How did you save for your Les Paul(s)?

brianbzed

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Wow! I admire your discipline! Paid for my first 2 Les Pauls with cash, I was really young and had a great paying job. After the marriages, I've had to finance all the rest........I will have the nicest gear of any bankrupt dude you ever met!:laugh2:
 

LeftyF2003

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I used a bonus from work. I bought the guitar from a dealer in 2010. I figured if I dumped it into a good guitar and took care of it I'd still have the investment. Otherwise it just gets eaten up with bills and house repairs. Not sure that it's worth as much as I paid for it, but I'll never sell it so it really doesn't matter :thumb:

1990 pre-historic reissue

Les_Paul_Christmas_crop.jpg
 

scott1970

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I had cash set aside for a gun purchase or two...or three. Instead, I dumped it all on a '14 R8.
 

trapland

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I got a haircut, and got a real job. :shock:


This. ^^^

Smelly starving musicians rarely have nice guitar collections. Its the guy working 55 hours a week selling toilets or crunching numbers that treat themselves now and then. Of course there are exceptions.

And save?!?! ROFL :laugh2:

I had a few mediocre guitars in my youth then sold them all to pay rent. After working like a dog for 10 years, and saving for our first house, I mentioned to my wife I might like to play guitar again some day. She asked "if you could have any type of guitar, what would you get?" I truly didn't know much about guitars, still don't, but I couldn't say "Les Paul" fast enough. That week we went shopping and the store did layaway. Paid the guitar off, joined a band and I've been playing LPs ever since.

Since then I've financed most of them and payed them off quickly. I've never owed money for a Guitar for more then a couple months. But I make sure I can swing the payments, if I can't pay it off early at the time, I wait.
 

LPJNoob

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A few people on MLP are of the kind that have deep enough pockets or some type of inheritence or income bonus to afford a Les Paul right on the table. But I reckon most of us save for some time -- months, perhaps years -- to get that dream Gibson.

So, I'm curious. What was it that gave you the wherewithal to save up over a long time without succumbing to the perils of all the other ways a couple of grand can get blown?

In my own case, played small gigs at $60 to $100 a pop for around 6 months. I turned nothing down -- patios, hosting jams, subbing on a gig 100-miles away to earn $55 bucks. My day job paid living expenses so I could stash all the gig money in a box (if I banked it, it would up end up paying the damn phone bill or something). I also forebade myself all other gear and accessory purchases -- no pedals, no cords (I resoldered old ones), no amps (I love amps!), and only enough strings to keep my gigging guitar playable.

Oh, and the most treacherous peril of all: "Gee, this [insert lower end, foreign-made reasonably priced guitar with humbuckers] plays almost as well as a real Gibson... and I could afford it pretty much right now!" was also miraculously avoided.

That did the trick. By going cold turkey on gear acquisition and giving myself a firm budget on what I could reasonably afford (a used 2014 Traditional Honeyburst as it turned out), I was able to get the Les Paul I'd always wanted without breaking the bank or owing a dime once I brought it home.

What's your story?


There's these brick and mortar buildings called BANKS, you may have heard.of them? Anyways, you put your money in one of these places and it grows.
 

flyswatter

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There's these brick and mortar buildings called BANKS, you may have heard.of them? Anyways, you put your money in one of these places and it grows.


Let me repeat: if I banked it, it would up end up paying the damn phone bill or something

And the interest accrued at a tiny savings rate over 6 or 8 months saving for a guitar is infintessimal anyway.

But thanks for the patronizing feedback. :laugh2:
 

E1WOOD5150

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I am on the cusp of spending more on a musical instrument than I've ever spent. To celebrate my nearly 50 years on this rock, I am gifting myself a Les Paul. I started saving at Christmas, but life struck, and the savings were spent repairing a couple things for the house. I told my wife of the plan at my last birthday. I set a budget, and she agreed to let me go 10% if I had to.

My employer kicks us a bonus every year at the end of the 1st quarter, based on the profit my branch generates. We had a good year in 2015, and my bonus is funding the Plaintop.

Best part is...the guitar falls well under my budget, even without the 10% allowance. When I told my wife about the guitar, she actually reminded me that there were $$$ left in the kitty.

HELLO, NEW AMP!!!

When I get the new guitar, there will be a NGD thread that will be my second favorite thread that I have ever started on this forum.
 

Pesh

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Financed the first and cleared it in 9 months instead of 12, and purchased the second. I then lived on bread and water for the month :D
 

dsmcl77

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I was 23 when I moved to London (UK).
Nearly a month after arrival (and working) I openned a bank account to put my wage on it. Then for whatever reason I couln't touch the money for 5 weeks... Luckily I was fed at work and rooms to rent were still reasonably priced...

After 5 weeks I had 2 months of untouched salary... I went straight to Denmark Street to buy my dream Gibson Les Paul Standard Cherry Sunburst plain top for £715 on the 14th of june 1993... day and month that became my 3rd daughter birthday, 7 years later.
 

Stevie 202

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I bought my one and only when I was 58 years old, so I guess you could say I saved up for 30 years or so :laugh2:
 

voggin

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A few years ago I felt like I was spending too much money during the week. Too easy to use the debit card at coffee shops, lunch and the like. Went back a couple of months on my bank statement and realized I was spending about a hundred bucks a week on stuff like lunches, the odd after work beer, and other crap.

So I started giving myself an allowance in cash at the beginning of the week of 100 bucks. At the end of each week, I'd throw what was left into a guitar case.

I found I was much more conscious of what I was spending when I had to actually fork over the cash, or break a 20, than I was when using a card. I started making subtle changes (had water instead of pop at lunch, bought a pint of draught instead of some stupid craft beer in a bottle, regular coffee instead of a latte). About six months in I had $1500. Bought a used ES 339. Thought, this is pretty cool. Did it again, 8 months later bought a used LP standard. Since then, bought a used Studio and a used tele.

Felt no change in my quality of life, but now I have some great guitars.
 

kubi

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well I still get kmoney from my parents because I'm still a uni student (yes I know I can work but studying in a foreign country bring more complications). basically what I do is just put aside some money every month if I want something. also I dont really spend much other than foood and alcohol so...

But there was this one time when I did work during the summer at a petrol station so I got my LP epi with that money plus saved allowance. this summer i have an internship and will get paid again so a new amp might be in the horizon!
 

vankaye

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I have purchased most of my guitars by lay-a-way.

I have two major purchases on lay-a-way right now.

My wife is making payments on a 59 Standard Historic at Sam Ash (50th birthday gift) and I am making payments on an 1983 JCM800 2203 at a small shop.

To me lay-a-way is the best. I am motivated to pay quickly because I want to take the item home. Every time I go by to make a payment I ask to play it, which keeps me motivated. I don't over extend myself with credit and I don't dip into savings...

I am shocked that it took to page 3 before one other person mentioned layaway.
 

martin H

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I started working full time in the UK at age 16, but stuff was relatively expensive then. I was primarily paying bass, and scraped up the 400 pounds required to buy a Rickenbacker 4001 by borrowing half of it from my brother. I got a bass rig on credit from the local store because they'd extend credit to teenagers without a counter-signing parent if the guys behind the counter knew you had a full time job or were playing gigs and had money coming in.

A Les Paul standard was about 450 pounds locally at that time, but a bit cheaper in London

When I moved to the US in 82, I landed in New York City with my life savings (a massive $2,000 or so) and was astounded that instruments seemed so much cheaper. I bought my '72 deluxe in a pawn shop around 34th street for about $ 275 (about 150 pounds at a time when the exchange rate was 1.75) Still have it. Still my favorite instrument.

I hate to sound like a boring old man (which I am), but the best way for 99% of players to get good gear nowadays is to put your effort and attention into getting a good day job. Not very rock 'n' roll I know. But 40 years ago, a pretty average band like I was in could play 1-2 gigs on the weekend, and your share after expenses would be enough to make a guitar payment. Nowadays, its hard for a young band to get paid at all, and if you do the money is about the same as it was 40 years ago.
 

dspelman

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A few people on MLP are of the kind that have deep enough pockets or some type of inheritence or income bonus to afford a Les Paul right on the table. But I reckon most of us save for some time -- months, perhaps years -- to get that dream Gibson.

A Gibson has never been my "dream" guitar. I bought my first guitar back when there were simply a lot fewer choices for electrics: Gibson, Fender, Rickenbacker and some ratty Japanese brands.

I'd been playing in bands regularly as a keyboardist and working in a music store during the week, and I found a fairly trashed '67 S-335 12-string in its original pasteboard case (one of the two Gibson choices) that was destined for the dust bin. I bought it for dirt cheap, cleaned it up (a lot) and found it was much better than it looked. Shortly after that I found a same-year six string 335 that had been stripped to the bare wood. It was eventually refinished, restocked with new hardware and pickups and tossed in a case.

At some point I began buying some of the trade-in guitars direct from the people who were looking for new things. I was able to give them a cash discount that, when added to the pittance they were going to get for trade-in looked like a LOT better deal, and that's how I started accumulating, and I still have all of those guitars.

These days things have changed. Gibson is no longer a musical instrument. It's a "lifestyle" item that you pay a premium for just as women do for Jimmy Choo shoes or a Ferrogamo bag. It's no *better* intrinsically than other instruments that are much less expensive. It's been positioned as a showoff brand that finds most of its real value in the eyes of those who are easily impressed with logos.

The only suggestion I'd have in saving for one would be to pack money away until you have enough to pay cash and not deprive yourself of anything else. That's really the only way to buy a "lifestyle" brand.

Do NOT put one on a card and go into hock for it. Being in debt for a brand name is absolutely not worth it and among the dumbest things you can do to yourself financially.

IMHO, YMMV, yada yada...:cool:
 

dspelman

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There's these brick and mortar buildings called BANKS, you may have heard.of them? Anyways, you put your money in one of these places and it grows.

No, it doesn't. Interest on 5-year CDs barely scratches above 1% these days, and certainly not enough to match 3%+ inflation. That means your actual spending power for that money is shrinking.

Nothing smart/long-term goes in the bank these days.
 

Ed B

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I sold my motorcycle. I didn't actually sell it to buy the guitar. It's just what I did with the proceeds. I bought my 2nd shortly after from my savings account. This was pre-kids. Spending like that was guilt free on occasion. Now I couldn't dip into our savings for a guitar. I have permission but it wouldn't be money well spent.

I'm actually building my gear fund now. Over the past few months I've managed to sell some gear and toss in a little here and there. I'm targeting a 335. Almost there. I'll probably wait until mid-summer or early fall to strike. :fingersx:
 

Eball92

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No, it doesn't. Interest on 5-year CDs barely scratches above 1% these days, and certainly not enough to match 3%+ inflation. That means your actual spending power for that money is shrinking.

Nothing smart/long-term goes in the bank these days.

Where does it go then? 1% is still better than 0% then losing it in a house fire when its stuffed in your mattress, no?
 

YoshiJimbo

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When I first got into guitars years ago I went to a one owner shop who let me put a guitar in lay a way. I would go in once a week, put some more money on it, and play it for about half an hour. ^ ^
 

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