So, has it? I fondly recall the glee of Midnight Madness in 1999, and not thinking for a second that I had spent $350 in an hour on my loot. This year is different.
My story isn't different from the many whom have suffered from this 15 month recession darkened further by the tragedy of September 11. I was laid off last year from my job of five years. Forget all of the emotional devestation. I had a new job soon after, but the salary was not what I was accustomed to. I have a second, part-time job, which I have slowly become dependent on. That little extra money really makes the difference when paying bills at the end of the month. I don't have the discretionary income that I once had.
I have fought with my spouse many times about how much I can spend on AOTC stuff April 23. I don't know why. Our financial situation is different from three years ago, and amidst priorities such as a mortgage, transportation, food for us and our daughter, and all of the typical monthly expenses, Star Wars toys fall drastically short. It hurts me, because they are my hobby and my passion, yet they are a logical cut. I am trying to get a few extra shifts each weekend and 'earmarking' that money for toys, but that might not be feasible. Much like luxury items, vacations, brand name clothes, jewelry, etc., my Star Wars collection is a lifestyle choice, and unfortunately one I can't spend on this year as I have in the past.
I not only spent beaucoup bucks on TPM toys, but I saw the movie in the theaters 13 times. I have all of the cup toppers from Taco Bell/Pizza Hut/KFC, and ate enough Gorditas to feed most of the Afghan refugees. I have all of the Pepsi cans. I have T-shirts and a baseball cap, and video games, and...I don't want to contemplate how much I spent in total on goods and services related to TPM, but I know it was a ton.
I am curious, how many others are facing similar situations this year? Have your investments crashed, or have you suffered a cutback in shifts or even worse, a layoff? Has the economy changed your spending patterns? How have you decided to handle the purchasing opportunities coming our way with AOTC just around the corner?