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Run, This is Good for You
September 20, 2007

When someone tells you that something will be good for you, it is generally a sign to head for the hills because something unpleasant is about to happen.

Here is your chance. Head for the hills, because what I am about to write may be good for you.

It is budget season. Most people have all they can do to stay awake when the topic of budgets occurs, but they are critically important documents whether in business or government, because a budget enables you to do what you want to do or think you should do.

Collectors should have hobby budgets. How much money do you think you will spend on coins in 2008? Do you have any idea? That is a good first step. Come up with a number.

Many hobby purchases can become family footballs if there is no knowledge of amounts and timing by other members of the family.

Is a purchase of that MS-65 1890-S Morgan dollar going to compete with getting braces for one of your children, or the next installment on a college tuition payment?

When put in that light, the collecting expenditure looks mighty selfish.

However, if you can make your total hobby expenditures a known figure and an expected event, the discussion can than hinge on total family needs and fair allocation among all the family members.

Collectors are not known for starving their children or preventing them from going to college, but in my experience there have been, let us say "issues" between spouses when the subject of hobby expenditures arises.

Avoid those issues and get an agreed number on the table. The budget can also include time. How many Saturdays or Sundays will you be off attending a coin show? When the lawn needs mowing or the garage door needs fixing, time for show visits can look mighty selfish.

I know that somehow or other collectors get their licks in, but a budget could make the process far more pleasant. Believe me, a budget is good for you.

Hello? Anybody there? Hello?

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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