How I Planned My Biggest Side Hustle Expense in 2018

financial planning 2018

I started planning for a major expense planned earlier this month (August 2018) to support my side hustle of buying and selling sports cards. Every year an annual sports card show takes place called The National Sports Collector Convention. 2017 was the first year I had gone to “The National” in more than 8 years so it was more about gaining the experience of attending a huge show and interacting with the big dogs who move millions in dollars of inventory.

This year The National took place in Cleveland so I started planning my expenses around January 2018. Here is what I conservatively budgeted and the end result.

  • Hotel accommodations: $150 a night for 5 nights or $750 total – I used gift card redemptions and points rewards that I accumulated. I only ended up spending about $75 total
  • Travel: $200 for gas – I appreciated how cheap the gas in Toledo was so I planned my gas station trips around that city. $2.52 per gallon? Yes, please! I ended up spending around $100.
  • Food: $50 a night for 5 nights or $250 total – I tried to limit how much food I bought, but there was one night where I went out with a few dealer friends and we went out to Texas de Brazil. I went to the hot bar at Whole Foods a couple times, which lasted me about 3 days total. I ended up spending around $160.
  • Spending money to acquire inventory to resell: $2,500 – I set aside my target spending money. I also brought some inventory with me to sell, trade, flip. I acquired tons of inventory but also passed up on tons of inventory even though I was not set up as a dealer. The amount of deals to be had especially as a dealer is limitless. Not including the value of the inventory acquired, I spent $4,000 out of pocket. If it were not for the inventory I brought with me to sell, I would have ended up spending way more than $4,000.

In 2019, The National will take place in Chicago. Although I was offered to be a dealer by some of my dealer friends, I do not feel like I have enough capital to take advantage of the deals to be had. This is part FOMO (fear of missing out) and part concern about having to pay 4 figures just to set up. This is one area in which I will hold off on taking action and continue to build experience walking around and making connections. Ideally, I would want to have around $25,000-50,000 in spending money as a dealer to buy inventory. The potential to buy is crazy good. I am definitely targeting being a dealer for The National 2021 because 2020 will be in Atlantic City and that is a no go for me. I am extremely confident that I will be in a MUCH better financial spot than I am in now.

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