Cosplay is EXPENSIVE. From the fabric, the wigs, details of each material, the makeup, the props, and at times, the conventions, too! Before you know it – you’re already broke. This is where budgeting for cosplay comes in. It’s a vital skill to have as a cosplayer, here are some tips and tricks to manage your money as a cosplayer.
Before anything else, everyone should know that Cosplay is a HOBBY. It’s not supposed to be your priority. Which means, you should also put your money into savings, you shouldn’t be using your credit cards like crazy which will result you to debt.
AGAIN, COSPLAY IS A HOBBY and it is not necessary for your survival – focus on your basic needs first.
If you have the means to put cosplay as a hobby, here are some tips and tricks into the basic budgeting in cosplaying – the way where in you don’t really need to put all your savings into cosplay.
1. Choose your costume carefully – If you only have a low budget, focusing on a costume with hardcore details maybe out of the question. Remember, the more detailed a costume is, the more expensive it gets. Always try to do something simpler.
For example, school uniforms – it’s a great choice. You can also use basic clothings used in your favorite anime or cartoon show like Pokemon or Naruto. It’s still cosplay, but you can find their clothes at the mall – just try to mix and match. We all have our favorite horror movie or anime and cartoons, too. These are actually pretty easy as there is always a store which often have costumes ready made for you. Plus, it’s perfect for halloween! Check out Purecostumes.com for your halloween cosplay outfit, its pretty affordable and its free shipping, too!
2. If you can make your own costume – If you are able to make costume for yourself, it will be a lot convenient and cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you. Plus, you can actually make this as an extra job for more commissions. After all, believe it or not, there are a lot of cosplayers out there who always needs a tailor for their costumes. Thus, knowing the basics of sewing can help you in more than ways than one!
3. Create a budget for your costume – Start with an outline of what you will need for a costume. Pick a character, check to see what you will need from it.
Do you have to use wigs or can you use your own hair for it?
What is the color of the eyes?
Do you need contact lenses?
Do you need a tanner?
So again, remember that choosing your character and the costume is very important. It mostly says how much you will be spending based on the character and its details of its costume. When I say costume, that includes everything from the costume itself, to the wigs, contact lenses and even if they have any other props or accessories.
If you are ordering online, let’s say a $20 costume – that’s pretty affordable but there are times you may opt to customize it yourself, like the add-on of props to your character. Don’t forget the shipping fee, too!
If you are choosing a very simple character I bet $50-$100 budget will be enough, it could be even less. A costume with a bit of hardcore would cost you at least $200 or less if you are budgeting wisely.
4. Plan Ahead! – One of the tricks into cosplay is do a a lot of planning. You don’t want to spend too much cash all in one go. You can start to buy a wig first and a few weeks later, buy a fabric or choose a cheap costume, you might even find one to rent with and so on. This puts a lot less strain on your wallet.
5. Scavenge – To be honest, you don’t really need to buy everything outside. Check everything at home first. Your kitchen, your closet, your garage. You might find a few things useful that you can use for your costume. A clothing you may want to throw away can always be used for fabric. A tissue box can be made as a prop – get creative!
6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! – If you have already purchased a costume before, try to check if you can re-create or use it for something else. Most likely, you can! You can save a lot from this! What also helps is finding a character that have a similar hairstyle as yours. That saves a lot of time and you didn’t even have to used at least $20-$50 for a wig, right?
I hope these tricks have helped you in case you decide to pursue cosplaying. Again, cosplaying can get really expensive but there are definitely ways to make it affordable to your budget no matter what that budget is – from either having just $50 or less! You can do cosplay as long as you budget right. Good cosplay budgeting always comes from good financial practices from day to day life not just for cosplaying, do remember that!
There are tons of books for financial practices to follow, take some time to read and follow through! It will help you, not just as a cosplayer but as you know, an individual – a human being. ;) Learn how to avoid debt and pay out loans, these are very important. Before cosplaying, you need financial practices first and do them! Good luck!