Contests can play a major role in a Low Budget collectors way of collecting. Contests can be entered to win a prize for yourself or can be used for trade bait for others. I enter contests for both occasions but most of the time the winnings are ones I enter for myself.
I have won some prizes big and small but all have helped me build my collection the past couple of years that I have struggled with funds. It also keeps something going in the mail box so you don't get down about collecting. I completely get how tough it can be not to see any cards incoming. So even if it's just one card, it's better than none.
One thing I need to mention about contests also is I don't enter them all. I only enter the ones that help my PC or that I can use for trade bait. I don't feel like I should enter the contests that have absolutely no meaning to me. What's the point? Just to win free stuff? Nope, that's not me. Save those cards in the contests for someone who actually collects them or needs them.
The most important thing about contests is not just about the entering/winning, it's about the giving. I have felt the generosity pour out from this hobby over the last couple of years so I do my best to give even more back to the hobby that has given to me. That's a very important final piece to this. I have been doing my giveaways for years now and can tell you there is no better feeling when someone gets a surprise mail day from you and you can just tell you made their day. :)
In closing to sum this up, contests are a fun way to keep your collecting moving forward to help add cards to your collection with no cost which is always good for a low budget collector. Of course you do have to win first as well but sometimes the entering and losing can be just as entertaining as it's like ripping a pack of cards and hoping to beat the odds. To me, there is no greater thrill in the hobby than that.
I hope Part 6 of this will help you in some way today to keep on collecting no matter the circumstance. This is the point of these posts and even though some may be obvious like this one, it will hopefully still get you in the right direction without wanting to quit the hobby. I am also hoping it may give you a new way to save money and collect.