Author Topic: Bonsai Budget  (Read 1554 times)

MatsuBonsai

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Bonsai Budget
« on: February 02, 2013, 07:43 PM »
As mentioned in another thread, I've estimated that I spend about $10 per medium size bonsai at each repotting.

I usually buy fertilizer ingredients (poo balls) in bulk in early spring.  I usually spend about $100 and usually have enough left over for a few months the following year.

It's easy to spend a lot on pots, particularly if you go for Yamaaki or antique Chinese, neither of which I have dived into yet.

Of course, there are the trees.  One can buy seeds or seedlings with money that doesn't fold, and up to 4 or even 5 figures on refined masterpieces.

Club fees, magazines, workshops, local and regional travel all in the name of bonsai.  It's easy to get carried away.

Where do you spend your money?  What have you found to be the best items to invest in at this juncture in your bonsai journey?


...and how do you break it to the wife?
 

Adair M

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Re: Bonsai Budget
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 09:54 PM »
I just got back from an Intensive with Boon.

I brought back an antique Chinese pot in my luggage.

Good thing the stock market is going up!

 

Rkovo

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Re: Bonsai Budget
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 03:55 AM »
Being fairly new to the hobby/lifestyle, i easily dropped 200+ on tools and basic materials.
I have tried not to spend over 60 dollars on stock/trees
after that my girlfriend said enough now with club dues at 40 a year, im trying not to spend more then $75 dollars every six months. I feel like that is reasonable.
anyone else?
 

geoffhobson

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Re: Bonsai Budget
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 06:05 AM »
I spend what I need, and what I want. If I see a tree I like and I want it, then I buy it. I have never totalled the cost, it would not be a good idea. I get the compost I need, and when I need pots I buy them.
I dont try to economise on anything, as I don't need to. Having said all that, I don't go on holidays, or drink, etc, so this is my hobby, way of life, call it what you want but this is what I spend my money on cause I love it.
Geoff
 

Dave Murphy

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Re: Bonsai Budget
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 09:01 AM »
During the first 10 years in the hobby, maybe 75% went toward material, 15% went toward pots, and 10% went toward tools and soil.  The next 4 years, about 70% went to pots, 20% went to material, and 10% went to tools and soil.  In the last year, I've spent 50% on stands and slabs, and 50% on pots. 

Without a doubt, I can say the reason I haven't spent alot of money on material recently is because I acquired ALOT of good stock early on and really have enough to keep my quite busy.  I wasn't afraid to buy raw trees that had huge potential but might have been, at that point, above my skill level.  The risk (it seemed like a risk at the time) has payed off because I've been working on these trees for more then a few years, they are slowly becoming very good bonsai, and I've enjoyed every moment that I've spent woking on them, or even thinking about them.

That was then.  Once you have nice, refined trees, you're gonna need good pots, particularly if they are going to be shown.  Then, you'll need display elements, like burls slabs, stands, accents, scrolls, etc.  That's where I'm at right now.
 

Jay

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Re: Bonsai Budget
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 10:47 AM »
I've been thinking of this question now since your original post. It is interesting.
At first 12 years ago, I spent whatever I could afford without thought. Then I started to try and 'Think First' and buy what made sense.

As I progressed, I realized that quantity was way down the line..... Quality is far far more important. Now being retired, and on a fixed income, I do have limits. I can not purchase what I see 'if' it is not within my budget. I allow myself $60 a month, not a ton of money but it adds up. I have also been saving up and spending money on Suthin and David Easterbrook. Both of them come to our club (we also go to their place) for semi private workshops.

Everyone does it in their own way... so far this is it for me.
I'll add more after I think somemore.
Jay
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: Bonsai Budget
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 11:28 AM »
I always buy tree bargains and I get exposed to many bargains so that's problem  :D

I spent my early years having hardly any access to professionally produced material (it was exclusive and I was a student) and so I only collected stuff. Pots were hard to find and I lived happily with plastic.

Half a lifetime later and now I have virtually no access to collected material but full access to masses of professionally produced material; more cheap good stuff than I can reasonably house or maintain. I now spend most of the money on trees and throw maybe 5% at good pots and/or English and made pots on eBay. I love having more trees than I can look after - 99% of you lot would do what I do if they were in my situation.
 

Jay

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Re: Bonsai Budget
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 11:49 AM »
More thoughts.....
I believe you should not own a tree you do not think you can keep healthy. However, you should not own a tree you can not afford to lose. It will happen, and if it does, you should be able to live with the lose. Some of us have trees worth thousands of dollars. Some hundreds and others less. But at any price point , we have time invested in each and every tree. You can not replace the time even if you have the cash to purchase a similar tree.

At this point I love all my trees but enjoy some that I've had for a while more than others.....
Jay
 

Adair M

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Re: Bonsai Budget
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2013, 01:40 PM »
I am spending more money on the education (Intensives at Boon's) than I am on material.  The price of the Intensive is reasonable, but the airfare and hotel run the cost up.

But, the opportunity to work on high quality bonsai and learn "best practices" make it worth it.