(Topic ID: 242640)

What do you guys do that you can afford pinball?


By Trooper11040

40 days ago



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  • Latest reply 3 days ago by freddy
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    There are 404 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 9.
    #151 39 days ago

    To those of you that answer you are allowed to do this because you do not have a wife and kids:

    I do this BECAUSE I have a wife and kids. Our combined income allows for my absurd obsession. My son helps fuel said obsession. It also helps that my wife has a career that she has based on an incredible work ethic and an uncanny ability to manage quality on expensive medical things I don't understand. I just shill slurpees and fritos at a gas station.

    Oh, and theres the podcast. It pulls in cheddar like Brewster's Millions, if by Brewster's Millions you mean... nothing.

    #152 39 days ago
    Quoted from Trooper11040:

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

    For me it's not so much what I do (but yes, I've done software dev, system arch, and now working in the IoT space) but when you get into the hobby.

    I am lucky to have got into the hobby ~15 years ago. It's quite possible I wouldn't be in the hobby if I started recently.

    Having got games 15 years ago, you end up with "Pin Cash". Meaning game X has appreciated enough that you can sell it and buy something else. Effectively buying stuff today with only the cash you put out a while ago -- or some modest addition. Just plain luck.

    [Reader should now insert their own comment about the state of pinball pricing]

    ... Altan

    #153 39 days ago

    Been mostly an engineer and then an analyst with the same company for 25 years. Annual raises with the same business have been beneficial, but I'm a big believer in setting some money aside every month for my hobby. (Which means you can't get yourself in a lot of debt or that won't be possible.) Then when a pin comes along that I want, I already have the money set aside for it.

    There are other ways to save money as well. When CGC came along with MMR, I started working a lot of overtime to save up for the machine after a down payment. Fortunately it was a long wait before mine was ready, and in the meantime I kept working extra hours so I would be ready for CCR, BBBR, etc.

    One of my oldest tricks includes sacrificing some other luxury. In my case I'm the oddball that brings a packed lunch to work every day when everyone else orders in. One guy knows to stop asking me why I always bring a lunch because I'll then ask him how much he paid for his, pull out my calculator, and then show him how much he could save a year.

    I have also given up on looking stylish.

    #154 39 days ago

    How many software engineers does it take to post in this thread for me to consider changing my career path?

    All of them apparently.

    Seriously though, seems like a cool field to be in.

    As for all the vets in here - thanks for your service.

    #155 39 days ago

    Im 41 still working on getting my bachelors, max out my platinum credit cards on pins, call my dad to cry about the stresses of debt, he pays em off...rinse...repeat

    #156 39 days ago

    Engineering manager, former software engineer. Stay at home wife with 2 young boys. We live well below our means, save like mad, and on a rare occasion I’ll buy a machine. I’ve sold a lot of them too typically for a decent profit. Sometimes I’ll sell one and add a few thousand to get a higher end machine.

    Prices have gotten insane though. It kills me to see EM machines in the $1,500 range. Makes me want to sell my nice Surf Champ just because I can get a premium for it right now. It won’t last...

    #157 39 days ago

    I shoot fish in a barrel.

    #158 39 days ago
    Quoted from TheHueManatee:

    shoot fish in a barrel.

    He really the manager at the local 7-11

    #159 39 days ago

    Despite a 7th grade education I have been very fortunate winning money from scratch off lottery tickets. So much that I have doubled by home model collection. Have a Montgomery Ward Evil Knieval and Sears Brown Dirt Cowboy.

    #160 39 days ago

    No value added. Sounds sketchy or non-committal.

    #161 39 days ago
    Quoted from Toucanf16:

    No value added. Sounds sketchy or non-committal.

    Haha. I operate pinball for a living and I still can't afford them.

    #162 39 days ago
    Quoted from terrapinmark:

    Despite a 7th grade education I have been very fortunate winning money from scratch off lottery tickets. So much that I have doubled by home model collection. Have a Montgomery Ward Evil Knieval and Sears Brown Dirt Cowboy.

    Montgomery Ward!?!
    Now those were the days!

    #163 39 days ago

    I am just lucky!

    #164 39 days ago

    I'm fairly compensated to fix things (Welding, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, alarm, egress and camera systems)

    I buy pins that need to be fixed 80% of the time and generally enjoy fixing them. My lot in life as I generally don't like newer pins aside from a Walking Dead my wife and I enjoyed playing at Pintastic..

    #165 39 days ago
    Quoted from Nickson:

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

    Thumbs up to you! I did the same saving for a car which I bought the following year (at 16)
    and still have. 1968 Barracuda..
    Back in the 90s, I put out a dozen or so ball bowlers that paid for many of the $100.00
    project machines.. Project ball bowlers were $300.00 - $500.00

    #166 39 days ago

    Stare at the siverball long enough and you to will find a way.

    #167 39 days ago

    I own a couple of restaurants and do pinball routing/repair. All the money pinball makes goes back in to the hobby.

    11
    #168 39 days ago

    I try to get on jury duty as much as possible, as long as there is free parking. Boy can it add up.

    #169 39 days ago
    Quoted from oPinsesame:

    I try to get on jury duty as much as possible, as long as there is free parking. Boy can it add up.

    I see what you zidd there!

    #170 39 days ago
    Quoted from transprtr4u:

    He really the manager at the local 7-11

    Knew it!!!

    #171 39 days ago

    23 years developing mid range servers. Previous 15 years technical design work mostly at startups. And as others have observed it's my only real indulgence. I don't golf, gamble or follow sports. I Don't ski, fish, or own sports cars/motorcycles. At 58 I got over being stylish decades ago. My husband makes me a healthy lunch to take to work every day which I enjoy. We live in the sticks where houses and land are much cheaper. It's a matter of priorities I think.

    #172 39 days ago
    Quoted from textaddict:

    23 years developing mid range servers. Previous 15 years technical design work mostly at startups. And as others have observed it's my only real indulgence. I don't golf, gamble or follow sports. I Don't ski, fish, or own sports cars/motorcycles. At 58 I got over being stylish decades ago. My husband makes me a healthy lunch to take to work every day which I enjoy. We live in the sticks where houses and land are much cheaper. It's a matter of priorities I think.

    At least you dont live too far from Austin. There are some GREAT pinball places there.

    #173 39 days ago

    If I had to choose between family and pinball, family experiences trump pinball by a mile.

    I started with one cheap game and fixed it up. Then bought more cheap games to fix. Sell 2, buy 1. Then I sold all 6 of my games at once when I bought a house. Then I saved and eventually bought one game NIB. It will be a while before I can afford another, but that’s the price of family I guess.

    How can I afford pinball? With years of planning and proper choices there’s a little left for fun.

    #174 39 days ago

    OP....thank you for your service.

    My career (high level Accounting position) finally kicking in some good coins so recently started purchasing more games from my origianl 2 I had for many years. Also single and no kids and I pick relatively cheap vacations...weekend get aways and an occasional trip to Las Vegas. I also do some landscaping on the side which funds my mods

    #175 39 days ago

    I only buy Lyman codes games so I don’t lose my ass when I go to sell them.

    #176 39 days ago

    I work a lot of overtime. Making sure the electric grid stays full of megawatts.

    #177 39 days ago

    Designing, creating, and building female sex toys. Mostly the glass variety. The feedback from my customers is most rewarding part.

    #178 39 days ago

    I gamble. It's only a problem if you're losing.
    Call 1-800 Bets-off

    #179 39 days ago
    Quoted from transprtr4u:

    He really the manager at the local 7-11

    That's the word on the street

    #180 39 days ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    I own a family business with my brothers.
    No wife and no kids = more for me.

    #181 39 days ago

    I'm a jack of all trades, master of one, the thing I master is called having fun!

    #182 39 days ago

    I got lucky when I left the military and scored an entry-level job at a semiconductor manufacturer. Worked full-time and went to night school for 8 years to earn my BS in Business, company paid 60% of tuition, I carried 40% in student loans. I'm single. I'm also the opposite of others here, I've always traditionally gone into debt to buy things. Bought a house I really couldn't afford but hung on to it, always bought used cars, carried a balance on my student loans for years. Major vacations only every 4-5 years, other vacations spent at home working on improvements & landscaping. Spent all my disposable income on collectibles...garage sales, Goodwill, eBay, swap meets. Have been buying budget pinballs for years (since 2003) while scraping by, used Clay's guides to help me fix them. One bad event could have wiped me out but I made it through. House appreciated, I sold it and bought 2 more, one's a rental that's paying for itself. Car is paid for. Student loans are paid off. My collectibles are worth a lot of money. Now have a good job (QA) in a different semiconductor company where I've been for the past 21 years. I'm now buying a few expensive machines to add to the collection. Still carrying credit card debt but I'm paying it down by selling off some of the collectibles.

    Some things I did well (collectibles, inexpensive pins, used cars), other things not so well (loads of debt). But I'm really happy with what I have, I think that's key.

    #183 39 days ago
    Quoted from oPinsesame:

    I try to get on jury duty as much as possible, as long as there is free parking. Boy can it add up.

    And avoid speeding in Georgia.

    #184 39 days ago

    I own a construction subcontracting company, but I built up my pin collection to what I have today (mostly newer Sterns) over the years by picking up older 80s and 90s non working pins cheap, fixing them and selling or trading, scoring some great deals on Craigslist etc ( back when that was still possible) and trading up. All my newer games except Iron Maiden were acquired via trading multiple older pins that I got fairly inexpensively. Of course, had I just held onto those older 90s games that I traded Id probably be better off as far as the value of the collection. But whaddya gonna do.

    #185 39 days ago
    Quoted from textaddict:

    My husband makes me a healthy lunch to take to work every day which I enjoy. We live in the sticks where houses and land are much cheaper. It's a matter of priorities I think.

    My wife and I take lunches to work and we almost never go on vacations, house and cars are paid off as well. Not really setting aside money for pinball, we both have fairly simple lives and the kids are grown up.

    #186 39 days ago

    Seven years ago when I ventured into this hobby, there were a decent amount of project machine available through different avenues. Craigslist, auctions, word of mouth & even yard sales were the means to pick up a project machine at a reasonable price.

    I would acquire a machine(s) & fix, shop, then flip for a profit. For example, I put a bid of $500 on a roached Centaur at an auction & expended another $600 on a very nice restore job. Flipped it for $3800 & the buyer was completely satisfied. This went on w/ many-many other machines, but within the last year or so the pin deals have completely dried up.

    This approach has allowed my wife & I an arcade in the front of the house & a few pins in the back of the house. We are very fortunate, as I consider pinball escapism at its finest ~ especially when combined w/ beer!

    #187 39 days ago

    I play dollar games.

    12
    #188 39 days ago

    This is how, 10 years this 07 August:

    20190511_164959 (resized).jpg

    Also, I paid off my school loans, drove the same vehicle for 20 years (yes, 20 years), and live within my means.

    I also made it through a divorce with zero alimony, zero hit to my retirement, and survived a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

    Military does not equal poor. Poor decisions equals poor.

    FTR, about to be married and help support and already raise my 6 year old stepson, and my pin funds have not taken a hit. This whole "I don't have a wife and kids" line does not line up with my results (bought 6 of my 9 games since meeting them).

    20190412_205403 (resized).jpg

    #189 39 days ago

    Spend less than you make. Save for the future. And factor in that fun is important and it all somehow works out.

    -10
    #190 39 days ago

    By not paying taxes!!! The president says its ok.

    #191 39 days ago

    By living in my parents basement...no wait, that my kid!

    #192 39 days ago

    Software engineer. Yes, a real engineer. I make pretty freaking good money and yet I'm amazed at how people who seem to make a fraction of what I make have many pins and buy NIB. I didn't start buying pins until I was out of debt and my retirement investments were well over the $750K mark. I still don't feel I can buy a NIB every year. I'm hoping to be able to buy a NIB every 2 years until I have a collection of 4 or 5 games.

    11
    #193 39 days ago
    Quoted from Trooper11040:

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

    One day I just said....
    A4767244-A3DA-440D-B781-7A6B76183F8A (resized).png

    #194 39 days ago
    Quoted from konjurer:

    Software engineer. Yes, a real engineer. I make pretty freaking good money and yet I'm amazed at how people who seem to make a fraction of what I make have many pins and buy NIB. I didn't start buying pins until I was out of debt and my retirement investments were well over the $750K mark. I still don't feel I can buy a NIB every year. I'm hoping to be able to buy a NIB every 2 years until I have a collection of 4 or 5 games.

    Define out of debt? Literally no mortgage, car payments or credit card debt? How old are you?

    Someone in my office has a saying tacked to a cork board: “rich people get rich by acting like they are poor, and poor people stay poor by acting like they are rich”. I firmly believe that and have seen both sides of the coin. Probably have lived both sides. I’m middle aged now and live humbly, all things considered...

    #195 39 days ago
    Quoted from PinJim:

    Define out of debt? Literally no mortgage, car payments or credit card debt?

    That's how we define it; House paid off in full in 13 years, cars paid off, any credit card use paid off at the end of the month to avoid interest.

    I like using a credit card instead of debit, extra layer of protection if something goes sideways.

    #196 38 days ago
    Quoted from PinJim:

    Define out of debt? Literally no mortgage, car payments or credit card debt? How old are you?
    Someone in my office has a saying tacked to a cork board: “rich people get rich by acting like they are poor, and people people stay poor by acting like they are rich”. I firmly believe that and have seen both sides of the coin. Probably have lived both sides. I’m middle aged now and live humbly, all things considered...

    "people people"?

    #197 38 days ago

    Next month will be my 20th year as an airline pilot, with a few before that teaching people to fly and flying execs around in their own airplanes.

    I didn't take the OP as being about HOW people can afford all these expensive toys, as much as "What do you guys all do for a living".

    Debt is a tool, like anything else. If you use is correctly and safely, it's fine, but anything can be dangerous if it's wielded without competence or care.

    #198 38 days ago

    I really don't think it matters "what you do". We all come from different walks of life and have different situations. General rule of thumb is just be smart with the money you do earn and try and keep expenses to a minimum. If you make a concentrated effort at living inexpensively as possible and not wasting money on frivolous things, you will achieve your goals.

    #199 38 days ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    "people people"?

    Yeah, fixed my bad quote...

    #200 38 days ago

    You can live in a van by the river, as long as you have a good generator to power the pins.

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