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Otakon 2009 Budget


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I'm trying to save as much money as I can for this year's convention. If I can get a on campus-work study job, that would be better if I can find one. Eventually the remainder will become my convention fund, so I that I have an incentive to actually save money when I can.

Edited by jkid
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I've still got about a third of my income tax return - some of that will go towards the train ticket to get to Baltimore. I'm not going to have to stay at a hotel room so I can totally take that money and put it towards Dealer's Room stuff. \o/ I'm also making a list of what I want to buy (example: I would like to buy the rest of the Fruits Basket manga) instead of just grabbing things left and right. Uhm, this didn't really help last time I went to AWA but I guess it's a nice thought? *g*

Oh, and setting aside a bit of money from each check, of course.

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Well, my birthday is right before the con (July 14) so I'm hoping

that I get some good amount of cash from that to spend at the con.

I'm already pretty good as my mom is paying for trip/room as a present.

Yay me!

I'm also making a list of what I want to buy
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I'll probably only be there to buy Japanese versions of manga (like Initial D, etc.), and maybe a few DVDs, so I hope to spend no more than $75 for Otakon stuff. Dining in Baltimore, however, is another story. There's a place called California Tortilla, which is right across from the convention center, and that's where I plan to spend the bulk of my money (ha, ha)!

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I concur with SnappleLlama. Caltort and Five Guys are *the* places to go.

I can't wait to try California Tortilla this year. A Philly Cheesesteak burrito? Come on.. you can't go wrong.

Question is, are they cheap?

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The most I've ever spent for Otakon was around $650, & that was my first anime con ever.

Ever since, I seem to spend less money every year & my friends have always envied me for this. It's all in how you budget your money.

Also, I'm certainly not the 1st one to admit that one of the many reasons I started Gofering for Otakon was just to save money in the long run. :o

To be entirely truthful, I'm one of those that uses my tax return as my yearly con budget. I've planned out my cons that way ever since I started attending more than just Otakon in '06. For years, to me it's like a federal savings account that I put money into everytime I get a paycheck. Since '06, this has worked out for me quite well.

Last year I budgeted it to include going to a 3rd con & I still had money left over for Xmas.

For this year, I'll just be doing what I do well, to the point that I can include a 4th con to the list...

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Since i live in the area, my friends and i drive to otakon and save around $250 since no hotel, but im getting married 3 weeks later so i have to conserve on money. I tried to convince my fiancee to have a pre-honeymoon at otakon but she thinks anime is weird. :)

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Since i live in the area, my friends and i drive to otakon and save around $250 since no hotel, but im getting married 3 weeks later so i have to conserve on money. I tried to convince my fiancee to have a pre-honeymoon at otakon but she thinks anime is weird. :)
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I won't eat! 8D

Though, seriously, i don't think i went ridiculously overboard last year (my first year), so i just have to budget more. (Especially since i can't get a job; eurgh.) Though this year is worrisome if i want to try cosplaying... But i think this year i'm mostly going to meet up with people more than anything else, so. :) (I actually didn't buy much in the dealer's room; the little i like is fairly obscure.)

And i concur with those who like California Tortilla. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Katsu 15 was my first con ever, and I didn't budget very well. To the point where I had to pass up on just about everything in the DR that I wanted. I plan on being better prepared for Otakon. I have my tax refund which should pay for hotel, pre-reg and hopefully one of my cosplays. Then I will take at least $50 out of every paycheck (maybe more, depending on how much they are for) and save up. Should have at least an extra $400 right there.

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Seeing that it is my 1st Otakon, I am not sure really what my budget will be. I am definitely looking for unique items. I've always loved supporting small & local businesses. You can't reproduce that experience from Target and Best Buy not matter how great the sales are or pretty the giant flat screen teevee is. I'm budgeting any mad money I collect for Otakon.

I like the factory direct feel that the artist at their table offers.

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i think i've been doing pretty good with saving up money, i just started around january and i have around $300 now

i still have enough money to sport 2 cosplays, so i think financially i'm pretty stable for this year. out of all the years i've spent at otakon, this is the most money i've ever had to spend there.

but i will definately make sure to budget! i can't go spending all willy nilly, thank goodness i live in baltimore so i really don't have to worry about a hotel. foodwise, i don't plan to spend more than 70$ for that weekend :) what can i say? i can't walk around otakon half dead!

at the last minute depending on my check, i should have around $400 so i should be okay. hopefully i don't blow it all on the weekend >__<;; self control is a must in this day and age

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The list is a good idea. Dealers count on people not making lists and then impulse buying (I know, I was a dealer at several cons over here in Oz.)

The credit crunch has also helped alot with flights. Last year the flight I am taking to NYC cost AUD $2900 where today when I booked my flights it cost me a little over AUD $1000.

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This will be my 5th Otakon. I'm on a very tight budget this year, but my birthday recently passes and I am using all my birthday money for Otakon. Also I will be saving some of my paycheck money for Otakon. Luckily I don't live that far from Baltimore so I don't have to get a hotel. I'm driving with my boyfriend and maybe some friends. So I will hopefully have around 400$.

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I think I planned a budget for cons around January. I think I budgeted about 400$ for Otakon but I know about a little over half is for hotel. My boyfriend and I decided to splurge on the hotel this year. Since I've been going to Otakon since I was 13 I noticed I stopped buying a lot of things at the DR. Primarily, my mom would ask if I was going to display or do anything with it.

Since my mom pretty much has stopped going to these things and I felt like since this is something that I'm interested in I wanted to pay everything for myself. Since I've gotten to college I have got a on campus job and I've recently given a raise so that's really helped with putting away money. In a way it's a nice practice to save money for things you want. It's nice seeing my savings grow. :ph34r:

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  • 1 month later...

well my original budget went out the window on Saturday May 9, 2009. I bought a new car, whoops there goes 2k for the down payment :D and $355 monthly payment for the next... SIX years!

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I am officially able to go to Otakon now! My work gave me time off yay! So we now have to budget in buying a house before Setpember and saving up to spend spend spend at Otakon!! The good part is I am great at saving, unfortunately my hubby is terrible at it :);; but now that we are married I will try to control the monies better! XD

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Well as of right now, and barring any unforseen circumstances, my Otafund may be as much as 50% more than I usaully play with, which is ~$300 for the weekend, yay! I may be able to do a lot more buying than previous Otakons, but since I'm a frugalist by nature, I dunno.

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We used to be good about spending money at Otakon, then we got better jobs and my wife picked up cell collecting as a hobby. As a result our expenditures in the dealers room have gone up a bit. Still, we save money by splitting a hotel room with friends and bringing some suplamental food along with us.

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-.-

Budgeting is poo.

1600$ for flight from Osaka to DC is bad enough.

Then I have to figure my hotel price... which I still need to find, but friends live close by so we may commute.

But then after Otakon I have a month and a half vacation before going back to Japan...

On the plus side there is probably not much at all I want nor need in the dealers room. :P

More money for other things. -.-

GAH I have to remember to tip! :)

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-.-

Budgeting is poo.

1600$ for flight from Osaka to DC is bad enough.

Then I have to figure my hotel price... which I still need to find, but friends live close by so we may commute.

But then after Otakon I have a month and a half vacation before going back to Japan...

On the plus side there is probably not much at all I want nor need in the dealers room. :D

More money for other things. -.-

GAH I have to remember to tip! B)

You must be flying ANA. You can get MUCH cheaper flights -- I've seen them as low as $800 in the last 3 months -- but I think it's probably worth a bit extra when you can afford it.

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-.-

Budgeting is poo.

1600$ for flight from Osaka to DC is bad enough.

Then I have to figure my hotel price... which I still need to find, but friends live close by so we may commute.

But then after Otakon I have a month and a half vacation before going back to Japan...

On the plus side there is probably not much at all I want nor need in the dealers room. :D

More money for other things. -.-

GAH I have to remember to tip! B)

You must be flying ANA. You can get MUCH cheaper flights -- I've seen them as low as $800 in the last 3 months -- but I think it's probably worth a bit extra when you can afford it.

Edited by MrBlinker
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In more recent years, more of my money has gone to just doing things around Baltimore than actually anything at the con. With very few new series out that I like, if I buy anything, its either comic books, artbooks, or some dvds here or there. So, my budget is has gotten lower and lower over the years, and being about 3 hours away and usually getting hotels as soon as the open up rooms, my Otakon costs have never been really that high to begin with.

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Actually I'm flying Northwest. Its due to the "scheduled" vacation time Japanese have. Flying out of Japan between July 17th-Sept 1st (?) is really expensive. In fact, round trip difference between the 16th and the 17th was over 500$. B)

Of course, coming TO Japan is a much cheaper flight. The same days coming FROM the US to Japan and back, from the same airports costs about half the price. Japan just doesn't want Japanese people leaving their country. :/

Northwest was the cheapest, ANA was around 1800$ and United was maybe 2100$ or so.

Also there is a little "conspiracy" going on with travel agencies in Japan. For foreign travelers, if you're leaving Japan but planning to come back, they're charging extra because foreignors are buying round trip trickets to leave Japan, and then canceling the return flight because its cheaper then purchasing a one way ticket. So going through some well known travel agencies was costing me roughly 300$ more than just getting them off of Orbitz/Travelocity. I think I spent the better part of 3 weeks searching for cheap tickets.

If you have a site for tickets for 800 please do tell! :D

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Actually I'm flying Northwest. Its due to the "scheduled" vacation time Japanese have. Flying out of Japan between July 17th-Sept 1st (?) is really expensive. In fact, round trip difference between the 16th and the 17th was over 500$. B)

Of course, coming TO Japan is a much cheaper flight. The same days coming FROM the US to Japan and back, from the same airports costs about half the price. Japan just doesn't want Japanese people leaving their country. :/

Northwest was the cheapest, ANA was around 1800$ and United was maybe 2100$ or so.

Also there is a little "conspiracy" going on with travel agencies in Japan. For foreign travelers, if you're leaving Japan but planning to come back, they're charging extra because foreignors are buying round trip trickets to leave Japan, and then canceling the return flight because its cheaper then purchasing a one way ticket. So going through some well known travel agencies was costing me roughly 300$ more than just getting them off of Orbitz/Travelocity. I think I spent the better part of 3 weeks searching for cheap tickets.

If you have a site for tickets for 800 please do tell! :D

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I am aware there are no "official" long holidays in Japan during the summer, and even Obon is not a National Holiday, most people have to take off for it, including teac hers. Unfortunately there are three times where travel is "capable" by the majority of the Japanese public. One is obviously Golden Week, another is New Years, and the last is in the summer months of July and August. Prices for traveling around these times spi kes considerably compared to "off" times. For example I can fly home for Thank sgiving for 800$ round trip and flying home around the 20th of December is about 1000$ cheaper than flying home around the 26-27th.

I have checked nearly all the Travel Agencies, including HIS and JTB. HIS for the same dates that I got for about 1550$ on Orbitz wanted close to 2100$(which just happens to be the one way ticket fair I saw for the same day.) I even tried both calling and emailing some to see if I could get different rates. No success. I even had family check with travel agents in America as well.

Are you Japanese? If so you probably wouldn't have any problems with the extra charges, but it is pretty wide spread for foreigners. In fact it was in the paper not too long ago.

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I am aware there are no "official" long holidays in Japan during the summer, and even Obon is not a National Holiday, most people have to take off for it, including teac hers.

If so you probably wouldn't have any problems with the extra charges, but it is pretty wide spread for foreigners. In fact it was in the paper not too long ago.

Edited by kaki
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I am aware there are no "official" long holidays in Japan during the summer, and even Obon is not a National Holiday, most people have to take off for it, including teac hers.

If so you probably wouldn't have any problems with the extra charges, but it is pretty wide spread for foreigners. In fact it was in the paper not too long ago.

I wouldn't say that most people "have" to take off for it. This is a country where plenty of people (unfortunately) work on holidays regularly, and plenty are unable to take holidays, especially people who are relatively junior at their companies. It really depends on the industry. Business is slower in the summer, but in general, it runs fairly normally, unlike Golden Week. My company discourages us from all taking vacation at the same time, especially in summer, and I didn't take a summer holiday last year.

My secretary asked my company's travel agent regarding extra charges for foreign nationals, and the travel agent says that he hasn't heard of such a thing. My secretary also noted that ANA's Japan site also doesn't seem to ask what nationality a person is. (My secretary always runs a cross-check for prices on ANA's site before she books my tickets.) I'm wondering if this is limited to specific travel agents.

My tickets cost about 25% more this year than when I purchased last year in April, which is isn't as much of a jump as I feared.

edit:whoops, server error.

Edited by MrBlinker
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I am aware there are no "official" long holidays in Japan during the summer, and even Obon is not a National Holiday, most people have to take off for it, including teac hers.

If so you probably wouldn't have any problems with the extra charges, but it is pretty wide spread for foreigners. In fact it was in the paper not too long ago.

I wouldn't say that most people "have" to take off for it. This is a country where plenty of people (unfortunately) work on holidays regularly, and plenty are unable to take holidays, especially people who are relatively junior at their companies. It really depends on the industry. Business is slower in the summer, but in general, it runs fairly normally, unlike Golden Week. My company discourages us from all taking vacation at the same time, especially in summer, and I didn't take a summer holiday last year.

My secretary asked my company's travel agent regarding extra charges for foreign nationals, and the travel agent says that he hasn't heard of such a thing. My secretary also noted that ANA's Japan site also doesn't seem to ask what nationality a person is. (My secretary always runs a cross-check for prices on ANA's site before she books my tickets.) I'm wondering if this is limited to specific travel agents.

My tickets cost about 25% more this year than when I purchased last year in April, which is isn't as much of a jump as I feared.

edit:whoops, server error.

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Its worth noting that what the travel agents are doing isn't exactly "legal" either, so I have no doubt your secretary would have found out any actual info. That would be like admitting guilt and the Japanese government is investigating several companies afaik.
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If you're flying ANA and codeshare to book a United flight from, say, O'Hare to Baltimore, you will not be charged for your luggage, since the itinerary includes an international flight.

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Actually, if you try to pull that stuff with failing to show for the second leg of a round trip ticket, the airlines WILL charge you the difference, after the fact. It's listed in the terms and conditions of carriage. If a travel agency is charging you more, it's because they want to make a profit on the itinerary, not because they're out to screw you over.

If you really feel that there's a big conspiracy in Japan against foreigners, then you need to talk to David Aldwinckle

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Back to topic, please, guys - which is budgeting for Otakon 2009. If you'd like to keep discussing travel to and from Japan, please take it to another thread (I think there's already one or two around), or to PMs.

Thanks :D

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Well, I'm certainly getting a job. ;D

I need to save! so I can cosplay as well have enough pocket money to please my pleasures. ahhaaha.

I'll probably bring around 300 if I get a summer job :3

Edited by mimi
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