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Jimmy RFR

Tracking Sim Spending

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(Short version: Don't. ^_^ )


A bit of a backstory: I'm the type of person who loves to track our family spending down to the penny.  I've been doing this for a good 15 years now, keeping custom spreadsheets that tracks monthly household spending, all neatly categorized and organized by type.  It started off being something that helped immensely with our savings goals, and I will admit to becoming a bit obsessive about it.  It doesn't take up a large amount of time (I have it down to a fine science) and it's very useful (and sometimes disheartening) to see where our money goes each month.


A portion of our monthly budgeting includes an 'allowance' for both my wife and myself.  This, plus earnings from our respective hobbies / side businesses, enables each of us to spend money on our own hobbies or fun stuff, without having to account for or explain it to the other.  It's worked very, very well for us, and allows us to meet our family savings goals while still enjoying some of the personal benefits, like being able to spend money on fun stuff (like simming).


Well, this year I decided to apply the same expenditure tracking to my flight sim hobby...


Sigh.   :rolleyes:   Although this can be as an inexpensive hobby as one would like, with such an abundance of freeware available to us, it never works like that.  There's always the latest and greatest release, just around the corner.  That one more scenery addition, whose screenshots look so good, that you simply must fly over it a few times in your own sim.


Anyways, don't take any of this as remorse, it isn't.  I fully enjoy being able to take advantage of the ability to afford to spend money on this hobby.  However, it is shocking sometimes to add up the dollars and cents:


2014 Total (to date):  $1542.67


Aircraft:   $655.15

Scenery:   $357.33

Hardware:   $300.62

Other:   $229.57  (includes everything that doesn't fit above, weather engines, gauges, Navigraph subs, etc)


It's truly surprising when you add it up, since this year hasn't seemed like I've been making 'big' purchases.  But add up it does!!


Also, it's neat to take a look through my spending and pinpoint the stuff that's actually used, versus stuff that, well, not so much. My most used expenditure? Active Sky Next.  Since I use it on every sim session, it easily gets that prize.  I couldn't even guess at my least used, since there's several aircraft that I've bought that have had basically zero hours put on them.  In fact, when I look through my list of purchases, it's easy to see that aircraft are some of the worst culprits for bad investment.  Although I have a few aircraft which have accumulated a fair number of hours, there are definitely some where the idea of flying is obviously more attractive than the actual act.  And of course, the more aircraft you buy, the less use you get out of your entire fleet.


Anyway, just a few thoughts I decided to share, as we head into the last month of the year... and as I look forward to the next sale!!

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Nice!!! I force myself NOT to track these things, so I can avoid self-inflicted depression. LOL

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