What do you do to keep yourself disciplined when it comes to our watch hobby?

I had a very honest hard look at myself today, I was online looking at more watches and I almost pulled the trigger on one until a little voice said in my head "You sure this isn't becoming an addiction pal?"

I took the measure then to jot down the watches I have bought, when they were purchased and the price. I began tallying how much I had spent (bare in mind, I am not really that much of a "big spender"(not that it matters) in our hobby and faced with the cold hard numbers (and with the premonition of the cost of servicing) I had a much needed reality check.

I'm very much an impulse buyer, particularly when I am low and/or bored. I want to know what rules and/or guidelines you have to keep yourself in-check and accountable (and in turn, maybe something I and others can use.)

UPDATE: Wow, a massive thanks to all the responses, felt a bit embarrassed with the idea of suggesting this at first but I am so glad I did now.

I'm on a self-imposed watch ban for a while and to help curb my impulses I have taken on board what a lot of you have said: I now write down watches that peak my curiosity, make a list of good things and bad things which I find about the watch, the current MSRP and what I would be prepared to pay, finally: If I don't think about the watch after a couple of days I remove it from the list.

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Unfortunately, not much. This month I’ve bought 4 watches, which is more than I bought in the precious 6 months. None were expensive and at least 2 of them have a specific purpose. I’m not completely off the rails yet, but I think it’s time to slow down.

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thekris

Unfortunately, not much. This month I’ve bought 4 watches, which is more than I bought in the precious 6 months. None were expensive and at least 2 of them have a specific purpose. I’m not completely off the rails yet, but I think it’s time to slow down.

I am definitely hurtling towards the territory of "you are really going to affect you're future in a bad way" If I don't pump the brakes. 

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It's because SEARCHING for and BUYING a watch is the hook, when WEARING and ENJOYING the watches should be the goal.

This is MY opinion.

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I've been doing this long enough to have a pretty good sense of what I like (I refuse to think about how much it has cost me to get here).  

Best advice I can give is to sit on a decision for a couple of weeks before you buy.  If you still want it, great!

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I’m limited by budget, but even if I weren’t I’d still think about every other hobby I have that requires money 😂 I always have the thought “could this buy climbing gear that you need more?” Or “would you rather spend this while on vacation?” And the answer is usually that I don’t spend money on watches just to buy and to have 🤷🏽‍♂️ 

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The rule I've set for myself is to always buy whatever watch I want immediately, without thinking about the money.  It's been a...  disastrous rule!

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I only buy watches that have consistently interested me for at least a few months. By that point I've forgotten about 95% of the watches that I had fallen in lust with and what remains are those that I'm relatively certain I will not regret. 

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I think of the slew of impulse buys that almost never get wrist time and I think of how wasteful that is. I remind myself that it’s super easy to lead myself into buying anything I look twice at. So now I merely browse to stay current on what’s available and wait for the one to reveal itself. Then it’s mine. 

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fargobonn

I only buy watches that have consistently interested me for at least a few months. By that point I've forgotten about 95% of the watches that I had fallen in lust with and what remains are those that I'm relatively certain I will not regret. 

I’m going to adopt this, problem is there are too many watches.

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I live by a golden rule for purchases, of all sorts, not just watches. That is, if I want something enough to buy it today, I purposefully wait 24 hours before pulling the trigger. This gives me time to think and say, "if I get this, what does this mean? Will I be as happy with this as I would be if I kept saving for something better?" or I contemplate if buying something will divert me from a bigger financial saving goal (like a vacation). 

99% of the time, I end up NOT buying anything. And that makes the eventual purchase that much more gratifying. This is hard to do, especially when something might be in short supply or limited edition, but it has served me well over the years. Typically, a month later, I don't feel like I have missed out on buying anything. Maybe that makes me a minimalist, who knows? 

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GoingTopShelf

I live by a golden rule for purchases, of all sorts, not just watches. That is, if I want something enough to buy it today, I purposefully wait 24 hours before pulling the trigger. This gives me time to think and say, "if I get this, what does this mean? Will I be as happy with this as I would be if I kept saving for something better?" or I contemplate if buying something will divert me from a bigger financial saving goal (like a vacation). 

99% of the time, I end up NOT buying anything. And that makes the eventual purchase that much more gratifying. This is hard to do, especially when something might be in short supply or limited edition, but it has served me well over the years. Typically, a month later, I don't feel like I have missed out on buying anything. Maybe that makes me a minimalist, who knows? 

I'm really good at talking myself out of buying things, to the point where I find it difficult to buy anything for myself (even small, useful things).

Quite often my wife has to literally talk me into buying a watch I've lusted after for months or years.

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English_archer

I'm really good at talking myself out of buying things, to the point where I find it difficult to buy anything for myself (even small, useful things).

Quite often my wife has to literally talk me into buying a watch I've lusted after for months or years.

I'm getting to that point. I've worn my Omega Aqua Terra more each year since buying it in 2020, than I did the year before. It's gotten to the point where I wear the watch 80% of the time and any future purchase means less wrist time for the AT. I typically can't justify that, so I go without. I'm gravitating towards a one watch collection, LOL.

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For the longest time, I thought variety was the important thing... many watches, many styles or colours, and / or unique appearance or feature. Plus, it had to be on sale or heavily discounted.

As a result, I have 11 Citizen watches, most acquired at their local warehouse / scratch&dent sale. They're great - Eco-drive, no batteries required... and I only wear about  5 or 6 of them on regular rotation. The others - I have to make a conscious effort to CHOOSE to wear one of them just so I don't feel bad that they're sitting there unused.

I ended up with an Invicta that has a spinning wheel inside (to mimic a car's wheel turning around a brake disc)... it's my first Automatic watch (seiko nh35)... I never wear it - it's a gimmick and the novelty wore off pretty quick. Plus, it's giant and heavy.

I recently acquired my first grail-level watch (my engagement / wedding gift from my wife, 12 years later). Now I look at ALL my other watches a little differently, and any other watch I see online. This is because I had to be CAREFUL and RESEARCH things! This could not be a throwaway watch, nor something that I would want to flip / trade in a year or three. It had to be a 'forever' watch.

Moving forward, that's how I'm going to look at my potential watch purposes:

Could I use it multiple times per week? Will it work with most of my outfits? will it last? how much maintenance will it require in 3, 5, 10 years? If I were showing someone my collection, would I be excited about this piece and sharing what I know about it?

My goal is to purchase mid-tier watches only moving forward (think, $1000 - $3000) range... I'll have to save up for them, rather than purchasing an inexpensive watch online just for retail therapy. I'll have to be choosy, think harder about them, do my research and try things on. This means maybe only one watch / year, rather than filling the shopping bag at online retailers with discounted, entry-level stuff.

(For the record - I'm not knocking these brands... Brands like Invicta, Aragon, Spinnaker... I like their stuff. There's a Spinnaker Cahill on Ebay that is such a good price and I am so tempted... but NO!) 

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One watch per year. $10,000 per watch. 

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I don't really have any set rules per se. The wife and I invest heavily, so as long as we do that and cover our financial bases, that frees me up to buy a new watch from time to time. I think as long as your financial affairs are in order, indulging in the hobby is totally fine. My main interests are watches and whiskey, so I figure if that's really all I spend money on and I'm not irresponsible, I'm doing alright.

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OldSnafu

None of my watches were over $200.00 and I ended