A dozen ways to save for gear...

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Two of those suggestions are:

11. Boost Your Income

and 12) Take out a loan.

Now who would have thought that getting a higher paying job would give more money?

And getting into debt just increases the cost of things.


Platinum Member
Pay with cash, not a debit or credit.

Studies have shown (according to Dave Ramsey) that whenever you actually have to hand over cash to someone else, the little neurons in your brain actually fire off in such a way that it mimics a painful experience. However, whenever you pay using a card, the brain patterns are quite a bit different; the "pain patterns" are not there. There's something about handing over a stack of money to someone for a drum set as opposed to just swiping a card. Those are two different experiences in my book. When I bought my Taylor guitar in $100 bills, I still remember what that felt like. I don't think I had held that much money in my hand at one time, and while I enjoy my guitar, I won't soon forget what that felt like.

If I don't have to cash to pay for new gear, I don't buy it. Also, whenever I buy something, something has to go. I only buy what I need, not what I want. Each piece of gear I own has a specific purpose. What doesn't serve my needs gets sold. As a matter of fact, I need to put some stuff on Craigslist this week.


Gold Member
1. Make a pot of coffee at home and stop spending $5 (or more) for Starbucks.
2. Stop buying from vending machines.


Gold Member
  1. Sell old gear on Reverb.com
  2. Sell other old gear on eBay
  3. Sell lame old gear on Craigslist
  4. Buy used gear on Reverb.com
  5. Ask sales rep at Guitar Center, Sweetwater, etc. for a deal.


A lot of good ideas here, though I read this article assuming the author is a young, single person.

This hobby has been frustrating for me lately. It's been hard for me to find and/or make the time to play, and as a married homeowner and parent, my conscience creeps in whenever I think about saving towards new gear.


Platinum Member
13. Don't live outside your means

I only use cash. No cards, they are a waste of money. I don't make a lot, but am a very good at budgeting. If there is something I need or want, i visit my utility companies and pay the next month ahead of time. This frees up money to do with what I want. It is much easier than saving. A small pile of money just sitting there waiting is too easy to deplete without really thinking. When I get my check, and the necessities are already paid, I'm free to do with it what I want.

As a married home owner, this makes the most sense. Getting ahead is wonderful. They still send a bill, but the amount due says $0.00. How awesome is that?

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Yeah - if you live within your means AND make a lot of money, then you're good.

The Starbucks situation is really typical. I knew a girl who went to Starbucks twice a day at least five days a week - that's at least $18 a day. Over the long term think how much she would've saved in a year? Consider the actual need for that smartphone at at least $70 a month for the service plan over at least two years. That's a ton right there.

It's a hipster life - but is anyone really ready to eschew those things that aid in their coolness? Probably not.


Platinum Member
The coffee thing just kills me and I LOVE coffee. You can get a decent enough coffee maker for $50 and if you really have to have Starbucks, that’s $15 for a 1lb bag, so $65 for an initial investment and you can drink your way to a heart attac. You save yourself up to 30 minutes a day going to Starbucks, parking, waiting, etc.

I think for most it’s the cup. You can reuse those too and no one would know.

It’s amazing to watch those who have the least $ spend the most $$$ on stupid stuff, then complain about them not having money!

If you use a credit card, which I do, but pay off. At least use one to rack up points for something. Travel on someone else’s dime and use your vacation money for drums!
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Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I just 30 minutes ago sold a 16 inch Gretsch Catalina Maple floor tom on Craigslist. Had a few looks on Facebook Marketplace. Use them all.


Platinum Member
Pay with cash, not a debit or credit.

Studies have shown (according to Dave Ramsey) that whenever you actually have to hand over cash to someone else, the little neurons in your brain actually fire off in such a way that it mimics a painful experience.
While I may disagree with Dave on "why" to do things, I concede that he's overwhelmingly accurate on "what" to do. Following his advice is the next best thing to actually having your shit together.

Re: Coffee

If you're an American coffee addict like me, Mr. Coffee makes a sub-$200 "Cafe Barista" that makes a fair cappuccino/late and can result in substancial yearly savings over Starbucks.

My complaints: With a 4-cup a day duty cycle, they last about one year. As they start to die, the espresso comes out lukewarm. The milk foaming apparatus is difficult to keep sufficiently clean.

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Nice post Jeremy. Some solid advice contained here.

Living Below Your Means is the key to saving.

I've never drank coffee. My wife does but she only does Starbucks when she receives a gift card or if we're traveling for vacation.

My wife and I do use a credit card for purchases to keep our credit rating strong, but we always pay off the statement in full each month. It's more of a tool to simplify our purchase records and to only cut one check per month (we don't use debit cards).

Asking a seller politely for a lower price never hurts. Also asking how much wiggle room a seller has (especially at the end of the month when people tend to be short on cash flow) or the first two weeks in April (when income taxes are due) can result in some pretty good deals.

If I could add one more piece of advice: Don't Buy It Until You Need It can hinder impulse purchases.

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
I simply try to budget to save up the cash for that item I'm dreaming of getting. Cash is king, especially when a good used drum pops up.
Prepared to deal with Craigslist Flakes...


Platinum Member
Part of "saving for your gear" is *saving* your gear. I have run across a number of players who are always complaining about how much gear costs, whether it's consumables like heads and sticks, or durable items like stands, pedals, even shells... yet they are death on their gear. They overtighten stands, force hardware, pit heads, break cymbals willy-nilly, and otherwise mistreat their gear. Just taking care of your stuff can really free up how much money you have available for gear in the future.


Senior Member
I don't need anything but I would eat rice and beans if that's what it took to get what I want.
There's something to be said for making sacrifices. Life lessons at least. It also sweetens the reward.

Part of "saving for your gear" is *saving* your gear.
Bingo! Take care of your things, and they'll take care of you.

I find that by using the same stuff for as long as possible, where all of the parts of my kit work together as well as they can, I'm less tempted to buy other stuff - as a result, there are fewer things that I want and I'm more selective when buying the things that I need.


Silver Member
10.) Sell old gear

I have a slightly painful experience with this. I wanted a Big Green Egg grill/smoker/cooker. They are not cheap, and I wanted a number of related accessories:

  • I wanted to build a table for it
  • I wanted some of the accessories such as a plate setter for indirect cooking, and a stainless rack to bring the cooking grid up to level
  • I wanted a nice remote temperature probe setup so I could monitor heat levels on the grill surface and inside of my meat
  • I wanted a MAP Gas torch setup to light it
  • etc.
I didn't have the cash, but I wasn't gigging, and I had a nice Kanstul flugelhorn I wasn't using, so I sold it. It got me enough cash to buy the BGE and everything on the wish list - totallying about $1100.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Big Green Egg - we use it 2-4 times a week, and we've had it since 2012. With that said, I miss that horn. When I started gigging again, I "replaced" it with a cheap clone of a Yamaha 631 flugel, but it doesn't hold a candle to what that Kanstul was, and the price for those had gone up drastically from what they were when I first bought mine, and I don't think that Kanstul is currently making instruments.

I've sold other pieces of gear here and there, and usually regret it later down the line for some reason or other, so I really think hard about that one when I'm trying to garner cash for some project or other.