Friday, May 25, 2007

Let's Talk Money...

Think back to when you first started stamping. When I discovered this hobby eight years ago, I can remember excitedly telling my husband how much money we were going to save on greeting cards. And I seriously believed that. HA!! This hobby can get expensive very quickly, and there have been many threads about that over on SCS lately. Her Royal Rubberness, Julie Ebersole, offered her thoughts on her blog.

But my love of papercrafting isn't about "cheap" cards, it's about having an outlet for my creative energy. That being said, we are not independently wealthy so the money does matter. And I've spent a LOT of it on this obsession. Way more than I should have, and it has negatively affected our family's financial situation.

So what have I learned? Frankly, I've made a lot of mistakes. Just because something is cheaper doesn't mean it's a bargain. It's a waste of money if it's only going to last a few weeks. Or if you're not going to use it. How many doodads have I collected simply because they were on clearance?!? And "grab bags" of paper/rubber are generally not a wise investment for me personally - it's better to pick out what I truly love and buy just that.

What else? Well, I don't have to have it all. Neither my space nor my wallet will allow it. I don't need every design of every paper printed this decade. Not to mention ribbon and inkpads. New tools and contraptions are wonderful, but wait awhile before making the plunge. Let the bugs get worked out, and listen to the comments on message boards. When you do decide it's a worthwhile investment, wait for a good sale.

As for the stamps themselves - I can't buy something simply because it catches my eye. I have a box full of mistakes I bought in the first year or two, images that I thought were cute - but I had no specific plans for. How I wish I had invested in some basic floral motifs and sentiments, then taken the time to discover my personal style before impulsively purchasing virtually everything I could get my hands on. And just because I like what someone *else* has done with a certain image doesn't mean that it's right for me. Think of building your collection much as you would a wardrobe - start with good basic pieces then add fun elements.

How I wish I could do it all over again. To be better organized right from the start. To use what I already had. To watch and learn, to look at all the pretties without actually buying them right that second. I'm still working through my craft pit, trying to determine what's worth saving and what should be sent to a new home. Earlier this week, I learned a friend of ours will be replacing her kitchen cabinets, and it looks as though we might take their old ones to revamp my craft pit. Definitely an economical solution, but the sad thing is that my room is so over-run right now that there's not even room to get in there and measure. But I see a bright, sunny future with organized cabinets!!


In Pursuit of His Call said...

Great post that's applicable not to just stamps, but for anything your heart desires in general!

Thanks for sharing!

I'm looking forward to seeing how you make out with your new cabinets!

KardKrazy said...

Wow, I could have written this -- not in that I could have said what you said as well as you said it, but I have done exactly the same thing you wrote about. I wish I could start from the beginning, knowing what I know now about my personal style, and do away with all the stuff I bought in the beginning. Live and learn I guess...

Sarosa said...

Yes, yes, yes! Excellent post, Trish, and wow, do I relate! I have put us in debt with my cardmaking, but I have learned a lot, and am less and less prone to impulse spending, and buying things just because they are "on sale." :-)

becky said...

Hey Trish!
Think e-bay baby and purge! Go through what you don't want and never use and sell it. Then, hand your DH a check! :) It may take a while to sort through, but just get a box and start a little at a time! Then you will have a ton of stuff before you know it!
EVERYONE could have written this! Well written and well said!