I think the majority of the pressure is put on me by myself. There was a time when I was not able to afford to spend much on luxuries like toys or video games. Hard work and better budgeting, and the luck of keeping stable employment (because in this economic climate, regular people can still lose jobs no matter how hard they work) have all allowed me to be able to buy a lot more, as well as more expensive items.
The internet, and yes, social media have maybe opened my horizons a bit more. With far easier access to US or Japanese exclusive toys, or even just the stuff that we're supposed to get here in the UK but is always hit and miss...I can in theory get pretty much any new release I want. Some stuff, like Botcon sets, and other convention exclusives are still harder to get, but if I was willing to pay the money I could get the majority of them.
I do try and restrain myself though, especially when it comes to big ticket items. Was saving and putting off buying one of the 3rd party Devastators for a while, then, when I had the money to get one...there's 4 or 5 other things I'd like as much, and then Fort Max gets announced! Eeek!
Diem, like you, I spent my youth in the UK (still here, actually) and was in our big old awesome Toymaster shop getting something or other with pocket money. Probably a Throttlebot or Terrorcon limb or something. Saw this giant TF, what seemed to be at the time the same size as me! It was a Fort Max, on display and up for grabs in a colouring competition. I put all the effort into colouring that picture that my little brain and body could muster, but the prize never came. I feel like I owe it to that little kid to get him a Fort Max, after all, I've let him get old and a bit tubby, and didn't become an astronaut or Ghostbuster like he wanted.
assembling a Neo-G1/TF:TM cast. Please PM if you have (or know of) the following at a reasonable price: Classics or Henkei Astrotrain, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, or 3rd Party iGear Ratchet and Ironhide.
Also looking for Universe Repugnus and Overbite, Frostbite and Longhorn and any Webdiver toys.