Where are y'all getting your money from?

smacbride

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I have no problem with people spending $$$ on their hobbies, that's a part of life IMO.

My latest tank, a Red Sea max 130, came off of craig's list for $250, included a pair of clown fish, live rock, complete test kits, etc. I've been doing this for 30+ years, I know not to spend more than $95 on any stock for the tank, it usually doesn't live long. Also don't fall into the hype of all the new latest gadgets that you need. ATO for me is a jug of distilled water that sits under the tank. When I feed my fish and it looks like the water has dropped, I pour some water in. Go on vacation for more than a few days, I have my neighbor come in and top off the water. Has worked for me for 30 years that way! I used to only test my nitrates once a month. Now I'm testing a lot of additional things weekly and it seems like I spend more on the test kits than my actual tank inhabitants! I'll never have any expensive corals because I think that part of the hobby has gotten out of hand. Latest gadget for me was a cost effective LED light system, I didn't go for the high dollar one, but one that made sense for my tank and what I want to keep in it.

When we get to the point where we aren't travelling as much, I'll probably upgrade to a nicer setup with a controller etc because I'm into home automation.

At least this hobby is cheaper than cars. I used to race sport cars and talk about a money pit!
 

snowhite

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Bought a used RedSea Reefer 350 full setup with equipment, rock, fish, etc a few weeks ago. Priced out what everything would have cost if purchased new and we got the tank for just over 1/3 the cost of the new setup, livestock, etc.

Really good deals are out there if you watch, wait, and be prepared to jump on them when they do show up.

However, there IS a big argument for the value of spending time and piecing together a complete budget build as cheap as you can find it. You learn, you adapt, and you value what you create. I did that with a 90g that is now my Anemone tank and one of my favorites.
 
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ichthyogeek

ichthyogeek

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No offense meant, but, I don't think it's anyone else's business where and how I get my money and also, I don't think it's anyone else's business as to what I spend my money on... If you don't like your job, apply for a new one...
Sometimes a dream job involves taking less pay. I'd love it if I could make bank by doing what I love, but the harsh reality is that some sectors vastly underpay their workers. Take for example professional chefs. They do what they love, but IMHO, they don't get paid nearly enough that they should be paid. My dream job is in a similar category (from what I'm seeing so far from the job market), and I'm willing to forgo a job that pays significantly more in order to do what I love. I tried the whole "be a software engineer and do FI RE" stuff, but it just didn't work out (yay mental health issues + trauma!).

Where and how to you sell your MTG?

I've got a **** ton from the 90's and I know I've got gold sitting in sleeves. I'm just to lazy to search the best bang for my buck options.

Got rid of all the Pokemon, Yugioh turned out being trash and worthless with age LOL. But MTG still going strong I see.
BRB, I gotta go check if I still have all of my pokemon cards....I might still have one of those fancy holographic cards still in its box....

Honestly I don’t see what making under 80 K has to do with anything. There are people who make 250 K and can barely put gas in their cars because their income barely covers all the loans they have. It all comes down to how you handle your finances, determining what is important to you, setting goals and sticking to your plan.
I feel you on the lack of budgeting. 85K was just a relatively random cutoff point. I felt that around that monetary point, you are essentially a six figure earner (can afford the house/rent, pay off loans wisely, afford food, deal with most unexpected expenses) even in high cost of living areas. There's a point where the living wage is, and getting above that point is when you can start investing money by saving it up for hobbies and stuff. And power to you if you can make it as a [whatever job that pays you that much money]. But some jobs aren't as nice when it comes to paying you. Taxes, loans, there's a lot of things that want your money; some of it for good (I like driving cars on smooth non pothole-y roads, and paying my taxes is worth it), some of it downright predatory (I'm looking at you student loan debt). Should also say that I'm lucky in that I don't have student loan debt, but it's still a very present factor in a lot of people's lives.

Not sure if your Post was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek or not. I totally see your point. I just somehow got lucky later in my life. Honestly, I’d like to talk about my stuff, but feel a little uneasy because I know what it’s like to be on a budget. I was a single mother who had to work a lot and was stressed out. My son always wanted a reef aquarium so, we got a Nano 20 and had a lot of fun with it. Little protein skimmer, mini wave makers, small rocks, a few corals and a fish. It’s not the size of the fish, it’s the motion in the ocean ;-)
I mean....it's kind of tongue in cheek? The part about avocado toast was definitely somewhat sarcastic, but I'm actually genuinely curious about how people who aren't six figure earners can make it in this hobby, when everywhere I turn it's all "Only 400$ for this, only 600$ for that! And you definitely absolutely positively need this 800$ item."

After watching breaking bad well you know the rest.
....hmmm.....maybe those college chemistry classes and expensive textbooks weren't such a waste after all...and I still have the lab coat and lab glasses....and some beakers...and technically also have the knowledge to do it...
 

t5Nitro

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Sometimes a dream job involves taking less pay. I'd love it if I could make bank by doing what I love, but the harsh reality is that some sectors vastly underpay their workers. Take for example professional chefs. They do what they love, but IMHO, they don't get paid nearly enough that they should be paid. My dream job is in a similar category (from what I'm seeing so far from the job market), and I'm willing to forgo a job that pays significantly more in order to do what I love. I tried the whole "be a software engineer and do FI RE" stuff, but it just didn't work out (yay mental health issues + trauma!).



BRB, I gotta go check if I still have all of my pokemon cards....I might still have one of those fancy holographic cards still in its box....



I feel you on the lack of budgeting. 85K was just a relatively random cutoff point. I felt that around that monetary point, you are essentially a six figure earner (can afford the house/rent, pay off loans wisely, afford food, deal with most unexpected expenses) even in high cost of living areas. There's a point where the living wage is, and getting above that point is when you can start investing money by saving it up for hobbies and stuff. And power to you if you can make it as a [whatever job that pays you that much money]. But some jobs aren't as nice when it comes to paying you. Taxes, loans, there's a lot of things that want your money; some of it for good (I like driving cars on smooth non pothole-y roads, and paying my taxes is worth it), some of it downright predatory (I'm looking at you student loan debt). Should also say that I'm lucky in that I don't have student loan debt, but it's still a very present factor in a lot of people's lives.



I mean....it's kind of tongue in cheek? The part about avocado toast was definitely somewhat sarcastic, but I'm actually genuinely curious about how people who aren't six figure earners can make it in this hobby, when everywhere I turn it's all "Only 400$ for this, only 600$ for that! And you definitely absolutely positively need this 800$ item."



....hmmm.....maybe those college chemistry classes and expensive textbooks weren't such a waste after all...and I still have the lab coat and lab glasses....and some beakers...and technically also have the knowledge to do it...
FWIW, I put the best of the best equipment into my 75 gallon tank, probably between 7-8k invested. It's 9 months old. It can't grow an SPS coral to save its life (which I hope is its age), which was its original intention. Sometimes you don't need that $800 piece of equipment. Talking from experience without success.
 

fish farmer

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Sometimes a dream job involves taking less pay. I'd love it if I could make bank by doing what I love, but the harsh reality is that some sectors vastly underpay their workers. Take for example professional chefs. They do what they love, but IMHO, they don't get paid nearly enough that they should be paid. My dream job is in a similar category (from what I'm seeing so far from the job market), and I'm willing to forgo a job that pays significantly more in order to do what I love. I tried the whole "be a software engineer and do FI RE" stuff, but it just didn't work out (yay mental health issues + trauma!).
I consider myself very fortunate to find my dream job and my dream home. I'll top out around $80,000 when I can retire in several years. I was lucky that I don't have student loans and for many years either free housing at job sites or really cheap dumpy rural housing.

I have also been fortunate with vehicles, but living in the Northeast...rust eats them up quick. I try to put at least 150,000 miles on any vehicle I own, gave up doing service myself (no garage).

I live in a small house with my wife, most of the land around the house is floodplain...so probably no garage or additions in our future...but there are trout as long as my arm swimming downstream.

The very old boat is paid for.

We don't take crazy expensive vacations. We live in Vermont where people COME to vacate....if I want a big bonfire in the yard and roast marshmellows, I can.

I do most of the house maintenance, lawn care, etc.

We are part of a farm CSA and pick up vegetables for 20 weeks throughout the summer...much cheaper than the store.

I know how to cook...so there is no real reason to get take out, unless we are travelling or we are celebrating something, we eat out normally every couple of months.

We also have no kids....we would need a bigger house anyway.

My desire for a big reef tank is not there.....I have a 29 gallon in a wall.
 

TDEcoral

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FWIW, I put the best of the best equipment into my 75 gallon tank, probably between 7-8k invested. It's 9 months old. It can't grow an SPS coral to save its life (which I hope is its age), which was its original intention. Sometimes you don't need that $800 piece of equipment. Talking from experience without success.
Just curious, did you start with dry rock?
 

Flippers4pups

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I’m not wealthy. We work for a living. We have struggles like everyone else. I have a stepdaughter with health/mental conditions and my granddaughters living with us. One cat, two Boxers, a betta fish and my Reef.

I’m a old school reefer and do everything K.I.S.S.. I use IO, have cheap Chinese black boxes, built my own DT stand and canopy. Use a old glass sump and do everything DIY as much as I can. I don’t dose anything other than Kalkwasser. I do a ten percent water change weekly.

You can do this hobby cheaply without all the gadgets and or you can spend a ton and in the long run have pretty much the same results. That sentence sums it up! You choose how hard or expensive you want the hobby to be!

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Nano sapiens

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I would counter the OP's question 'Where are y'all getting your money from?' with my own version "Why do you need all that money?" (for this hobby).

Don't mean to sound like a crusty old salt, but back-in-the-day a successful reef tank was one where the system and all the animals thrived/hopefully reproduced and hardly anyone gave a hoot about brand name status (a lot of the stuff we made ourselves, anyway). Nowadays, I see reef systems full of the latest store bought uber-expensive gadgets, but many of the systems are just not thriving as they should and/or they just don't last very long.


The problem that I see time and time again is that people equate 'complicated and expensive' with 'successful' (thank the marketing guys for doing their jobs well). The reality is that with a bit of smarts, common sense and knowledge one can have just as successful a reef system (or even more successful) than 'That Guy with all the bucks' for maybe 1/5 the cost (or even less)...and that goes for operating costs, too.

I'll step off my soap box now (just have to try not tripping on my salty beard) ;)
 

Flippers4pups

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I would counter the OP's question 'Where are y'all getting your money from?' with my own version "Why do you need all that money?" (for this hobby).

Don't mean to sound like a crusty old salt, but back-in-the-day a successful reef tank was one where the system and all the animals thrived/hopefully reproduced and hardly anyone gave a hoot about brand name status (a lot of the stuff we made ourselves, anyway). Nowadays, I see reef systems full of the latest store bought uber-expensive gadgets, but many of the systems are just not thriving as they should and/or they just don't last very long.


The problem that I see time and time again is that people equate 'complicated and expensive' with 'successful' (thank the marketing guys for doing their jobs well). The reality is that with a bit of smarts, common sense and knowledge one can have just as successful a reef system (or even more successful) than 'That Guy with all the bucks' for maybe 1/5 the cost (or even less)...and that goes for operating costs, too.

I'll step off my soap box now (just have to try not tripping on my salty beard) ;)
Im with you, but I’m not against new technologies or methods. Its how the hobby has progressed for decades now through trying something new. But, and I say but, one must have the basics down and be consistent long term to be successful before trying new gadgets and methods. Keeping it basic first long term with success is the basis on which new methods can be done, not the other way around.
 
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Nano sapiens

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Im with you, but I’m not against new technologies or methods. Its how the hobby has progressed for decades now through trying something new. But, and I say but, one must have the basics down and be consistent long term to be successful before trying new gadgets and methods. Keeping it basic first long term with success is the basis on which new methods can be done, not the other way around.
Agreed. One can't gadget his/her way into a successful reef tank without a thorough understanding of at least the basics of reef aquarium biology and chemistry.
 

Rickybobby

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Some people live lives they can’t afford. Very easy to spend the banks money I’m fortunate to be able to do what I do. But on that note. I worked very hard and am educated to do what I do ps love this forum
 

TDEcoral

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I did!! Regret the decision.
Yep, thought so. Seems to be a very common issue. I'm a big proponent of using real live rock, but it's expensive stuff. Still, IMO the cost is worth it when you can have a functional reef in a reasonable amount of time and don't have to deal with mysterious coral death.
 

ARAJEA

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So, lets get into the nitty gritty of this post. It's what it's all about anyway. My wife and I bring in just over a million every 5 years. I'd love for the person who has the 10k gallon aquarium and coffee table everyone talked about to respond.
 

TAP WATER FOR YOUR REEF TANK

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