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Old 03-04-2007, 10:47 PM   #1  
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Default How Do You Decide How to Spend $$?

There are a few lucky ones who can buy whatever and whenever. Then's there the rest of us. When I first started stamping, I bought willy nilly and wasted a lot of money. Then I became an SU demo and saved money by just sticking with SU. It really worked for me and I often think I should just go back,but then I see stuff like clear stamps and polka dot organdy ribbon that a stamper just HAS to have or breathing starts hurt...

So, I'm back to buying from a lot of sources and spending too much money and not using what I buy. I think I need a purchasing plan. So I came up with these rules. They're mine and not meant as advice for anyone else. If you have rules, I'd love to hear them!

1. No more impulse buying. Wait. Just because [fill in name of awesome stamper] is using this or recommending it doesn't mean I should get it. There will be a run on the item, but it will come back in stock. Wait and see if I really want it and if it fits my style (I'm still looking for my style!!).

2. As a corollary to #1, I'm not buying something simply because everyone else is. I bought several sets for that reason and I still haven't used them. I did this with the scallop punches and there they sit...

3. I'm buying quality products that will last. There are some items that are worth buying the best -- Kai scissors (SU has them) for cutting rubber is an example.

4. No more ribbon or paper or brads or eyelets until I've used up 1/2 of what I already have. (this one hurts...)

5. No more stamps until I've used or sold what I haven't used yet. Untouched rubber is now a crime in my house!

I'd love to hear how you decide what to buy!
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:56 PM   #2  
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Now I won't buy something unless I know EXACTLY what I am using it for! Ie- EXACTLY what scrap layout etc I won't buy just to have on hand in case I need it cause it usually goes out of style before I do use it!

I only buy what I try first- so a friend has to get it first- no way would I have gotten a cuttle bug and cricut without making sure I HAD to have it.

I sell what I don't use

Only buy on sale
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:59 PM   #3  
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you took the words right out of my mouth..when i first started back in october i lived on the "Bay" ugh..worst mistake ever tons of money spent there most of those sets i paid top $ for i sold or traded here.. as for ribbon and other embelly's i am still learning to use them and have way to many for a beginner..i just bought a xyron machine from BST and its still in the box and i am thinking why did i get this lol.so your not alone we can hold hands and wonder "WHY"
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:06 PM   #4  
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Great thread as always Joan. Here are some of the things I do:

-Just buy one. I used to buy two or three of everything, just in case I ran out. No more, one is enough and there will always be something else I will like just as much. Ex. one piece of patterned paper

-I think about how the product will incorporate into the "stuff" I already do use and love. Do I have other images to match this single stamp that I am considering?

-I sell sell sell and share share share lots of stuff. I am about to sell about 50 stamp sets that I haven't reached for in 6 months. Friends think that I am nuts, but if it hasn't been used, it's gone. Most LSS have garage sales now, there's eBay, Craig's List and even just have a sale of your own. It's really fun spending that recycled money too.

-I donate to charities who need crafting supplies. My LSS goes to the Children's hospital once a month and makes lots of fun things. I give to younger girls in my life who have developed an interest in stamping and paper crafting.

-I just buy the pretties that really wow me. There are lots of wonderful products out there, but it has to really impress me and make me giddy before it get's in my cart.

And last but not least, if EllenH tells me I need it, then I probably do. *giggles*
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:19 PM   #5  
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Joan, you should have written this weeks ago. I have been buying like an idiot since so-and-so says this-and-that is "a must have" Well, it's been almost 3 months now and my credit card bills are probably stacked (they aren't all here yet) I bought cuttlebug and accessories when almost everyone oohed and ahhed about it, boxfull of punchers because joann's was on sale - yup that would include various circles, squares, whale punches and scallop ones too, curvy cutters because I *might* use them, coasters, papers and stamps. I currently have a few more orders coming in, basic grey papers, clear stamps, prima flowers and if my joann order/s ever get through pads of inks, papers and I can't even remember what else.. I am currently getting rid of what's in my room (selling or giving away stuff) to make room for all these new toys, since I can't go around my room anymore. I'll probably stop when the bills get here
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:23 PM   #6  
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I have an amount of money I allow myself to spend each month. If I see something I want and I've already spent my month's quota I wait until the next month. Julie and Keri are great enablers and do influence what I buy outside of SU, but I do appreciate their expertise - I've liked everything they've suggested so far. Lately I've been branching out from SU just to see what other products are like and how they compare to SU. For the price, I still think SU's stamp sets are the best. When it comes to designer paper - I think other companies have more to offer. But, again, I watch what I spend and if I don't immediately use a new product I know I will eventually. There has only been one item I bought a year or so ago and TRIED to use it but mangled the cardstock so this tool has since rested in the nice box it came in - Basic Grey's Notch Tool.
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Old 03-05-2007, 04:02 AM   #7  
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i agree joann...

i so went with the i MUST have the scalloped punches and now i barely use it. i am seriously considering just get rid of them.

at the beginning i really went with what people said here on the board but i noticed.... everytime when a new mini or catalog comes out there is : oh.... i love this one and this is so much fun. so my very hardest set i had to resist was carte postale. i told myself no more stamps until i have used the stuff i have.

the people iam sending the cards to dont know if the flower set is a retired one.

its funny the other day i made a card to show to somebody (a stamper) using "the old set" bud basics and it felt she was barely intrested in my card even tho i used a unusual fold (tri-fold).
so.... if you want an wow effect you better use the very newest stamps.

i dont have a tip ....
but i do not spent much more on rubber i rather invest in tools (yeah right talking about those stupid scalloped punches)
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Old 03-05-2007, 04:42 AM   #8  
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If I like it, and think I'll use it, I'll buy it. There is a lot more thought that goes into certain purchases like my Wishblade a few years ago and the Big Shot a few months ago. I'm VERY generous with giving away stuff, and when someone needs something like patterned paper, cardstock, embellishments, ribbon, I just give it to them and don't want them to replace it. I like to give! It makes me feel good and it helps clear out my hoard!
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Old 03-05-2007, 04:51 AM   #9  
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Oh I so know where you are coming on this, I have been spending like crazy and I really hate to think how much money I have spent far more than I know I should have!! I do have a huge amount of stuff that I do not use, but I am one of these people that cannot part with it, I keep in the back of my mind that I will eventually use it sometime!!!!!

I am still trying to organise my very small space to try and accommodate my stash a lot better cause at the moment, I cannot for the life of me find half of what I want to find. I want to keep my ribbons etc in front of me and at the moment cannot. I want to keep my newest basic papers in front of me and can't it is so frustrating trying to find cheap but good storage. Now I live in UK and we are seriously depleted when it comes to great rubber stamping/scrapbooking stash, of course we have shops but the decent scrapbooking stuff, ie gorgeous new papers etc, and the alterable items, are very expensive compared to what you can buy it for in the States, I mean we do not have half the gorgeous things that you girls can pick up from places like Michaels, Joanns or Target etc. When I first started cardmaking, I went totally mad, on ebay and in the local shops that I could find. I bought a load of rubbish (well it is to me now!!).

I have gone mad again since I joined this site cause everytime to get on the general forum somebody is mentioning that so and so shop has this or that etc, but having said that, for me to be able to get hold of some of the great Joann or Michaels bargains even with postage to UK is so so much cheaper and probably I would never be able to get hold of it in the UK anyway, so I do try and comfort myself on that front!!!

But like Emily posted a few days ago, whoever said that cardmaking was a cheap hobby needs to be institutionalised!!!!!!!!!!!! It has got to be one of the most expensive hobbies going as there are new things coming out every day/week/month/year and you have your three seasons so you need new things for that, it is neverending. There ends my sermon. xx
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Old 03-05-2007, 04:54 AM   #10  
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Joan I like your suggestions as well as those of the other posters!

I too have given in to the impulse: scallop punches, Snap stamps, etc.
Much of it lays unused.

BUT my LSS has a garage sale where I can sell my gently used things and then
get a store credit for the sales. (And *they* do the selling for you, you can just go home and reap the rewards!)

Now my philosophy is :
--unless I really, truly need a tool, I will spend my 40% coupons on adhesive, because I will always need that.
--I buy my white cardstock from Office Depot
--sell or trade something I haven't used in 6 months.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:34 AM   #11  
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I don't know if this is a "rule" but

When the companies come out with their new catalogs I make a wish list. I know I cannot get all at once. I start off with a few purchases that are totally my style and versatile. When I feel the need to buy something I go to the wishlist and see what still attracts my attention. It is amazing the things I thought that were must haves suddenly don't seem so intriguing anymore.

I haven't gotten to the sell or trade stuff I haven't used recently because after I thinned my stuff down a while ago I have been making smarter purchases.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:06 AM   #12  
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I went on a budget. I'm a confessed paper addict . So I am going to try not to buy any paper (other than spring mini) until July and try to use as much as I can between now and then. As for stamps, I agree that I you should purchase what works in your collection. I need to sell some of my older sets and ones that I don't use anymore. I just need to get off my butt and do it.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:10 AM   #13  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan B
2. As a corollary to #1, I'm not buying something simply because everyone else is. I bought several sets for that reason and I still haven't used them. I did this with the scallop punches and there they sit...
I'm having a hard time believing this from you -- you are far too rational and down-to-Earth!!

My only 'rule' is that I now only have a set amount to spend on all fun things every month, so my purchasing has gotten a LOT more considered than it was even six months ago. I imposed a ribbon moratrorium on myself too, but then happened upon a little box of like 24 spools of beautiful American Crafts ribbon on a major clearance price and had to have it. I have since focused on using up ribbon and it's been working ok.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:51 AM   #14  
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I should just print out the posts from this thread and hang it over my computer!
I am such an impulse buyer and a collector. I love to buy, buy, buy but I rarely use, use, use. My craft room runneth over with stuff!

Thanks for starting this thread, Joan. I sure could use some help to stop buying everything I see!
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:57 AM   #15  
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On ebay, I don't buy more than I have sold. If I don't have an account in the black, I look through my stamps or accessories and sell something. This has helped me keep things in control greatly. Same goes for things I cannot buy on ebay. I keep a running total of items I have sold on my other chatboards and only use that money.The exception is birthday and Christmas gift money or money I win from a contest, etc. If we come into unexpected money in our family, most gets put away, but each gets a little bit of it for "play" money. Works very well for me. The only place I have a horrible time sticking to this is when I go to conventions. For this reason, last year I did not go to a single convention.
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:01 AM   #16  
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I find I get to a point where I'm just tired of spending money on my hobbies. I have no place to put it and I feel guilty about things stacked up but no being used. This goes for paper, stamps, inks...just about everything.

My rule is to shop by myself. If I go with someone else, I am more easily influenced to buy more things, maybe because we spend more time looking at everything and chatting about everything we see.

I also have decided I must use up some of what I have before I go out and buy more. I've signed up for swaps in the hopes of depleting some of my stash of everything. It's a shame that so much nice stuff never sees the light of day.

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Old 03-05-2007, 07:09 AM   #17  
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My biggest "rule" is for when the new catty/catties come out. I make my wish-list (usually about $1300 or so LOL) but then I make myself wait at least a month to order anything. I find that I can whittle that list down by at least half. Then I only buy a certain amount each month, or save it up for a large hostess order.

I've discovered my "style" by doing this. I just don't "do" flowery, antique-y, french, etc... I'm a more whimsical stamper, so the trends like Carte Postale I was easily able to pass by.
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:32 AM   #18  
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I'm a bargain shopper. So that explains why I am a hobby demo... for the discount! Although, I definitely over spend with SU. I just placed a large order right at the end of Sellabration. I got all the free sets except for the scrap kit thing (just cause it's consumable, I know I would hold on to it not wanting use it up). At the same time, a friend told me about a bargain on Cricut cartridges, I didn't have any and I had been waiting for a bargain, so I bought 4 ( I still want 5 or 6 more). Then I had to have all the Michael's clear $1.00 stamps, and while I was in M's then were clearancing stamps so I needed 3 bargains at $7.00 each. Now, how to explain to my hubby? He pretty good about all of it, just when I get too much at once, which is what I just did. He asked if the SU order was all for me, I said no but really most of it is mine. Then I told him about the cricut cartridges the day I bought the 1st 2. He was okay, he hadn't seen the SU bill at the time. The next day I bought 2 more cartridges, I haven't mentioned them yet! And of course my Micheal's bill will show up too. The bad part is I have a limited time to get the bargains on the Cricut cartridges and I really want more of them....
Anyway. as you can see even though I am a bargain hunter. I do really over spend on my hobby. And as of lately, I haven't been creating, so that bothers my dh. The bad thing is when I spend a lot all at once, if I spread out my purchases I feel like I got a bargain!
I did hear a good tip on purchasing stuff for our hobby.... The 1 dollar rule, if something is $20.00 are you going to use it at least 20 times. if so then it's worth it. If not don't buy it. Apply that to what ever the item costs to see if it's a good purchase.
My real goal is to use what I have, but SU keeps coming out with new must have stamps! Cricut has cartridges and bargains are every where! I'm in trouble!
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:38 AM   #19  
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Before I buy a stamp set, I make myself think of at least 4 or 5 different ways to use it. If it leaves me stumped, then I don't need it. I'm all about versatility!
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:43 AM   #20  
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I buy stamps etc..like i do clothes etc..can i wear that w/different outfits?? if it will only go say w/my jeans or 1 pair of slacks etc.. i don't get it..same w/stamps i must be able to do a lot of different things w/it. I have bot stamps and then i see that it's only good for 1 theme..so now i try to imagine all i can do w/1 stamp. I didn't buy the cuttlebug..too expensive..i use the rolling pin tech. and get beautifull results...also there are so many wonderful tech.'s here u can interchange so much. I type out my own sentiments..sum from sites sum i make up my own..i like to do my own as i can personilize them all. Sis n i split sets a lot..she has a different like than me..she is more folk artsy where i am more vintage or old fashioned..so we will buy a set from su..and then divide it..we are very easy that way..as we each know what the other likes..never any prob..so that's about it i guess..thx for listening..loves ya Gail
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:45 AM   #21  
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These abiding principles guide my purchases:
  1. Am I in love with it?
  2. Do I already have something very similar?
  3. How well does it go with what I already have, or does it fill a gap?
  4. How many different uses will I have for this?
Embellishments, such as ribbon, crystal stickers, clear epoxy stickers, mini brads, eyelets, Prisma Glitter, etc. are staple items that I personally can never have too much of, especially living where I do, because I can't just run to ____ store and replace it on a moment's notice.

I have also noticed that if I have a large supply of something, I am more likely to use it, and use it frequently, because I'm not worried I'll run out, whereas if I only have a limited supply of something special, I tend to hoard (I finally discovered the proper spelling of this term, as it is used in this instance) it 'cuz I'm afraid that if I use it, it will be gone, and I will NEVER be able to find any more of it.

I rarely buy anything that is of a single-use type application. For instance, I tend to avoid rub-ons. I like them, they're beautiful, but, I can't bring myself to buy them very often . . . I simply prefer the ability to reuse an item repeatedly for the investment of money . . . hence, I prefer rubber stamps above rub-ons and alphabet stickers.

Yes, I must be psychologically warped in some way. But, that's the way my spending brain works.
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:45 AM   #22  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by laurakj
My biggest "rule" is for when the new catty/catties come out. I make my wish-list (usually about $1300 or so LOL) but then I make myself wait at least a month to order anything.
This is me exactly! I make my wish list in my excel spreadsheet, and usually once I see how much everything is, I can "live without" most of it. I then prioritize the list, and lastly, put it into OEX and let it sit there for a few weeks or a month. Usually I find that my "need to haves" aren't really, they're just a passing phase. I also don't do a lot of online shopping.
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:49 AM   #23  
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This is a GREAT topic! I have been on a little spending craze myself (shhhh....it was only between my demo and I until now! LOL) but for me I almost feel like I am starting over. I almost COMPLETELY purged EVERYTHING when I lost my stamping space (now baby's room) a few months ago. I was sick about it at the time, but it has really been a good thing for me in the sense that I am done with the guilt of the things that had been sitting there for YEARS and now my stuff is so organized. The rules I developed for myself going forward were...

1.) NO SINGLE STAMPS!! These are just too hard to store for one, and I often would buy one stamp and then stare at it wondering what in the heck to put with it. The sets from SU! really are a better deal $ wise and when I get the set, I have everything to make something really cute!

2.) Sort of the same as above, but NO UNMOUNTED!! I started going unmounted YEARS ago after going to an Aunty Amy's convention. This was before there was all the great storage solutions that there are now, so it was a HUGE mess and I never could find the one I was looking for. Even with the new storage stuff, I will not do it...nope!

3.) Replace all my stamp pads by buying 2-3 a month...so this one I wasn't so good with this month, but I WAS doing good! LOL

Although I have spent alot of $$ the last couple of months, I have spent the majority of it on tools. Because of my space/time issues, I figure if there is a tool that will help me create a fun card quickly and can still be stored in my teeny, tiny space, I MUST have it!!
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:02 AM   #24  
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This is an awesome thread! Especially because I will totally label myself as an enabler - LOL! BUT here is where you will probably find this rather interesting. I don't purchase willy, nilly - in fact since I have given up my SU demostratorship I purchase a LOT LESS! I don't purchase stamps sets by the thousands thinking - oh I can use that at a workshop, or I can demonstrate that, or more often then not - wow that set is awesome. It can be awesome without me now .

For me less is more! My creativity truly has blossomed when I confine myself to using just one itty bitty stamp. What can I do with that stamp? How many occasions can I use it for?

My enabling usually is tools - tools that will allow me to use my own creativity to come up with something new. I will research them up the gazoo before purchasing them and then will only purchase those that I truly believe will make my work more crisp, more professional looking, more exciting.

My purchases are based on work - what is it that I will need to create for work purposes. In this I am different then the actual hobbyist, but I think that a lot of my decisions now may be helpful for a hobbyist as well. Only purchase what you are thinking you will use for actual projects. Have that project in mind before making your purchase. Here are a couple of suggestions I would make:
- purchase good basics so that you don't have to replace them often - i.e. Scissors, Bone Folder, Watercolor Brush, Color Pencils, Markers, Ink Pads (one ink pad that can be used over and over again - for beginners these are good black, brown, (both waterproof), white and watermark stamp pads), Cutter, Clear Ruler
- I'm loving having small color pads - I don't need full-size color pads. Petal Points, small cubes, these are all totally adequate to get the job done and take up a lot less space .
- purchase only those items that you KNOW you will use. If you only "think" you will use them then don't go out and buy the set of 132. Purchase only one and give them a test drive, or push away that impulse to buy it right now and see if it keeps coming to the forefront as an item you will really use.
- purchase small or individual items rather than boatloads of stuff. Purchase for specific projects - not for just in case. You probably have a boatload of just in case stuff already.
- sell the stuff you are no longer using.
- don't buy tons of stuff for swaps, to then only have cardfronts that you will have to figure out a way to recycle. Swaps cost so much money and then you don't even have a card you can send. If you are doing a swap you might want to consider doing full cards with instructions posted on a sheet that slips into the card and then stamping and signing the back. How fun would it be to then be able to send those cards out and let others enjoy them?
- think about how many times you can use what it is that you are purchasing - how many ways you will be able to use it.
- and last, think about where it is that you are going to store it. If you don't have a place to store it that it is readily accessible, it probably won't get used enough to make it worth your while.

LOVE this thread Joan!!!
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:20 AM   #25  
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You're off to a great start, Joan.

After my recent purchase in the past 2 months of a Cricut AND a Cuttlebug...

I had to stay, STOP to myself.

I went to my friend's crop on Friday night (she a CMC) and told her NO albums or paper. Don't even bother to show me. My one purchase was the new punch - really cool and versatile. I love punches, but did not succomb to the giga-craziness.

My goal is to organize my CS, papers, embellishments, photos, etc.

Then, only then, will I allow myself to purchase more papers, etc. AFTER checking my stash!
I've limited myself to ONE set from any mini.
Only purchase supplies necessary for upcoming stamp camps (I'm a demo)
When the new catalog comes out, make my wish list and sit on it for awhile.
Other than SU, only buy on sale or with a coupon.

I really don't have any more room to store STUFF!
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:32 AM   #26  
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Well everyone has given me some wonderful *food for thought* today. I'm looking around my studio and I'm definitely one of those impulse buyers. I've easily got enough paper, cardstock, ribbon, adhesive, ink, etc. to keep me going for a year. I've really been trying to resist those 40 and 50% coupons though -- there will always be more of 'em to be had. One thing I do that's a positive is that I only spend cash -- nothing goes on credit. That's a definite plus 'cause there's never a bill showing up after I've gone shopping. I'll admit though, if I see something that I like I do buy it.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:35 AM   #27  
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Ellen - Great thoughts. Good suggestion for newbies. I give my newbies a sheet of things to think about and one of them is storage. It's fun and so easy to buy, buy, buy - but then comes the question - where will it be stored. Great thread, Joan.
Quote:

Originally Posted by EllenH
What can I do with that stamp? How many occasions can I use it for? My enabling usually is tools - tools that will allow me to use my own creativity to come up with something new. I will research them up the gazoo before purchasing them and then will only purchase those that I truly believe will make my work more crisp, more professional looking, more exciting.

purchase good basics so that you don't have to replace them often - i.e. Scissors, Bone Folder, Watercolor Brush, Color Pencils, Markers, Ink Pads (one ink pad that can be used over and over again - for beginners these are good black, brown, (both waterproof), white and watermark stamp pads), Cutter, Clear Ruler
- I'm loving having small color pads - I don't need full-size color pads. Petal Points, small cubes, these are all totally adequate to get the job done and take up a lot less space .
- purchase only those items that you KNOW you will use. If you only "think" you will use them then don't go out and buy the set of 132. Purchase only one and give them a test drive, or push away that impulse to buy it right now and see if it keeps coming to the forefront as an item you will really use.
- purchase small or individual items rather than boatloads of stuff. Purchase for specific projects - not for just in case. You probably have a boatload of just in case stuff already.
- sell the stuff you are no longer using.
- don't buy tons of stuff for swaps, to then only have cardfronts that you will have to figure out a way to recycle. Swaps cost so much money and then you don't even have a card you can send. If you are doing a swap you might want to consider doing full cards with instructions posted on a sheet that slips into the card and then stamping and signing the back. How fun would it be to then be able to send those cards out and let others enjoy them?
- think about how many times you can use what it is that you are purchasing - how many ways you will be able to use it.
- and last, think about where it is that you are going to store it. If you don't have a place to store it that it is readily accessible, it probably won't get used enough to make it worth your while.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:39 AM   #28  
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I really only will spend what I make as a demo. I have been really good at sticking to this over the past two years. I did stray a bit (thanks to this site) over the past few months and purchased other things with family money.
Generally I ask myself how much use will I get from "x"? I usually won't buy something unless I know I will use for my scrapbooks and if I will use it for more than one thing. Just to demo it, isn't enough for me.

For example, I fell in love with the Like it A Latte set in the SU winter mini. I almost didn't get it because I couldn't see myself using it in my boys scrapbooks. Then we had a big snow fall and the boys came in from playing outside and drank some cocoa. My DH snapped a few cute pics of the boys and that justified me getting the set. Probably too much info, but it works for me.

This time of year is good for me, because I always buy less, waiting for the new SU catty to come out. It also forces me to use what I have.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:41 AM   #29  
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Well if it is on clearance and I like it then I buy it just to have. If I decide that I am not going to use it I will giv eit to someone who wants it. Other than that I just go to the store or online and buy what I want as long as it is in my budget at that time. We are self employed so some weeks are good and other not so good.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:19 AM   #30  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by EllenH
. . . My purchases are based on work - what is it that I will need to create for work purposes. In this I am different then the actual hobbyist, but I think that a lot of my decisions now may be helpful for a hobbyist as well.
Aaaah, yes. Good point! As a fellow professional, ITA!

Quote:

- purchase good basics so that you don't have to replace them often
TOTALLY ITA!

Quote:

. . . I'm loving having small color pads - I don't need full-size color pads. Petal Points, small cubes, these are all totally adequate to get the job done and take up a lot less space
Yeah, baby!!! ITA!

Quote:

. . . purchase small or individual items rather than boatloads of stuff. Purchase for specific projects - not for just in case. You probably have a boatload of just in case stuff already.
It's true . . . I do!!!

Quote:

. . . sell the stuff you are no longer using.
Ugh. I *really* need to do this, as I have a trailer full . . .


Quote:

. . . and last, think about where it is that you are going to store it. If you don't have a place to store it that it is readily accessible, it probably won't get used enough to make it worth your while.
So true, so very very true!!!
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:29 AM   #31  
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I've started living more by the following rules (after making the usual mistakes of too much/too unused, etc.)
1) set a monthly budget and stick to it. If I do feel the need to impulse shop--it has to be under $10, or $5 even if I've been shopping already that month.
2) organize all my materials regularly so I can fall in love again with things.
3) Spend a lot of time on the gallery here so I can how many ways I can use a stamp before I purchase a new set...I like to now get stamps that look good in several color combinations and styles, not just the one pictured in the catalog.

I buy less but I'm so much happier with what I have now!
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:07 AM   #32  
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After I did a thorough organization of my stamps and supplies, I feel like I use more stuff instead of just buying and forgetting about them. Right now I love finding new ways to organize my craft room that helps me use my stuff more.

I also look at my supplies and make myself use CS colors I have a large quantity of. I do the same for brads or eyelets - for instance, over time I've bought three containers of vintage brads and have consistently never touched the silver diamonds in any of the packages - so not long ago, I made myself include them on a swap I did.

I have been selling a ton of stuff on ebay and B/S/T forum and then I take that money and spend it over time on more craft stuff I like. I do not regret getting rid of anything so far - my logic is that if I haven't used it in 2-3 years, it's just gathering dust.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:37 PM   #33  
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I am on a monthly budget. Every 6 months or so I purge. Donate or trade with friends. When I see the things I "had to have" are sitting unused I guilt myself into not spending. I also avoid clearence sales. I just can not trust myself. I keep a "diary" of projects and ideas. I own sooo much I need to justify the expense. I make most of my gifts and cards myself.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:45 PM   #34  
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My biggest thing for me is "CAN I DEMO IT?" I have only bought the Cuttlebug, because I use it on a daily basis, but I RARELY buy anything else from any other company. I am business/hobby demo , and can't afford to have it in my craft room, if it is not getting used.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:00 PM   #35  
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I can be such an impulse buyer as well! But lately I've really been trying to keep a running wish list. Then I try to prioritize it. I will buy things off this list as money allows. Often, depending on my projects, these items will get shuffled around. As I buy, I cross out. Of course I'm always adding to the list though!! lol I also try to use my coupons to save money. If it's a bigger purchase, and I can get it at Michael's or JoAnne's for 40-50% off, I'll do that.

I am really really wanting a Cricut. Part of me wants to wait for the bigger one to come out in a few months, hoping that the regular Cricut will come down in price.. but knowing me, I'll wait and just want to by the bigger Cricut! So, I'm saving my money. I won't buy it until I have saved up that much money in my hobby budget--which might not ever happen if I don't stop buying every other thing that I "have to have!"
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:08 PM   #36  
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Sit back and wait.

This is my best rule of thumb. I try not to purchase anything on an impulse, usually after waiting for a month or more, I can dwindle down the items I was originally looking to purchase.

For example the Bellas . . . they are super cute. I have put off purchasing them for about 2 or 3 months now. The first time I went to their site I had about 20 of them on my wish list. Now my wish list is down to about 5 or 6 of them.
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:12 PM   #37  
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I just quit shopping for awhile! That took some getting used to, but it worked... I stamped instead which was what I REALLY wanted to do.

Organization causes me to 'fall in love' all over again as someone else mentioned. That is a good thing.

Selling what I don't use is something I am beginning.... I'm fairly new.

I now only spend what I make selling.

I like being in control of myself and my spending. Budgeting is working for me.

Sitting on my wish list has been wonderful. Catty shopping is like window shopping for me... lots of fun and no expense.

Challenging myself to use only what I have has been really fun. Using up something that I have LOTS of is another, similar challenge.
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:21 PM   #38  
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Before I buy a stamp set I check out the price and see how many cards I'd have to make with it before the purchase pays for itself. So for example, if there's a $30 set in the catalog that I like I'll have to make 30 cards with it. I sell my cards for $3 each so I think that's reasonable. I'm pretty reserved when it comes to embellishments now too. I divide the price of ribbon to see how much I'm paying for a foot (which is an average of what I use per project) to see if that will be worth it. It seems to be working for me so far. When I first started I had to have all the latest and greatest but I've really cut back and I'm enjoying the things that I have so much more. Yeah, I'd like to have a Cuttlebug and scalloped punches, but I can do without them so I figure I don't REALLY need them. I actually haven't bought all that many stamps lately either because I realized I had a lot that I wasn't using so I should make the most of what I have right now.
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:29 PM   #39  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JulieHRR
These abiding principles guide my purchases:
  1. Am I in love with it?
  2. Do I already have something very similar?
  3. How well does it go with what I already have, or does it fill a gap?
  4. How many different uses will I have for this?
Embellishments, such as ribbon, crystal stickers, clear epoxy stickers, mini brads, eyelets, Prisma Glitter, etc. are staple items that I personally can never have too much of, especially living where I do, because I can't just run to ____ store and replace it on a moment's notice.

I have also noticed that if I have a large supply of something, I am more likely to use it, and use it frequently, because I'm not worried I'll run out, whereas if I only have a limited supply of something special, I tend to hoard (I finally discovered the proper spelling of this term, as it is used in this instance) it 'cuz I'm afraid that if I use it, it will be gone, and I will NEVER be able to find any more of it.

I rarely buy anything that is of a single-use type application. For instance, I tend to avoid rub-ons. I like them, they're beautiful, but, I can't bring myself to buy them very often . . . I simply prefer the ability to reuse an item repeatedly for the investment of money . . . hence, I prefer rubber stamps above rub-ons and alphabet stickers.

Yes, I must be psychologically warped in some way. But, that's the way my spending brain works.

I think I should frame this and hang it in my sewing/craft room...
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:30 PM   #40  
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I've decided to take a few steps back when contemplating purchases, particularly with SU made items.
First, the logic that SU stamps are such a good value because "you can get 5 or 6 stamps for $30 and and at a craft store stamps are $10 each" does not hold water for me. Now, I take a hard look at EACH stamp in a particular set and ask myself whether I would purchase EVERY stamp in a set if they ere sold individually. If the answer is NO, then I don't purchase it. Similarly, if I am about to purchase a $19 set because I only really like one stamp, I don't purchase it. For me, that is not good value.

Second, I have stopped purchasing the latest and greatest from SU simply because it is the latest and greatest. I already own one coffee themed set. I dont need to purchase another simply because it is in the latest mini catalog. Unless the new item is markedly distinct from what I already own, I don't purchase it.

Third, I stay away from items that dont yield multiple uses without additional investments. Example: the Cricut will yield multiple uses and is versatile- but only if you purchase expensive add-ons ( the cartridges).

Fourth, don't be the first out of the gate to purchase a product. I'd rather wait until the kinks get worked out and until I decided I really "NEED" it.
I agree wholeheartedly with "Art of Love"'s strategy. I have often had a wish list dwindle significantly as I find I musn't have it immedietly.

Finally, Coupons. Coupons. Coupons.
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