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Old 08-02-2015, 12:03 PM   #1
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Default managing your craft budget

I've been really bad the last couple of years as far as spending on card making. If I wanted it, I bought it. Then bought some things twice , but have really built a mini empire here. I decided no more. I've cut down a lot this year. I'd like to get it much lower than that.

This morning I was watching YouTube for one thing or another, and started searching for a new die that I just had to have, and it lead to something else... and I yanked myself up and said "What are you doing?? Stop shopping!" All roads seem to lead to CHECKOUT and it's really hard to stop. Enabling is every where in my universe.

How do you do it?
How do you set your budget, and how do you manage to stay within it?
Do you shop just sales?
How do you find the best prices for stamps and dies (I usually buy from Amazon because I'm Prime)?
Any tips and tricks you want to share with the rest of us $$ challenged?

Looking forward to some insightful approaches to this topic.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:07 PM   #2
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Oh Janet1000, I can soooo identify!!! When I saw the thread, my first thought was "what budget?" When I read your comments, it hit close to home. I got rid of stuff, and now, I'm buying again because I'm back in my creative mode!!! I did put the brakes on things like paper - I have more than I will use before I die!! I just don't buy any and make do with what I have! - unless it's for watercolors or copics - and actually I should be fine there too!!

It's easy to get caught up and carried away when it's $20 here and $30 there. BUT, it adds up, and a larger purchase can have me asking myself, what was I thinking? I need more stamps like I need a hole in my head.....and maybe that's the problem!!!

What I have found is if I think about the purchase for a couple of days, I will usually decide I really don't need it, that it was more an "impulse" purchase based on a video I saw, and another stamp set will work just fine with my markers or watercolors!!! I can be an emotional buyer, and I know that about myself! Good luck with your budget or lack of one!
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:29 PM   #3
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I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon! Actually I just emptied my shopping cart this morning by deleting 3 things I honestly did not need! I've been trying to not "checkout" on the same day that I shop. I wait 3 days and then look to see what's in my cart and if I really want it! I hate that they "know" what I'm looking for or at. Like magic, the next few days I get emails with that exact thing on sale! LOL!

To be honest, there's not a whole lot of things I need anymore. Oh yes, food, paper products like TP not DP, maybe some ice cream once in awhile. But I like to recycle so when I'm done with something I can easily get rid of it or donate it, then if I really need it again I think about it for a bit before I go and get it.

We're retired now so our budget is tight and our house is small. No need to keep adding things because our funds cover what we need with a little leftover for you know...ice cream!
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:40 PM   #4
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I set my budget for everything on the 1st of January and I have to stay within my budget because I am on a fixed income. My hobby budget is set after money for all of my other expenses allocated . My hobby budget seems to shrink every year because the cost of necessities keeps going up.

I only buy with a purpose!

I only use a coupon if I already needed something and then I go directly to that product in the store and take it to the checkout counter.

When I am in the store I don't look around to see if there is something I don't have. Of course there will be things I don't have --it is a store

I keep a list of things I want/need and watch for them to go on sale.

I don't check the clearance aisle or buy things just incase I find a use for them some day .

I don't buy something that is being discontinued unless it was something I already wanted .

When I see something I think want to buy I copy a picture of it and save it to my Desk top with the URL where to buy it and any other info about using it or why I wanted it .
In a few weeks if I still want it then I buy it . If not it goes in the trash.
It is amazing how few things I end up really buying.

I buy ink, cardstock, markers etc as I need them . I don't want or need every color of anything .

I don't buy pattern paper stack. There are too many patterns I would not use
I spend less by buying just a few sheets on sale that I will really use .

When I buy pattern paper I have a layout in mind, not just because it is pretty . It is all pretty

I am sure others have their ideas , but these are mine .
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Old 08-02-2015, 05:34 PM   #5
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Oh, I hear you! My spending has increased exponentially since I got my Big Shot last spring. And while I am the queen of rationalization I work from home and I have some disabilities so this craft is my refuge and comfort. That said, I must slow down my spending!

I was raised in the Midwest and I'm a huge thrifty shopper — I rarely buy anything full price. I let things sit in my Amazon cart/wish lists for ages, and I list the things I think I really want on Camelcamelcamel.com and wait for the price to drop (or let Amazon do that for me when they sense I really want something in my cart LOL). And I have bought some amazing stamps from members here at excellent prices, so thank you to everyone who was willing to part with some of their stash so I could build mine a little bit.

So I think my biggest tip is: patience. Another tip is to try to not become a collector — I think that's a dangerous psychological place to be because it really never ends. And the thrill is in the hunt and the getting, not necessarily the having and the using. I'm just too practical – if the item does not have multiple uses, I usually won't buy it.

That said, when I see something that is totally "me" I buy it immediately! That doesn't happen as often as you think. So everything in my stash is pretty interchangeable style-wise, which makes the possibilities even greater when using it. I stick to certain colors as well, which saves a lot of money, too.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppydarling View Post
try to not become a collector I think that's a dangerous psychological place to be because it really never ends. And the thrill is in the hunt and the getting, not necessarily the having and the using.
Well said. I do have stamp sets that have never seen ink. There is that thrill of always buying/receiving the latest buys. I'm going to ponder on that one for a while...
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:33 PM   #7
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I only buy things once in awhile and one at a time. I know that I cannot afford big purchases, even as big as $20 sometimes. So if I'm shopping online, I put everything I want in my cart, then rationalize what I really want, shaving it down to about two items. (Usually I end up getting nothing, tell myself food is more of a necessity haha) If it's in a store, I absolutely wait until there's a nice sized coupon that I can use. I also do a lot of comparative shopping, finding several places that allows it and which is giving me the best deal.

But it's definitely hard. That's why I'm eternally grateful for the PIF thread here.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:36 PM   #8
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Wonderful advise and thoughts.

I'm trying not to let YouTube enable me any more. I did quit buying DSP so that has helped me whittle down my paper stash.

I keep telling myself I do not need to buy the Big Shot dies - I can make most of those dies on my Cameo, or something close enough that can be used. That machine would pay for itself if I quit buying dies! LOL

I just really do not want to pour any more money into this. Just maintain my current supplies of ink and markers is all I really need. I got into a habit of shopping every week. Literally. And its really hard to break that cycle. I am trying to find other things to take its place so I don't have the time to 'browse' any more.

I did implement the wish list before buying system. That does cut down on so much impulse purchases in the last 2 months.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:40 PM   #9
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The biggest thing for me is that I DON'T shop online. At all. There is just so much out there that if my eyes see, they may want. So I stay away from that.

I have kept my spending down with pretty much just shopping from a demo and a catalogue, and the odd trip into an actual store. I am not near any big box craft stores so that sure helps

I'm also not an impulse shopper-either with craft supplies or 'stuff' in general; I lean toward saving and missing out on a deal because I took too long to decide. That is more my temperament though and not a method of control.

I'm not sure I can tell you what you need to do other than 'just don't'. Don't even look if you don't have the willpower to not put it in your online cart.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:45 PM   #10
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ANother thing that just came to mind is because of what another poster said above. It seems like every company comes out with new colours, new this and that. But I have been doing this for 15 years and there isn't anything very new really.

The new stampin up colours are sooo like what I still have, I don't need to invest in the cardstock, ink, ribbon... and new stamp sets are a remake of older ones and I can't justify them. And a lot isn't my style so that isn't a temptation, just because it may be new.

If a stamp set only has 2 out of 6, for example, that I like, that isn't enough reason for me to spend the money on it.
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:48 PM   #11
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Maybe try to get into trading items you don't use as much for ones you want.

Also, maybe instead of spending on supplies, put the money towards a vacation! I know I'd stop buying stuff if it was cutting into my vacation planning!
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:59 PM   #12
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I hear you too. It's very hard. So MANY wonderful choices!

Let me list so it's shorter.
a) Like Poppy I bargain hunt everything anyway and I treat this the same way. I never buy anything that isnt at least 30% off. I dont do Amazon or Overstock anymore-straight to mfgs, Joanns, Michaels on sale, etc.
b) Set a monthly budget. Keep a log in the order folder. No lying to myself. Getting a little something every month helps keep the impulse down.
c) Wishlist-I can put all I want in there. After awhile-do I still want it? Keeps impulse down.
d) Elbow grease-I have a hand crank big shot, not electrical. One cutting thing is enough. Do I really need matching dies or can I fussy cut? Can I get it as a red rubber and EZ mount it myself? That saves 30-50%. Maybe make my own DP. Can I cut a hill instead of use a die to do it?
e) Get rid of the email "sirens" singing to you of new releases, etc.
f) Stick to classics with dies, EFs and stencils, at least at first. I can always use a rectangle-not so much an hourglass or whatever. Then the specialities only on big sale.
g) Dont start what I cant finish. Ie copics. No matter how I spread that out-1 a month-I cant afford even half the set. Plenty of other blendables around.
f) Ebay..I get a lot over there. You have to be patient though. Set top limits per stamp. Dont get sucked into auction frenzy. It will come around again. I have been able to get a lot of discontinued over there for good prices. A lot listed as used is really this side of new. Think combines. A lot of sellers will discount or mark down the shipping if you combine. (buy more than 1 thing)
g) On the other hand-dont order up to get free shipping at mfgs. Wait until you have enough in the wishlist you are sure of and then order.
h) Sell. What I dont use, I sell at a garage sale. Since I got it on sale I can both offer a good price and get back most of the cost.
i) I dont buy paper pads either. Same reason as above.
j) Use what I have. I dont have to have [I]that[I] flower. I can use one I have.
k) How many? How many red inks do I really need? How many stencils with dots do I really need?

It's a bit of work...like coupon clipping but it works. No I dont get stuff in season/on trend. Dont care. It will still work when I do.

What is my problem now? The GALLERIES! I want stuff I see there! Omg...lol and crying at the same time!
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:36 PM   #13
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  • I don't subscribe to any place that sends emails informing me of sales, new stuff, etc., with ONE exception - Purple Onion Designs (LOVE LOVE LOVE Stacey Yacula's stamps!!!)
  • I don't "order up" to meet a minimum unless I planned ahead for it (like for a stamp of the month at CTMH or something).
  • I don't watch YouTube videos or go to Pinterest just to look (I only go if I'm looking for something specific) or follow any blogs with regularity.
  • If I see something that looks amazing, I ask myself what I already have in my stash that would work as well. If I don't have anything, then I think reeeaally long and hard about how badly I need it.
  • If there's no "extra" money when I want something, I don't get it, plain and simple.
  • I often ask myself a question: If this was retiring and I could never, ever find it again, how sad would I be? I'll put things on my watch list on eBay, for example, and gauge how sad I am if the bidding ends before I decide to get involved. I usually don't care all that much, which is a pretty good indicator that I don't need to spend the $$.
So far these strategies are helping me quite a bit. To be fair, I already have a sizable stash of many supplies and a lot of them are barely/never used...
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:42 PM   #14
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Ok - I have to ask. I order a lot from Amazon. I buy a lot of vitamins that I have to take off of there. And I have Prime, so 2-day shipping is free for me. I also use the movie and TV and kindle library from Prime, so the membership has been an OK value for me. (I do not have cable TV.)

I find that when I shop around for better pricing on stamps and dies, by the time I add in shipping (3-6 bucks), Amazon is cheaper or the same price.

Any one out there finding this to be true? I do shop a bunch of other sites (suggested by this forum), but the pricing always seems equivalent to Amazon with Prime. Am I all wet?
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:45 PM   #15
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This is going to sound strange, but here it is.

Since my remodel (video here) my budget has been dictated by "does it have a place I can store it?"

It's really changed my spending habits. I purged so much stuff I wasn't using and I love the new focus and energy it has given me. Now after I create a project or three, it takes about 5 minutes to TOTALLY clean my space because everything has a place.

I no longer impulse buy - I buy things that make sense in the storage I have.

I have a super tiny room.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet1000 View Post
Ok - I have to ask. I order a lot from Amazon. I buy a lot of vitamins that I have to take off of there. And I have Prime, so 2-day shipping is free for me. I also use the movie and TV and kindle library from Prime, so the membership has been an OK value for me. (I do not have cable TV.)

I find that when I shop around for better pricing on stamps and dies, by the time I add in shipping (3-6 bucks), Amazon is cheaper or the same price.

Any one out there finding this to be true? I do shop a bunch of other sites (suggested by this forum), but the pricing always seems equivalent to Amazon with Prime. Am I all wet?
You're not all wet. I completely agree!
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:19 AM   #17
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I have started a new blog and have been busy making cards to post. I'm amazed by how often I am saying 'this is the first time I have used this stamp/die' and looking at all the stamps/dies I am still waiting to use just once let alone a few times. Then I post cards using old stamps/dies that I love and realise stop looking for more just concentrate on what you have. I have found myself much more aware of what I have. I am really trying to make myself think of what I have that is similar or would work as well as when I see new things.
I try not to look too closely at new releases, there are just too many these days. I try to stay out of the shop but if I go wandering I load my cart, leave and go back in a week or two and look again. Most times its empty and I would have to start again so I dont bother.

It can become sooooo impulsive and expensive but then theres that other mad part that just cries 'ohhhh my little precious......I must have it.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:07 AM   #18
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I have a very strict budget. Most of my bucks go the SU! to keep my demo-ship active. After that, I have a few top companies I order from. The biggest thing is to stay out of the stores. It's easier to do now that there are no stamp or scrap stores anywhere around me (insert sobbing here) but even a quick trip into Michaels or JoAnns for one thing can snowball into $40. It takes a long time to learn to say no to everything but the payoff is less clutter and more using what you have.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:37 AM   #19
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I have just recently discovered that if I think I need something new to make a card that I can probably find something in my huge stash to substitute and sometimes even make something better. I have also spent time learning my Cricut and using it to make shapes instead of buying dies. I would like to upgrade to the new Cricut so that i can cut out all of my stamps by making svgs instead of buying the matching dies.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:06 AM   #20
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Look, I don't drink or have any other "vices", I am too old to chase men, and I have all the jewelry I need. My bills get paid. Ok savings is suffering (not dipping into it but certainly not adding to it)but with this economy who knows if it will be there when I need it. There have been deaths in my family which helps remind me that living life is what we should be doing. I buy what I want when I have the money to but it. And laugh that whoever has the task of getting rid of my hoard will bless me.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:28 AM   #21
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I thought of something else...

I have stamp indexes...so when I am thinking about buying something...I pull it out (next to the computer so no excuses I dont want to get up lol) and see what I have already. Usually more than enough...too often the SAME image and I forgot.....

No no...you are not all wet. It all depends on circumstances.

The thing with Amazon...b/c you are Prime (I'm not) you are getting free shipping no matter how little you order...I would have to order up to get that. So do I pay the 3 on the single stamp at ebay or mfg or buy another X bucks worth at ebay?

On the other hand...if the free ship threshold at ebay is 25...it is lower than many companies who have 50, 75 or 100. Plus on Amazon you can shop different brands.

I didnt mean to imply shopping Amazon is not a good idea in general. I get things there time to time. For me, it's usually better to do Joann's, etc. That was not worded well. I'm sorry. When I try not to write a lot I often dont do so well and leave something out or imply something I dont mean to.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:44 AM   #22
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Quote:
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I would like to upgrade to the new Cricut so that i can cut out all of my stamps by making svgs instead of buying the matching dies.
I have been thinking about this idea also. I'm thinking I can scan the stamped images into the Cameo, then do a 'print and cut' of the stamped image. I will check this out, because then I can sell the stamps and I won't purchase dies for the stamps any more. I know there are a ton of things my Silhouette Cameo can do - just need to learn it.

And I do look at how difficult it would be to fussy cut something - because these thinlit dies that match the stamps are crazy expensive.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:56 AM   #23
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I didnt mean to imply shopping Amazon is not a good idea in general. I get things there time to time. For me, it's usually better to do Joann's, etc. That was not worded well. I'm sorry. When I try not to write a lot I often dont do so well and leave something out or imply something I dont mean to.
It is worded fine. Amazon would not be a good point of purchase without the Prime membership. Now I heard that the Prime member has gone up to $100 so I'm going to have to re-think this.

I think that items that are Prime Eligible have the shipping costs loaded into the selling price. I've compared the sellers selling for less and their shipping costs vs Prime and Amazon's selling price. (Hope I didn't lose anyone on that poor wording.) So if I'm paying for half the shipping costs in the Amazon selling price, why pay $100 at the beginning of the year? Food for thought... Prime might not be the best value unless you buy tons from Amazon.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:08 AM   #24
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I do try to stay out of Joanne's or Michael's. Especially Michael's. There is always stuff on sale, and there is always stuff I want, and there always a paper pack for $5! For $5, I would be happy if I used only half the paper.

The 40% off coupon - that just gets me into the store to purchase more than that one item. Although last time I went in with a coupon, I bought 1 ink pad that I needed and left. And it felt so strange to do that... LOL

I don't have any craft stores near me so I drive 45 min to get to one. I always stay there a couple of hours and that is when things go awry. I've gotten much better at it, in that I shop then stop and take half the stuff back out of the cart. For the most part, I try not to go in at all. I know I will end up buying stuff that I didn't know I needed (till I saw it).
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:30 AM   #25
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I've gotten much better at it, in that I shop then stop and take half the stuff back out of the cart.
Ha ha I do that all the time I "own" it for a short time and keep looking down in the cart at it and by the time I get to the checkout I've gotten the pleasure from "owning" it LOL It's a great budgeting technique for me! And that psychological trick is actually backed up with studies that I've read, so I keep using it.

And regarding Amazon Prime: they know you're going to buy more to get the "most" out of your membership But I am a voracious online bargain hunter and I have done the math over and over and the shipping (and handling, let's face it) costs at craft supply sites are super high. Almost every time, when you figure in the whole marketplace as well as what they stock, the Amazon price is better or just slightly more.

Since I'm basically paying just a little over $8.00 a month for two day shipping for any size order and as many orders as I want, versus $7.95 or $9.95 or $11.95 for approximately four or five items from the craft sites, Amazon is the winner nearly every time. I only buy from the craft sites when they have something I can't get anywhere else, and they offer shipping deals. And if there is a minimum, I pass!

Can you tell I feel passionately about the subject?
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:30 AM   #26
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I have found I need to carefully check prices when I shop.

Often Michaels increases the prices so a coupon is not worth as much as it is at Hobby Lobby. Swarovski Hot Fix jewels are $5.99 at Michaels and $4.99 at Hobby Lobby . So a 40% off coupon at Michaels does not save as much as it does at Hobby Lobby.

Also the prices of many of the products at Michaels have inflated prices to compensate for sales

I have noticed that Amazon not only raised their minimum for free shipping to $35 but also more and more product have inflated prices so the free shipping is not really free.

They think we don't notice these increases
They must be the same marketing people who think we did not notice the box of crackers used to have 16 oz and now it only has 13.5 oz
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:30 AM   #27
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Look, I don't drink or have any other "vices", I am too old to chase men, and I have all the jewelry I need. My bills get paid. Ok savings is suffering (not dipping into it but certainly not adding to it)but with this economy who knows if it will be there when I need it. There have been deaths in my family which helps remind me that living life is what we should be doing. I buy what I want when I have the money to but it. And laugh that whoever has the task of getting rid of my hoard will bless me.

I agree with this philosophy whole heartedly. You only go this way once.

I tend to go 110% into a hobby. I need to tone this down. I did this with quilting also - quilted 15 yrs and had thousands invested in materials, tools and machines. It got so expensive to make someone a quilt! I got burned out on quilting, and shifted back to card making - and now I'm acquiring all the tools and supplies for that...

One thing that stuck with me was taking some cards I made to work to show some of my staff. A couple of them are into paper arts. One of them piped up - "when I see a card like that, I know how expensive those are to make. You have a boat load of money invested in supplies, don't you?" That struck me. That she knew how expensive card making is, what these supplies cost - and that I had that much $$ invested it showed in my cards.

Yea, I need to cap off the money I spend on this. Take it to a new level where it's about creating and not acquiring. Being happy with the stuff I have and using that up first.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:24 PM   #28
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Oh good. Whew.

I am a cavegirl...or I might be thinking about those units if I could store all that info in there, push a button and out comes a stamped, cut thing! I still have not scanned something. We only just got an all in one unit.

LOL on the shopping cart strategy. I was so thrilled when Michael's finally came to my city! But it isnt close to me so it isnt like I pass it all the time. (good thing lol)

It is good people realize when costs are getting built in. A friend with Prime says to me "tell me what you want and I can order it!" So I go look-and the cleaning products I wanted were literally 2-3x more than in Ace Hardware! ack!

Usually those ship costs at stamp mfgs cover a range of cart value. Like from 0 to $20 = X. Obviously they want us to order up to max the ship value. 12x12 paper is a bad ship item unless you are getting free already. I assume due to having to change the box size and cost.

Dont even get me started on shrinking groceries...like tuna fish, toilet paper, coffee, ice cream...or basically everything And ads...please. If I hear "going commando" "hail to the V" or several other things one more time...all taste and grace has left Madison Ave!
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:39 PM   #29
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I'm backwards - I tend to buy less if I make lots of visits to Joanns, Michaels and Hobby Lobby - the three of them in my town take less than 5 minutes to drive to all three, and that's allowing time for stoplights! If I make lots of visits, I get kind of burned out and don't think I need things so much

Amazon without Prime - be sure to check other sellers for your item. I have found quite often that the original search result is fulfilled by Amazon at such and such a price with free shipping over $35 - but if you look at the other offers, you'll find the item for the same price and free shipping without needing to spend $35. Some of the other sellers take a little longer to ship, but how fast do you really need it anyway?

My best strategy is to wait for 6 months after a new gotta-have-it tool comes out. If I still want it after that time, I let myself get it. It's surprising how seldom I really still want it. When new tools come out, everyone thinks they are the be all end all of crafting. 6 months later, most of them aren't using it anymore because they're on to the next big thing. I know I saved myself a bundle on the I-Top brad thing and all the accessories with this strategy

One last thing - most stamp companies policies don't allow electronic reproduction, so scanning them into your computer and using the printouts instead of the stamps is a violation of their copyright/angel policy/license agreement. If you normally only make cards for family members, it's unlikely that you'll be hunted down by the copyright police, but if you sell them you might want to be careful. It would be a real downer if the companies that make the scan and cut function cutters had to disable that function because of a lawsuit by a stamp company. Likely? Probably not - but possible.
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:09 PM   #30
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For me it has become a vicious cycle. I have a very small work space and a lot of stuff, so I am constantly trying to find new ways to organize it so that I have room to work. I keep telling myself that I am not going to buy anything new until I am ready to part with some of the old, but that never works, so I buy things, then I have to buy something new to get it organized.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:18 PM   #31
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I wouldntborder nesr as much if you all would quit posting about the new goodies you got or saw is coming....lol
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:56 AM   #32
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I am 90% SU. I get overwhelmed when I begin looking at all the goodies from other companies. I love SU, but sure.....it is limiting. They only have so much to choose from and that's good. I don't need more!

I go by a Michaels twice a week for work. I go in all the time and only buy one item with the 40% off coupon. Usually it a pkg. of rhinestones or Tombo glue.

I spend $$$ on shoes, clothes & jewelry. That leaves only so much $ for stamping!

Also, it's starting to make me cringe when I look at all the stamping stuff I have! I love card making, but I only make one or two cards a month except around holidays. I'm to the place where I feel I don't need /want much.

One of the best feelings for me is to use up supplies, cut into dsp, etc! So that's good too. I don't hoard!
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:38 AM   #33
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Yes, my supplies and tools cost a lot. I shop for them over time, buy things as I need them or when there is a sale and always always use a coupon. Why not ask that coworker how much money she spends in cigarettes or alcohol? Card making/scrapbooking is my vice. And when I am done I have made things and still have the things I have bought to make the things I made. Smokers burn theirs up, drinkers drink it up,.....guess I am pointing out that our vice is better? I get so frustrated with people that point out how much money it costs to have fun. WE ARE HAVING FUN, AREN'T WE LADIES? And they spend just as much money on their vice/hobby and have little to show for it.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:07 AM   #34
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Yes, my supplies and tools cost a lot. I shop for them over time, buy things as I need them or when there is a sale and always always use a coupon. Why not ask that coworker how much money she spends in cigarettes or alcohol? Card making/scrapbooking is my vice. And when I am done I have made things and still have the things I have bought to make the things I made. Smokers burn theirs up, drinkers drink it up,.....guess I am pointing out that our vice is better? I get so frustrated with people that point out how much money it costs to have fun. WE ARE HAVING FUN, AREN'T WE LADIES? And they spend just as much money on their vice/hobby and have little to show for it.
Yes, but their vices cause them to kill off brain cells and die early, whereas we tend to live longer with a higher level of consciousness - thereby able to shop and spend more $$ over a life time. Just doing the math here...
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:26 AM   #35
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Back to your original question - how to set a budget? I'm not good at that, but my husband and I have a system where we each get an "allowance" that we can spend on our own vices without any side-eye or comments from the other. (Sometimes the no comments is difficult!) We set the amounts by figuring our income, bills, savings, etc to come up with the disposable amount. Part of that gets split between the two of us (part of it gets kept aside for family-type fun and things that come up that you just can't plan for).

So I know that I get $XX to spend each week however I want. It's up to me whether I want to eat an expensive lunch out each day (my money), or pack lunch from at home (from the family groceries). I also am in a bowling league from September thru most of April, so I have to make sure that I keep money out each week for that. It seems that every summer I get kind of insane with the shopping, almost to the point of being disgusted with myself for my lack of control! Then during the fall and winter, I don't shop as much but I try to bring some sort of organization to the crafting cave. Not so good at the organizing part. It's not nearly as exciting to buy shelving and totes as it is to buy a mess of new stamps and embossing folders I don't put anything on a credit card - I got a Bluebird prepaid card at WalMart and use that for all online shopping. It's an extra "do you really want this" reality check, because before I spend off it, I have to run to Walmart to put money on it. And I really dislike the parking at our Walmart.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:53 PM   #36
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Just to clarify something about Amazon Prime...... You always get free shipping if it has Prime behind the price. Sometimes there will be a reduced price if you are spending $25 or $35 as a Prime member and you can get that reduced price or you may be offered "next day shipping" if you spend $35, instead of the regular 2 day shipping for Prime members. The wording can be tricky to understand at first glance, but if you go into the Prime membership you can see the free shipping listed..... just an FYI. I got pulled into Amazon by family and friends by that due to the increased postage by other sites and the fast delivery by Amazon.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:40 PM   #37
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Well, I set a challenge to only spend what I make selling stamp sets and other crafting items I am finished with. I also sell a few cards here and there and that is added to my budget. Anything new also has to fit in my space. I do have a lot of space, but it is finite and there is only so much room for stamp sets etc.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:21 AM   #38
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I've been paper crafting for over 12 years and have a small store in my extra bedroom. I started out making cards and got bored with that. I like to sew and I now do Project Life. I started accumulating some stuff for PL at the beginning of the year by subbing to a monthly kit. I realized I don't need any more stuff at this point. So I cancelled the subs. I do have a hard time resisting fabric deals at Joann's so I try to not go there too much. Keeping away from the stores has helped me not spend. Out of site out of mind. )

I am single and therefore have a limited income that must pay my bills. I am also in the process of buying a house and giving up renting. So I need to change my spending habits in order to afford being a homeowner. So that is my main incentive to curb my craft spending right now.

I work 1 mile from Michael's and used to spend too many lunch hours browsing the store over lunch. That has stopped. I only go if I need something. And will probably do a longer browse at the beginning of a season just to see what's new.

I don't purchase a lot online because it is expensive. Usually there aren't coupons that can be used. There's not a lot being sold as new that I don't already have in some fashion. I rarely purchase from Amazon because I don't care for their greedy video streaming business model and I find that when I do look for certain items they are not usually the cheapest. Also online shopping is way to easy. So I try to stay away.

Once I am settled in my house and have my budget for bills figured out I will be setting a craft budget and must stick to it. I know it will be limited. And I am okay with that.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:48 AM   #39
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I have to say that Amazon has changed my life. It keeps me out of the stores and I only buy what I really need. And I discovered that Hobby Lobby's 40% off price is the same as Amazon's price in many cases. Not shopping has also given me more time to actually work in my craft room.

I'm on a self-imposed austerity challenge right now. It triggers my creativity to see something that inspires me and use the supplies I already have, or find a suitable substitute. (Did you know that junk mail makes great cardstock?)

Oh, and I delete all e-mails advertising sales without even opening them. If I don't know about it, I certainly don't need it.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:15 AM   #40
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I'm with "southgirl"..............life is short. I don't drink or smoke and this craft makes me happy. REALLY MAKES ME HAPPY! It really helped me when I was going through really bad stress stuff at work before I retired. It gave me something else to focus on. Now I don't spend money I don't have, my bills have to be paid first. and I know I spend way more then I really need to, according to my DH anyway I have been stamping for 15 years now, and I have not gotten rid of any of my old stamps. I can't seem to part with any of them, they are like family! And I'm really glad I didn't/don't. I do a lot of challenges on SCS and some of these old stamps are just perfect for the challenge, or even some special occasion I need to make a card for. I do have a dedicated room, finally, for my stamping...........of course I wish it was bigger and was upstairs with a window........but I am just as happy stamping away in my basement. And it does help if you can have a dedicated space and have good organization, which I do, as I am an habitual organizer!! so much so that BFF had me come to her house and help her organize her craft space It was fun!!!! I am an SU demo and I am dedicated to this company, as I really like their product. It's quality! However, I also buy from other companies too. But I always wait for a sale and order in a quantity that gives me free shipping. If that means waiting several months until there is enough of what I want to qualify for free shipping, then so be it. I order on line a lot, as I live an hour from anywhere where there is a Michaels or Hobby Lobby. But I wait for sales!!! And I have no LSS any longer any where even remotely close to me. That really helps my budget. And last but not least, I do indexes of all of my stamps. I have a 3 ring binder and I copy package index or stamp the image for my binder. I use it constantly. This is what I page through when looking for a stamp for a project. And it obviously helps to not buy something twice or similar. I do this too with my Memory Box, Poppystamps, MFT dies. And if my stamps have matching dies, I indicate this on my stamp index so I know. Cause as you all know, the mind is not what it used to be I know I have tons of "stuff", but it was accumulated over a 15 year period too. and much of it was purchased before I retired, because I knew my budget would change once I did retire. If a time ever came where I could not spend one penny on this craft, I would have plenty so I could still continue to enjoy it. This is my entertainment, DH has cable TV!!!!!!!
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