Hardly anyone carries large amounts of cash with them these days. Even when we go shopping all we need to bring along is our debit card and a couple of credit cards (a different one is maxed out each month so we have to try them all to see which has any room left on it).
There are places though where cash is still king and a comic book convention is one of those places. Make a list of the types of things you’ll be looking to purchase at the con. This will help you stay focused when you see all the cool shiny stuff at the con that is not on your list. Budget as best you can and make allowances for going over the budget by a bit.
Most dealers prefer cash and will often give better deals when cash is given. Remember that some of these dealers are selling their personal stuff and are not even set up to take plastic; they also have no intention of sharing their gains with the government and prefer cash transactions.
Cash is also the best constraint for your spending. Stay disciplined. Allocate a bit extra like I said before but try not to spend any more. It’s real easy to drop big money on things when you use plastic, it just does not seem like you’re spending money. To avoid the Visa bill shock later that month keep the card locked in your wallet or better yet, don’t bring it! People are more careful and even smarter with their money as they watch their wad thin out as the con progresses. Staying in budget will make the trip a pleasant one not only during the con but long afterwards as well since no future bills will be coming your way to remind you of your lack of constraint.
Remember, not all dealers tan take plastic and the line ups for ATMs at these cons can be huge. ATM machines have run out of bills at big cons so make sure you bring cash.
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada