Basically it’s like Scientology, except that it’s free and there’s no big secret at the end. By the way, if you’re wondering, the big secret at the end of Scientology is that Bruce Willis is a ghost.
The first lesson is ‘False Economy’. False Economy is (according to Wikipedia)
...an action which saves money at the beginning but which, over a longer period of time, results in more money being wasted than being saved.
So how does false economy relate to gaming? Well, perhaps you bought some cheap miniatures on a whim, only to realise the quality was rubbish and they never got used. Not only did you spend money unnecessarily; you now have to spend the money all over again to buy better miniatures that will get used. Or how about this; you buy a cheap set of tools, they’re difficult to use and break after a few months of use; you need to buy them again. As the old saying goes ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’.
So how do you prevent falling into the false economy trap? The main way I’ve found is to have a look at how much alternative products cost. If you find a particular product from one retailer, have a look around and see what other companies are producing it.
The tricky bit is trying to decide which offers the best value for money; so not necessarily the cheapest or the most expensive, but the one that offers the balance of quality and price. A recent example from my own frugal existence is superglue. I’ve been using pound shop superglue for years and it’s always produced terrible results, breaking easily and requiring me to buy more. After the last bottle ran out I decided to go for a more expensive brand and dished out £3.20 for some thick, slower setting superglue. Since then, it’s been a pleasure to use and has been much more effective. I only have to glue once and it stays stuck.
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