Monday, 5 March 2018

Miserly March

Hello there, it seems that the snow is gone here in Derby, it was 10ºC today, we had blue skies and sunshine, I even started thinking about sowing seeds for the garden! During the time the Beast frim the East was making it cold and gloomy I stayed indoors and did some crafting and planning for "Miserly March" which came about late last month after a dilemma I put myself in when I realised that my hobby was fast turning in to a spending addiction.

Thanks to some lovely friends on Facebook, I know that I'm not alone in my craft stash buying addiction, lots of us joke about how much we spend on craft stuff, but at the end of February when our households joint bank statement arrived I was hit by a VERY sobering reality. After a chat with hubby I realised that I can't keep buying hundreds of pounds of stash every month not without getting a new job.For ages I've carried on spending like we still had my wage as well, I did cry a lot when I realised the mess I've got us in to, but then I decided that instead of weeping I had to do something more constructive, so  I have vowed to stick to my monthly spends and try to buy only what I need and use up what I already have. I've set out to do this by: -

1) Un-following lots of the craft companies on Facebook, many of them are putting products out too frequently, and are too much of a temptation. I suffer from the "I need that" when I actually don't need it at all, I just buy it because it looks like it may be useful. I make the purchase, usually on pre-order and whilst I wait for it to arrive something else comes out by the same company or another when I still haven't used the stuff I've just bought. That merry go round keeps turning and I have to get off, as much as I enjoy the ride.

2) I've unsubscribed from almost all the craft supply online stores emails, they appear weekly or daily in the case of some companies, bringing sales, offers and bargains, I see something reduced and think its a bargain so I buy it, but bargain or not, I can't really afford it. I'm ashamed to say that many of those bargain purchases are in tubs and boxes and they still haven't been used! So I figured unsubscribing from the emails removes the temptation. Yes I could miss out on some bargains in the future, but my bank balance will be healthier.

3) I've cancelled all but one of my card magazine subscriptions, I figured I can buy a specific magazine if it interests me and I will use the freebie. Some of the mags are showing the same stuff because they get published by the same company, and after 3 year subscriptions the freebies are being repeated or they are giving away gifts that don't appeal to me, and if I'm honest I haven't been that inspired by the makes in the magazines for a while. I get much more inspiration and ideas from friends and groups on Facebook and from Pinterest and they don't cost anything.

4) Remember the boxes and tubs of 'sale bargains' I mention in point 2? Well I've started working on sorting through the boxes, once finished I'm going to sell off some things I've bought in moments of madness that I won't use. I just need to take some photos, figure out the postage and then I can do some listings on Ebay. I've also started a spreadsheet listing the stamps/dies/inks etc that I have by each company, its good to take stock of what you have. I have in the past forgotten I'd bought a stamp or die and bought it again!

5) I've begun sorting out all the kits/projects I've bought and put to one side because I'm too busy looking at all the new stuff being released and sales etc. There is a meme about using stash and buying it being two different hobbies, its true and whilst on the one hand that meme is funny, its not funny to the bank balance and I simply have to give up the buying hobby.

6) Which brings me to point 6 and the title of this blog post, I've set myself a challenge to spend zilch, zero, nada on crafting throughout March and I've called the challenge "Miserly March", my goal is to use only what I already have in my stash and buy nothing at all. I'm in to day 5 and so far its working. I admit to almost caving in once, because I've made some 8" x 8" cards and I've run out of white 8" x 8" envelopes. I'm actually on day 7 because the last day I spent any cash in Feb was the 26th, 7 days without spending a single penny, when you think I spent an average of £15 a day and became seduced by some craft sale/bargain daily, I'm feeling good, baby steps.

After 31st March I aim to keep within my monthly budget and for a few months spend only on staple things I need like card blanks and glue, the kind of things we use every time we create a card. Although I can tell you 5 days in to the month and 26 days to go, it seems like my strength will be tested, new releases from Altenew and Tonic Studios will test me, but I can do this, I WILL do this :)

I posted most of the points above on a Facebook group I belong to recently and the ladies in my group were so supportive and gave me loads of ideas like going 'shopping' in my stash and finding forgotten 'new' things to use and swapping images/diecuts with others. So many ideas and some I hadn't considered. I'm learning to use what I have in, or if I see an idea on somewhere like Pinterest that I like, looking to see what I have that I can put my spin on the idea without having to spend any money buying new things.

This weekend I went 'shopping' in a set of drawers and discovered lots of Hunkydory kits, some were member freebies still not used, some I'd bought in sales and again not used. I decided to use one of the cat kits to make the two rocker cards above and I can create at least two more cards from what was left over in the kit. They went together so quickly, just a bit of die cutting and glueing, kits are the perfect lost mojo fixer and a good way of making several cards in a short space of time, note to self, use the ones you have in more!

I'm not sure what it is in me, if I have a set or something like a pad of lovely papers, despite having bought it to create cards when it comes down to it I leave them in a pile because it feels wrong to use it, in the event that a better project comes along and I don't have any left!!! You wouldn't believe the stack of 6", 8" and 12" paper pads I have not being used, its stupid, another habit I have to break. I seem to like digital crafting, I can print out as many as I like and use when I wish, that said I have a habit of getting an idea, printing papers off and then getting distracted and not making the card, so the papers go in a box and by the time I pick them up again, I've forgotten what I was going to make with them, ooops!

So now I'm on the look out for free crafting stuff, ways of using what I have and dreaming about saving money to get a scan & cut one day. If I stop spending on things I don't need, then I'll be able to get something I want, and in the long run something like a scan n cut will save me money because I won't have to buy dies for stamp sets and can cut out any shape I want.

If you have any suggestions to add please feel free to leave them in the comments below, I can turn over a new leaf and make my crafting about actually crafting and not just about buying to never make. If I'm honest over the past 12 months, I've spent more time looking at stores and buying crafting supplies than I have actually crafting which is bonkers! Yes its good to get happy post, but not if that happy post will have a long term unhappy effect on our finances. Fingers crossed I can stick to my challenge, I'll try and post things I find or do to save money, avoid spending over the next month, don't forget to share your tips if you have any, thanks for stopping by and happy crafting :)

6 comments:

  1. Hi Debs both of your cards are gorgeous. I do know where you are coming from I have heaps of unused stuff. I had to cut down on my spending so I could give up work last July. So far we are on track. We do need glue and card blanks and saving for something nice is a good idea. Keep it up you can do it. Take care. Hugs Jackie

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  2. Debs I know exactly where you are coming from, so good luck and the cards you've created are gorgeous. x

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  3. Gorgeous cards. Not having a craft room or much storage space it means even if i could afford to spend hundreds each month of stash i just don't have the room for it. After a major craft sort out 3 years ago and getting it all super stored so i can easily see what i have and also finding my 'style' If i am tempted i always check if i already have something similar and if i will use it more than once or twice so pretty good. Only things i bought last month was basic cardstock and glue. Each new year i make a craft resolution and so far stick well to them, and this makes me use that stash/products thats been sitting there for years. Maybe each time you don't buy something you could put the money in a jar and seeing it add up would be an incentive? I limit my daily time on any social media as it was taking up alot of time that is now spent crafting instead and i find i am doing projects i always wanted too as ive found alot of time! Good Luck. Emmaxx

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  4. Debs you're so right in everything you've said, well done for getting your head round this and making inroads into a solution that is going to work for you. I've just dug out a stamp that would be ideal for Easter, it's never been used and it's SIX years old! So I don't need to buy anything new either. By the end of the month your post header should read Marvellous March! Love these two feline cards. Good luck & stay resolved ... Steph x

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  5. What a brilliant plan of action Debs - I'm so proud of you! I will support you as best as I can and just think at the end you'll have something you always wanted, like the gold at the end of the rainbow. Love both your cards but I what I enjoy the most is reading your blog posts. I gain so much from them. Once you start selling your things on ebay you can use that money on craft supplies. That's what I do! Hugs, Shabneez x

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  6. Hi Debs...Well done on your brilliant plan...We have all been there and done that...My stash is too big and like you I buy papers just to look at.....My coming move as made me sit up as I will be down to a small bed to fit my crafty bits and bobs in!and have to leave my cabin in my garden....the good thing about moving is I am finding things I have not seen for some time....
    Love your two puddy cat cards....sweet images....Take care and Big Hugs Joolsx

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Thanks for your comments on my cards and posts, they are very much appreciated, I'll get back to you as soon as I can if a reply is required. Hugs - Debs x