Posts Tagged ‘Money’

So, at the weekend I had another first that I’m going to share with you today (Well, it was a couple of weekends ago, but let’s not dwell on that) – I bought a comic. Now, given the loose category my interests determine I must fit in, you’d think that I’d be the kind of person who reads and buys comics, regularly especially considering I love to read whole books. For some reason though, comics have just never been my thing.

Or rather, I’ve never felt particularly inspired to go buy them. It’s probably due to the fact that the main image associated with comics is the Marvel/DC crowd, which has never really been my thing.

Technically, this isn’t the first comic I’ve owned – I have been given the odd promotional one over the years – but it’s the first one I went out and bought. It was called Halo: Bloodlines, and it was an interesting enough read – I’m a big fan of all things Halo, for reasons I might go into in a separate post – it was a little bit expensive mind. £14.99 for something that, whilst larger than your average comic, was certainly nowhere near a book, or even a film. Still, I’m a firm believer of supporting the things that I like, and this was a special occasion anyway. There was an ODST one that I think I’ll also pick up at some point.

It took me a while to actually decided which one to buy – like I said, I’m not much of a superhero fan – none of that material has really interested me that much outside of watching the cartoons growing up, and any movies that they’ve made recently. For me, if I was going to buy a comic, Transformers would probably be the best bet… problem is I didn’t know where to start. Unlike the self-contained comic (/visual novel) that I bought, regular comics are serialised and lead on from one another. The Transformers IP has also been through several publishing houses, and has several different spin-off universes that all have their own accompanying comics. I did consider asking the store people for advice, but then I saw the Halo one and I decided to just settle for that.

I might make a regular thing of this, although I need to keep an eye on the finances – despite moving out on my own, my financial situation is by no means stable. The way things sand, come 2012 all bets are off, so I’d rather not attribute my downfall to a new comic obsession. I know I suppose I could try and find them online to download but… don’t really see the point really. Same with books, actually – I’ve downloaded the odd book, but only ones that I’ve already purchased so that I can stick them on my phone or something.

Btw, if you want to recommend some lesser well known comic series, feel free – I’m open to checking other things out. Only Sci-fi though for the moment, if you please.

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So, on the face of things, today has not been that great a day. Well, it’s been alright… well, kind of disappointing, but I’m already over it. Still, nothing’s really gone right this entire weekend, so I’m in a bit of a funk. And I spent more than I really should have today, which is never a good feeling.

A long time ago, in a place far, far away (known as ‘Surrey’ to the indigenous population), my uber-cool matte black Xbox 360 Elite died on me. Not, as you may have expected at the time, of the Red Ring of Death. Despite having RROD’d on me about three or four times since I’d bought it (I always managed to bring it back to life) – it died of an altogether different problem related to the graphics card. I can’t remember the code name for the problem, but it killed it, good as dead. Right in the middle of a review as well, which was annoying.

The Microsoft PR chap (who I won’t actually name because the last time I ‘named’ him in something I actually got him into trouble. Oops), was nice enough though to send me out a replacement pretty sharpish though, saving me the trouble of having to go through Microsoft’s Consumer Support options and/or buy a new one. The only catch, was that it was white – same specification as an Elite, just the wrong colour. At the time I didn’t think it would really matter, and I was kind of desperate, so I said sure.

Fast forward to today, and that turn of events finally bit me in the ass. Despite being the same specification as an Elite, the fact that it was the wrong colour meant that GameStation wouldn’t give me Elite prices on the trade-in value. Something to do with trading standards. Damn those people, protecting consumer interests!

Still, I got my xbox slim, and I managed to get some extra money off by insta-trading in Deus Ex, which came with it (I reviewed it on the PS3, so I already have it). It’s not the matte black version though, it’s the shiny black, so it’s going to get all smudgy. I’d hoped that by the time I’d gotten around to it, all the slims would be matte black, given that Microsoft said they were going to discontinue the shiny casing.

Of course, that wasn’t the only thing that made today a bit naff – add in the fact that I was supposed to have taken care of everything yesterday (took longer than I thought to figure out a way to back everything up), so I couldn’t go to the bank today. Gamestation also weren’t taking pre-orders for the Mass Effect 3 special editions, because apparently it’s still ‘TBC’ (odd considering a fellow games journo told me they were running out). Annnnd, thanks to GamesCom and leaving it till this weekend, it was too late to return an item I didn’t need.

I tried to cheer myself up by buying Source Code, which I’ve wanted to see for a while… but then that made me feel guilty as I’d already spent enough that day (had to do food shopping too). Oh, and the cute girl in Gamestation who sold me my DS Lite didn’t recognize me. Sad Face.

Hmm. That came off as a little whiny, didn’t it? Oh well, you’ll live.

You know, I never really got into the whole ‘pre-order’ thing. I don’t remember it being that big of a deal when I was younger, but in the past couple of years pre-order incentives and special editions have really been pushed to help sell a game. Ok, maybe I have pre-ordered the odd game or two, but never that far in advance and never a special edition. I think the only Special Edition I’ve actually bought was the Halo 3 Special Edition, simply because I bought it with my 360.

I’m a firm believer in showing support for the industry where possible. When I went to the Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood mini-launch event, I bought the game there and then with the others who had turned up for the midnight launch. On discovering The Sims 3 when the PR people were kind enough to send me a copy to help me understand the series, I then went and bought the expansions… I’ve only ever pirated a game once, and that was Spore. I wanted to give it a try. Didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would so I didn’t buy it in the end like I do with my TV, but I did delete it from my hard drive and wipe the data. Don’t worry, It’s not something that was  justifiable, but it happened and those were my reasons at the time.

Anyway – despite this, I don’t pre-order games anymore, or even buy a special editions. I think the main problem is that, at least at the pre-order stage, but given what I do there’ s a high chance I’ll get the game for review so I tend to not bother. And I’m not talking about special editions – special editions as review code are very rare, and we more often than not give them away as prizes on the site. Still, I have a thing about duplication, and I just find it hard to convince myself that buying something I already have is a good thing.

It’s a shame, because Shogun 2: Total War is coming out in march, and if there’s any game I would want to pre-order, it would be that. But I know I’m going to get it for review – I love the series, I’m loving what I’ve seen with… but the fiscally cautious part of my brain is dominant right now, as usual. And then there’s Men of War: Assault Squad… although the only incentive you get with that is a free copy of the original Men of War, which I already have, so not so hard to just wait for that one.

Then of course there’s the issue of deciding which pre-order or special edition to get… it’s like I’m in that toy store in Newport all over again. When I was younger I’d go visit my dad about once a month, and we’d visit my grandparents in Newport a lot. There was this one Toy store he’d take me too every so often, and I could never decide what I want. Something’s that stuck with me into adulthood it seems. Anyhoo… nothing special today. Just had a brainwave.

Until next time.

I always feel slightly unsettled when I spend a lot on money on something that I possibly might not need, but kind of do, but kind of don’t… Say hello to my new friend, by the way, the Samsung SF310 Laptop. Set me back £738 as you can see, which isn’t far off from what my desktop cost me after having bought all the parts individually. It’ll be arriving on Friday (touch wood), so I’ll have the weekend to play around with it in time for the eventful week I have planned.

Thing is, I have kind of needed a new Laptop for a while, but kind of not needed one. My current laptop, bless its cotton socks, has served me faithfully for nearly 4 years now I think. However, the battery is buggered again (and I’m not shelling out for a new one since the last one cost me £100 to replace) so I can’t use it independent from the mains. Also, I spilt tea on the keyboard a couple of years ago and never got around to replacing that either. Apart from that though, it’s still running strong. I could still use it for events and ‘on the go’ provided I had access to a power point but If I’m being honest it had long ago become a bit of a pain to use.

But the key point is that I could still have used it if I wanted to. I could take it to events, I could take it to America… I just chose to indulge in a bit of consumerism and buy a new one, because I could – and that’s what always makes me feel unsettled. Technically, I’m supposed to be saving so that I have some back-up funds should I move out and my finances suddenly go down the toilet, but then a new laptop (and PC monitors) have always been on the cards as well as funds for moving. Again, I would leave the monitors until I had moved out, but as I told you a while ago, my current one has developed a bit of an odd fault, and I have to wrestle with it every single day. That got tedious a while ago too.

I don’t know why it embarrasses me to buy something expensive like a laptop. I guess I’m uncomfortable with overt displays of wealth or something. I realised the other week I kind of pissed of my best mate when I told him I “Impulse bought” my PS3. The way I said it suggested that I whimsically dropped a couple hundred on a piece of tech I didn’t quite need, something he himself wasn’t in a position to do if he wanted (which he wouldn’t have, seeing as in he already HAD a PS3). That’s only the half truth though – I’d been saving/planning to buy a PS3 for a while, I just didn’t know when. It was going cheap at Sainsbury’s, so the decision to pick one up there and then at the discounted price was what was impulsive. I only had the money to spend because I’d been saving anyway.

But I digress. Point is, I have a new Laptop. I spent quite a bit on it and I’m just feeling a bit wobbly afterwards. I’ll be able to make the money back and resume saving. Reserve funds aren’t the big issue anyway, it’s stable income, which is another thing entirely.

Until next time.