Downsizing and planning for retirement forced me to rethink my relationship with this expensive hobby. I love the latest products as much as the next person, but gee, there has to be a way to keep this manageable.
I've definitely bought more than a few things this year as I got back into stamping, but so far it is under control. I had to change. Here are a few thoughts I've had as I worked on that change --
1. Being on a Design Team Can Cost Money. Depending on how the stamper approaches it, and of course depending on the company, being on a design team can be a money drain. Yes, team members get free product, but it is often limited to stamps. Sometimes, stores provide a certain amount of free product including papers, inks, etc, but that is the exception. And being on a team may push a stamper to want all the latest gadgets and embellishments and product. Hey you have to stay trendy to compete. And you have to have all the [fill in the blank] In all the colors. When that happens, watch out. It can get expensive. It can be a good gig if handled carefully and a win win for everyone involved. Otherwise, it can cost more to be on a team than to be a customer.
2. Sales Cost Money. Companies offer sales to increase their profits. We are the source of their profits. Think about that....Sales + Me = Too much money. Even a generous 25% off can lure me into spending more than I originally planned because it's a SALE!! So I ignore the pitches because my bottom line has to be the total amount I spend, not the cost per item.
3. Free Shipping with a Minimum Purchase Costs Money. See #2. This is probably the single biggest potential budget buster. Walked away from that years ago and immediately my overall spending dropped.
4. "If I had that, I could make that" Syndrome Costs Money. In other words, enabling. They want us to think that we have to have that one thing, and that if we had that one thing (add $50 or so to that one thing for free shipping....) we would make things just a beautiful as the Design Team made. Eh, sometimes true, most of the time probably not. We can all name "that one thing" that we had to have and it sits unused. Multiply that by a lot and it's not a pretty picture.
5. There's No End. There is NO END TO NEW PRODUCT. Repeat that 2 more times! There will always be something I want that I cannot have. Even if I had the money, I wouldn't have the space to store it or the time to use it. So yes I love that. Yes, I want it. No, I'm not buying it.
6. I'm not a collector of stamps or supplies. I'm a stamper. I buy things to use them. I'm not decorating my craft space with every color of ribbon in pretty jars. Does that look nice? Gorgeous! Would I love to do that? Absolutely. But that takes jars and the space to display them. Jars cost money. Space costs money. And I rarely use ribbon anyway.
7. You are not paying my bills and therefore, I cannot pay yours. I love your new line. I love your product. But you aren't paying my bills. I am. So it isn't personal. I just can't buy everything you are trying to sell me.
8. Buying a few things here and there avoids the big spend. It's like food -- if I don't eat any sweets ever, some day I'll eat way too much of that dessert. Better to make peace with the desire to have a few new things, and avoid the buying binge.
So those are my thoughts. Would love to hear yours!