Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

IceCreamGuitar

Otakon 2009 Budget

Recommended Posts

With all this recession crap, how much tighter is your budget for Otakon? I'm purely curious. With the way this money stuff is going now, the way it's looking, I might have to call off my hotel room and not go to Otakon. Which sucks, cause I already started on my cosplay, but what can you do?

I might try eBay...sell some stuff, raise money. xD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've tightened our belts within Otakorp, too -- but most of that won't be obvious to you guys, we hope. The big struggle was to keep our membership fees from going up, given that everything else did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We've tightened our belts within Otakorp, too -- but most of that won't be obvious to you guys, we hope. The big struggle was to keep our membership fees from going up, given that everything else did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tighten my belt by doing fewer cons. In 2007, I hit Katsu, Ota, Balticon, AMA, AUSA, Baltimore Comic-Con, Power Morphicon and T-Mode. In 2008, it was Katsu, Ota, Balticon, Baltimore Comic-Con, T-Mode and Tigercon (if that counts, since I helped organize it). For 2009, I foresee the same assortment of cons, though I might cut back on some things like, say, the artist table I got at Baltimore Comic-Con or the amount I spend in the DR at Otakon.

Since I'm actually in the Baltimore metro area, if I don't make it to Otakon, something is seriously wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My plan includes one of the three cons: Anime Expo (two weeks before Otakon), Worldcon or Dragoncon, so I am already preparing to do less cons in 2009. I will do two on three weekends with Ohayocon and Katsucon and can see not going to another con until Otakon. I may cut back on the nights I spend at Otakon and maybe gofering, also. It is way too early to tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm gonna be setting aside a bit of cash every week from now until the convention. every year i have a last minute scramble to scrape together the funds i need for the weekend. i'm doing everything i can to prevent that from happening this year :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I start saving funds on January 1st. Depending upon my hours and desires/needs is how much I put aside. I'll aim to have my hotel money saved by February, Gas and Food by March or early April, and from that point on anything I do or dont' put aside just determines how much gear I can get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i'm gonna be setting aside a bit of cash every week from now until the convention. every year i have a last minute scramble to scrape together the funds i need for the weekend. i'm doing everything i can to prevent that from happening this year :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We've tightened our belts within Otakorp, too -- but most of that won't be obvious to you guys, we hope. The big struggle was to keep our membership fees from going up, given that everything else did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My plan includes one of the three cons: Anime Expo (two weeks before Otakon), Worldcon or Dragoncon, so I am already preparing to do less cons in 2009. I will do two on three weekends with Ohayocon and Katsucon and can see not going to another con until Otakon. I may cut back on the nights I spend at Otakon and maybe gofering, also. It is way too early to tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

not going to otakon is not a option. i will make it there even if i have to sleep in the streets with the bums. [i'll bring a sleeping bag for that]

but in all seriousness - i throw some money in my savings account for these cons and by the time the con comes I actually have a good amount to get me through the weekend. katsucon is going to be tight but i'm going to that one too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I plan on getting a second job this year to cover my Otakon spendings and other things.

Past two years, I grabbed together all the computer stuff in my room, built it together and sold it all off on Craigslist to pay for Otakon stuff.

First year (2007), I didnt end up with too much, as I also had to fix my iPod.

2008, I ended up with a lot more money, but then bought a lot of materials to make a cosplay, batteries and such for my camera, and a new PSP charger (lost my old one) so I got there with about 200 or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was also mentioned before that hotel prices actually went DOWN for 2009. That should help everyone coming to Otakon save some cash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I really dont know what my budget will look like this yr. Im "staying in a friends family house" but with the way its goin now I really dont know anymore.

i have a job but that pay sucks because of the "R word"

Also Savin money for a car.

So I hope to have money for 2009. Im trying to save bout $400 this yr.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You just need to learn how to budget. I work for a bank and there are so many ways to save! I know it can be harsh during this kind of economic "crunch" but if you really set your mind to it you can save what you need. Open a seperate savings account and start a transfer every month or when ever you get paid set aside 20-25% of your pay. Make sure you don't have that temptation to use that money! You save by unlinking it from your debit/atm card. Sometimes if you don't see it you won't know it's there. I've also put many of auctions up on eBay to get some extra flow too. I'm especially taking this to heart since I'm saving for our wedding this year :lol: Sorry had to add that *floating on cloud 9* I have more saving ideas but I hate writing too much! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My budget this year is $1000 for the weekend, including hotel/food/transportation/whatnot, plus $400 for the plane ticket. I've already got $700 set aside, so I think I'm going at a good pace. Half down, half to go, and half a year left!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year I had about 700 dollars for my con budget, and immediately after that I started re-saving for next year's one. I figure if things goes well I might bring the same amount/up to $1000 next year. Let's see how it goes.

Rule of thumb - save early, save often.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Intersting topic. I have a related question:

What changes do you think will be made in the dealer's room due to the economy? Will they change prices? Will some of them change what they bring? Will the room be larger or smaller?

Just some thoughts...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on what I'm hearing so far, the biggest risk is that many current dealers may go under in the coming months. But on the other hand, even with last year's sinking economy, Otakon is still a profitable show for most of them. So it would take a lot to change their habit of showing up and selling stuff.

I'm betting they'll be dumping old product at a greater rate, and probably at a deeper discount, than they used to. But despite what many people seem to think, most dealers present reasonable pricing and aren't making big bank on the markup. They have to cover their costs. Keep in mind too that any recent product for newer popular shows would have been purchased in the last year -- during which the Yen has grown strong versus the dollar. That means imports cost more.

The other day, it was about 87 yen to the dollar. Just last year in 2007, it was about 107 yen to the dollar. That means a 2500 yen item costs about $29 dollars, whereas it used to cost about $23. -- For those of you keeping track, that means every import costs about 20-25% more now than it did

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll contribute one other consideration for thought:

Oil closed today @ $33.87 a barrel today on the NY Mercantile Exchange. This is approximately 25% of what it cost before Otakon.

Seen gasoline prices lately? There is hard-core speculation going on that gas could be below $1 a gallon by the end of January, barring major supply problems or a record freeze over the winter.

Nobody knows for certain what will happen to oil prices by next Otakon. But one thing is certain right now: If you have to buy gas on a regular basis (commute to a job, etc.), you are currently getting a sizeable "economic stimulus package" in the form of money you do not have to pay the gas station. It was costing me $40+ to fill up my car tank this summer; now it's $15--$18 if I'm running on fumes when I pull in.

Airline prices will NOT fall that fast--yet, if at all. Southwest Airlines, one of THE major carriers to BWI (and probably the choice for more than half of Otakon attendees flying), will be particularly hard hit when it comes to dropping prices, because they have long bought jet fuel *futures,* meaning they're now over-paying--which makes up for their ability to hold prices down when every other airline was slapping fuel surcharges left and right. What will probably happen is that the advertised prices will become far closer to what you actually pay, as airlines gradually stop charging you for every bag you check, every peanut, and the air you breathe.

You want to go to Otakon? Every time you fuel the car/motorcycle, pay what you would have paid six months ago, and set aside the extra $10-40 you don't pump through the hose for Otakon. That is, if you can afford to. If you have to have that operation, fix the car, or keep buying food for the cat, then do so. Maybe you can cancel a road trip you otherwise might have taken, and put that money towards Otakon.

Me? I'll ride the subway to Otakon again, no gas or hotel for me, nyaa nyaa nyaa. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a little over six months to the con, so if you put $10 a week aside for otakon starting now, you'd have about $240 by Otakon. Just a little factoid for you guys.

I find it a good idea that if you're going as a group, do your hotel and travel math now.

Ex - My friends and I rent a van, and they all stay in the same hotel so what they do is add the cost of van rental, tolls, parking, the estimated cost of gas (we check how many miles the trip is and compare it the van's gas mileage to get an estimate), and hotel cost plus hotel tax and then we divide it evenly.

Know how much you need to throw down for all that, and set it aside as soon as you can. We have an envelope for Otakon that everybody puts their share in and we mark down who paid, so I'll pay my share as early as March to get that done with so I can try and put aside spending money.

I always find it just easier to get it done with sooner than down to the wire. Also less stressing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gas prices are supposed to average out at about $2/gal this year, but I guess it all depends on the recession. I set my budget for $4.50/gal just in case. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Budget high, spend low -- it's how I manage to stay within my budget for guests each year without making anyone feel slighted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

budget.. bah my budget has never changed in the 10 years of con going, because I plan things for 2-3 cons 1 year in advance ALWAYS and the only time I had to break that budget was when I was unemployed for 3 months. Cause of that I had to beg my parents for money that one time, other than that I'm always underbudget and tend to bring money back. Now I've had to drop a couple cons from my "Lists of Cons" to hit cause of the distance to them or work interfers with the dates. So my only advise to those reading is to plan 6months to 1 year in adnvance that way you have time to either modify your shopping or your con lists ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to get a job this summer for reason of going to otakon and doing anything that costs money this summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm going to get a job this summer for reason of going to otakon and doing anything that costs money this summer.

I can't emphasize this enough: GET A JOB NOW. I told myself this and wound up missing Otakon last year. You just never know what will/won't be available in the future, so get started now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm going to get a job this summer for reason of going to otakon and doing anything that costs money this summer.

I can't emphasize this enough: GET A JOB NOW. I told myself this and wound up missing Otakon last year. You just never know what will/won't be available in the future, so get started now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing "I guess I better get a job" from folks in this forum just breaks my brain. Do kids today get THAT much help from Mummy and Daddy, that their only reason for being employed is to come to Otakon?

I've had at least a part time job since I was fourteen. From a few months after college until about 8 years ago, I typically had a full-time AND a part-time job. And while I was in college, I had a campus job AND as many as two off-campus jobs at various points.

My parents couldn't afford to give me a free ride for anything (I paid my own car insurance and gas and whatnot from the point at which I started earning money, and took out loans to supplement my college grants and scholarships). And starting my sophomore year in college, I lived off campus in an apartment -- while the folks paid most of the costs, my paycheck didn't just pay for fun stuff, it went for daily necessities. I exhausted all my savings in my freshman year.

And keep in mind, folks, that when I went to college, owning a computer was a rare luxury; I was the second person I knew to own a CD player or VCR. You had to BUY albums and videotapes, and they cost about the same in 1990 as they do now, but a CD player or VCR was at least 200 bucks. You had to pay for entertainment and didn't have as broad a selection. On the flip side, there was no Starbucks every five feet to suck away our cash.

So when I seem unsympathetic about money issues, it's because I've had to work my whole life for my little luxuries, and I don't take them for granted. Without intending any malice here, if you are in college and don't have some sort of job, you are spoiled. (And yes, I'll stand by that statement.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seeing "I guess I better get a job" from folks in this forum just breaks my brain. Do kids today get THAT much help from Mummy and Daddy, that their only reason for being employed is to come to Otakon?

So when I seem unsympathetic about money issues, it's because I've had to work my whole life for my little luxuries, and I don't take them for granted. Without intending any malice here, if you are in college and don't have some sort of job, you are spoiled. (And yes, I'll stand by that statement.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seeing "I guess I better get a job" from folks in this forum just breaks my brain. Do kids today get THAT much help from Mummy and Daddy, that their only reason for being employed is to come to Otakon?

So when I seem unsympathetic about money issues, it's because I've had to work my whole life for my little luxuries, and I don't take them for granted. Without intending any malice here, if you are in college and don't have some sort of job, you are spoiled. (And yes, I'll stand by that statement.)

It breaks my brain too. I have had a job consistantly since I was 16, and I'm 24 now. I had a job when I was in high school.... as soon as class let out, I went straight to my job. My family can't afforf to hand out cash to me.... but that's okay because I don't want to be a financial burden on anyone. I do have some friends who get allowances from their parents while in college and refuse to get jobs because they are either too lazy or it eats into their social life. pfffft. I dont get it. i have an otaku college buddy that's like this. she graduated and still doesnt have a job.

and I dont understand the hundreds and [in some cases] thousands of dollars people bring to cons. I wish i was rich like the people in this message board. I guess it helps if you dont have bills or rent to pay. last otakon I spend like $200 all weekend, hotel included. Im a strong otaku too, and I love my swag, but i just cant imagine spending hundreds of dollars at a con when there are things in life that take more priority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aw, but I'm still in high school! Haha, I know that's not an excuse. But I literally have no time to do school and all my millions on music crap. I plan on working this summer before college and during college, and forever after that...

I'm not gonna rebut the help from Mom and Dad thing, 'cause no one cares about my situation, and it is true for very many people. So many kids over on Coscom complain about their parents not letting them cosplay, 'cause they won't buy it for them, even though they get a weekly $20 allowance (true story. I actually saw that)!! Meh. If I got that much money...

ANYway, since I don't have a job, I save up all year, and try to keep a budget in the Dealer's Room ('cept for last year...), 'cause I think that's where a lot of people break their budget. If you can keep that to a minimum, pre-reg and hotels costs are really nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aw, but I'm still in high school! Haha, I know that's not an excuse. But I literally have no time to do school and all my millions on music crap. I plan on working this summer before college and during college, and forever after that...

I'm not gonna rebut the help from Mom and Dad thing, 'cause no one cares about my situation, and it is true for very many people. So many kids over on Coscom complain about their parents not letting them cosplay, 'cause they won't buy it for them, even though they get a weekly $20 allowance (true story. I actually saw that)!! Meh. If I got that much money...

ANYway, since I don't have a job, I save up all year, and try to keep a budget in the Dealer's Room ('cept for last year...), 'cause I think that's where a lot of people break their budget. If you can keep that to a minimum, pre-reg and hotels costs are really nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing as this is the first year I haven't been unemployed or had my payroll withdrawals messed up, my tax refund should be rather nice and I might just put that away for Otakon.

Anybody else consider their tax refund to be a factor in this situation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not me. I try to ensure that I get, at best, a minimal refund of a few hundred bucks.

But then, I am a homeowner and I also just sneaked into another tax bracket. I'm rather dreading tax time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not me. I try to ensure that I get, at best, a minimal refund of a few hundred bucks.

But then, I am a homeowner and I also just sneaked into another tax bracket. I'm rather dreading tax time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not me. I try to ensure that I get, at best, a minimal refund of a few hundred bucks.

But then, I am a homeowner and I also just sneaked into another tax bracket. I'm rather dreading tax time.

I'm likely missing something due to my inexperience with doing my own taxes, but why would you want a minimal refund?

Why? Because I'd rather *I* had the use of my money than the government.

When you're someone else's dependent, or barely eking out a living doing retail slave or similar entry-level jobs, and making (if you're lucky) enough to live on, it's different. I spent a long time living paycheck to paycheck myself. In those circumstances, the tax refund is often used like an automatic savings account.

When you're out on your own and you make enough money that you're no longer living paycheck-to-paycheck, and especially if you itemize deductions, that makes a LOT less sense. I'd rather invest it, or keep it as cash. Even at half a percent in a savings account, it's still working for you rather than sitting there in the government's hands. And in certain cases, a big refund can actually wind up incurring a penalty.

Not that I'm anti government, or even anti tax. I am happy to pay my fair share, and I make decent money so it's not a paltry sum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not me. I try to ensure that I get, at best, a minimal refund of a few hundred bucks.

But then, I am a homeowner and I also just sneaked into another tax bracket. I'm rather dreading tax time.

I'm likely missing something due to my inexperience with doing my own taxes, but why would you want a minimal refund?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everytime I say I'll have money for Otakon I never do. I should stop jinxing myself like that. ^^;

Ideally, if I were to buy things I like to have $100 to spend in the Dealer's Room because there are manga titles I've been eyeing. I've learned to feed myself on a budget in downtown Baltimore, so usually my ideal minimal budget for Ota is like $150.

I still budget like the broke college student I was I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

money whats that...lol

i put aside a bit of cast each pay check... little by little from the end of otakon to next year it adds up with out hurting my other hobby's

in money goals..

there a 100% change i will take more then i ever spend.

but its nice to know if that $600 thing i must have i can still get it in eat...

lol my 05 my first otakon i only took 300,,, first day spend all of it of stuff,,, had to wait till i got home for food..

(p.s. i drive to otakon live like 15 mins away)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tumbleweeds hop around my bank account!

I have no money saved up for college, let alone this con. And we're not exactly what most people would call wealthy, since everything in the New York/New Jersey area is so damn expensive. I'm not worried at all, though. I will have a job before July 17, and I will have at least 100 dollars saved up for extra spending. Food is usually a problem, so I think we're going to be snacking all day and then chipping in for a nice dinner. I also hope gas prices remain relatively stable, so that we don't have to pay a fortune for that. Honestly, I'd love to start working now, but my schedule for the school musical is too demanding. T.T

On a side note, rich friends to mooch off of ftw!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I have bills to pay and at the moment haven't created a budget plan for Otakon expenses, a portion of my tax return should be all that I need, it's unexpected money so it doesn't fit into pre-planned expenditures.

Honestly, though people, how much stuff can you really buy or want...well let me take that back and rephrase, because I always want a lot of stuff when I first see it, the better question is how much stuff do you see that you want to buy that you know that after a few weeks it won't be relegated to a spot in your closet, just taking up space. That's why I get relatively practical stuff like jewelry that I know I'll wear often, like my Kingdom Hearts Sora Necklace, which is in need of a new chain, so I'll be stocking up on more rings, necklaces, bracers, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find ways to make it... tho I know my main worry is what gas will be in July, since I am driving from Michigan again.

But I already have the hotel booked, and about 1/2 filled.. I was looking for a section on rides/rooms, but didn't see one. Likely will need to open up the room for a few more before the actual con to lower everyone's price for the weekend.

C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's any consolation, gas prices are a HUGE part of my worry every year. When gas doubles in price, it affects all the airfare for guests, the cost of ground transportation, even food prices. But when you fly 20-30 people in from Japan, a 25% increase is pretty painful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I find ways to make it... tho I know my main worry is what gas will be in July, since I am driving from Michigan again.

But I already have the hotel booked, and about 1/2 filled.. I was looking for a section on rides/rooms, but didn't see one. Likely will need to open up the room for a few more before the actual con to lower everyone's price for the weekend.

C

There's an entire section called /index.php?showforum=93">Rooms and Rides just a few sections under this Q&A section.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If it's any consolation, gas prices are a HUGE part of my worry every year. When gas doubles in price, it affects all the airfare for guests, the cost of ground transportation, even food prices. But when you fly 20-30 people in from Japan, a 25% increase is pretty painful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If it's any consolation, gas prices are a HUGE part of my worry every year. When gas doubles in price, it affects all the airfare for guests, the cost of ground transportation, even food prices. But when you fly 20-30 people in from Japan, a 25% increase is pretty painful.

A few days ago I heard ANA was cutting their fuel surcharges in April. So if I wanted to fly from DC to Tokyo in June, it would cost me $200 less than it did in January. That's for economy class. For business and first, I imagine the discount must be huge. And that times ten means you're probably quite happy right now.

(Side note: ANA is a really awesome airline and they're one of only two airlines that fly direct DC-Tokyo. Try them sometime.)

IIRC the fuel surcharge for ANA biz class was about $350 -- so not *quite* as much as you'd think.

The surcharge kicked in last year *after* we'd budgeted, and we knew it was going away this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×