way of a small inheritance.
    Acquired an upright arcade by means of cashed in vacation time.
    Another pin came by way of a tax refund.
    AND the last one I got was a product of some shrewd sales on ebay of unwanted but collectable items combined with some savings.
    All this and I am a janitor with an average salary.
    Get creative.
    If 'ya want 'em, find a way.

    #31 13 days ago

    I'm a software developer that normally wouldn't be able to afford more than maybe one machine. But, to kill time while my wife was in veterinary school two hours away I got into buying and selling vintage comic books. Did pretty well and used that as an initial pinball fund.

    #32 13 days ago

    I don’t take on debt, negotiated student loans for my master’s degree into 2 jobs which fully covered the cost. I work full-time and own a side business (which I also work part time) and repair and sell games in my limited spare time. I invest a lot, and save a lot. I stay within a good budget And only have 4-6 games at a time (occasionally it’s 7 )

    I don’t watch much tv, this is EXTREMELY important to have more time to do stuff.

    #33 13 days ago
    Quoted from gliebig:

    I'm Frieda's boss. [quoted image]

    "Who's Frieda?"

    #34 13 days ago

    Military veteran government contractor with a crap ton of certifications to qualify for good labor categories. MBA, MS, CISM, CISSP, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSPO, Sec+, Project+, ITIL.

    Once you have a few pins they seem to be fairly easy to trade so you can always have something new. When I decide I'm done, I can also sell out and get most of my money back. What other hobby lets you do that?

    I also just bought my first project (PINBOT) to fix up and sell. I am under the delusion I can fix it up, play it for a couple months, sell it for a slight profit, and do it again. It's not a ton of money, but I have fun fixing things and it stays in the pinball fund.

    #35 13 days ago

    I like to have one in the house and then location location location the rest.

    I use pinball maps to find locations and new games. Also,my friends games are my fun.

    I do want three or four pins and I first started by getting fixer uppers too. It was a jungle lord, then a strange science. The kids loved both as I fixed them we played them.

    #36 13 days ago

    If you have 500 bucks you can buy a pinball machine.

    #37 13 days ago

    For me its just that time in my life i have the disposable income to afford these toys. I also think thats where this resurgence of pinball is partly coming from. I’ve only been collecting for 4 years but i am far from being new to pinball. I played in smoky old arcades in the 80’s as a kid. Fast forward a few decades and no more student loans, marriage paid for (financially not emotionally haha) and my earnings are much higher than when i got out of school. Now i can own what i couldnt when my disposable income went to other priorities in life. I’m sure this is the case with others from my generation who lined up to place quarters on a lockdown bar waiting for their turn to play...

    #38 13 days ago

    DINKs here. software engineer and zoo keeper prob only in the last 5 years (im 41) has it become affordable to buy maybe one game a year if i really wanted to.

    strategy for marital bliss, both pay (not equally, but proportioned to salaries) into:
    - joint account where the bills get paid
    - joint savings for vacation/home improvements
    - joint emergency fund
    - both maxed out 401ks

    whatever is left after we both pay into the above.. is disposable.. we both take care of our own hobbies out of that.

    -25
    #39 13 days ago
    Quoted from D-Gottlieb:

    Retired. Zero debt.

    I got an education,used it,and retired!Not a strategy the millennials care to use!!

    13
    #40 13 days ago

    Work my ass off cutting 85+ yards.. plus at the moment no kids, paid off house and cars which helps a lot.

    #41 13 days ago

    I think you are asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is "What steps allowed you your current collection of games?"

    I work for a family owned wholesale distributor. It's a cool place to work and stress is kept at a minimum. I could make more $ somewhere else but I like the people I work with and the projects that come across my desk. I make enough to do the things in life that I want to do. Money is not everything.

    There are a some misconceptions about "pinball enthusiests that own a bunch of cool machines".

    Some people have extra income or retirement money and spend it on these things, buying 5-20 machines in a few months time.

    Others started collecting 20 years ago when prices were not crazy and you could buy some great titles for 1500. Back then, there were a lot more machines than there were people that played them.

    Some pinball people here were operators back in the day (some still are) and held on to some titles and are just fans of pinball. So, it was their business. There are also distributors that sell machines for a living and have a collection of games they took in on "trades".

    Then you have smaller groups and some larger groups that are in leagues and play competitive pinball. A lot of those groups of people have feelers constantly out looking for other friends and trading within those groups and other social networking groups. That really helps "push the hobby wheels forward" much faster than 15 years ago. It really took a lot more time to track down the titles you were looking to buy back then.

    Some enthusiasts are a combination of all these things. Most games I bought 15 years ago were in a broken state and I just taught myself how to repair them. Back then broken games were cheap because there were almost ZERO places to buy replacement boards or displays beyond eBay. If you could repair stuff back then, it was a very valuable skill. Also, I started with arcades and combined arcades and pins together at some point. Regarding the funds to pay for a hobby, I don't mix hobby money with other money. I keep these separated and when funds run low, I sell something, or find another project to work on and resell, or schedule some local repairs for $50/hr. Yes, that's cheap!

    So, when you look at someone's list of titles and are like "what bank did you rob to afford 50K worth of games"... Not many people actually take that path. Sure there could be some but the vast majority of people with amazing collections of games either have money to burn or started collecting a long time ago.

    #42 13 days ago

    Saved and invested starting 40 years ago.
    Now I can tap into retirement accounts with no penalty.
    Always lived below my means and still working .

    27
    #43 13 days ago

    I wheel a raven on a dolly into a barcade and wheel out a Met or GOT while wearing a shirt that says "bobs arcade"...the employees think im there to maintain the games...
    Popeyes work just as well....

    #44 13 days ago

    College student with only a small part-time job lol

    Affording pinball..

    #45 13 days ago
    Quoted from Crile1:

    "Who's Frieda?"

    "My secretary"

    #46 13 days ago

    Work in a family business. Used to have two and sold one last year.

    Family business= When it is going good, it is really good.

    When it is going bad, I don't think things could be much worse. There is no escape from it.

    #47 13 days ago

    No kids and my husband and I both have great jobs in IT. Helps that he enjoys pinball too, though not as obsessed with it as I am.

    #48 13 days ago

    I cant afford any more.....Im retired.....

    #49 13 days ago
    Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

    When you're an addict, you find a way.

    Yeah. Cheaper than dope, but far more addictive!

    13
    #50 13 days ago

    I charge my stuff to the Underhills.

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