Fandoms are markets that are proving to be very profitable for producers. This is because for some fans, being a fan is not just a past time or some form of hobby, but it is also a religion and a career.
This means that they will invest a lot of money and time on buying merchandise and going to fan events to the point where they will find themselves short on cash more often than not. So, how do you spend on fan merchandise as well as fan activities and still save a portion of your salary or allowance at the same time?
If you are running on a budget, you have to prioritize what event to go to, what merchandise to purchase. Whenever you find yourself in a fan event such as Comic-Con, ask yourself what is it that you want and need the most?
Is Merch A is exclusively being sold at Comic-Con? If so, get your hands on that thing and don't buy anything else.
If not, you can save more money, work harder, kiss up to your boss, and use those Christmas bonuses to buy the merchandise somewhere else where it might be significantly cheaper. The waiting period will definitely hurt, but your wallet will be all the better for it.
Some fans repeatedly screen or attend the same films and concerts. This is because one cannot resist the thought that "something different might happen" or "it's going to be better the second time around."
When there is a new film to watch or a concert to go to, go to them only once. Do not keep rewatching the same movie or going to the same concert (but in a different location) even though it is all really worth it.
Save money, wait for the DVD, or stream concerts. You can still listen to albums for free too on Youtube or Spotify, you can watch movies and shows on Netflix—at least until you have saved enough to buy the physical albums and DVDs.
Instead of buying a replica of Thor's hammer or of Captain America's shield, make it or build it yourself. Paint or print your own designs and products.
There are a lot of tutorials on Youtube on how to make your own cosplay costume or how to craft replicas. Moreover, it will feel extra special knowing that the clothes you are wearing or the fan products that decorate your room are the work of your own hands.
Who knows, it may even be good enough to sell. Many fans on Etsy, for instance, have taken to making their own fan merchandise and selling them on the website.