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There’s been a bit of discussion on Splitcoast, regarding the costs of stamping, and various ways to save money.  Keep in mind that the following is just my humble opinion, and comes from what I’ve personally learned over my 13 years of stamping . . . *grin*

Hobbies, generally speaking, are not "cheap".  Hunting, fishing, model building, oil painting, gardening, etc., all have expenses that come with them for tools, supplies & materials, and in some cases, education/training to learn more about the hobby you enjoy.

Some things to think about, regarding spending:

  • Start with good basics (stamps, ink, paper).  Also, a $13.95 circle punch may seem spendy at the time, however, simple geometric shapes are my most frequently needed, so I get much more mileage for my $13.95 investment in that, than I do in a specialized shape
  • Invest in quality tools; cheap substitutions usually do not perform well, or break down, subsequently causing you to spend even more to replace them.  My Milwaukee Heat Gun performs as well today, as it did when I purchased it for $32.95 11 years ago, and has *never* failed me.  If I ever have to buy another, you can bet that Milwaukee has earned my loyalty, and I won’t hesitate to pay full price!
  • Assess how likely you are to use something in a variety of ways; the more versatile it is, the more value you are getting for your investment
  • Don’t purchase something just because it’s a great deal–if you don’t love it, you won’t use it = wasted money
  • Don’t purchase in bulk, unless you have at least one specific idea, hopefully more than one, in mind for the product, or again, wasted money
  • Don’t buy it "all" at once!  You may find your taste changes as you learn/explore more, and you can’t use it all at once anyway! *wink*
  • If you haven’t used it in a year, chances are, you are not gonna again, so get rid of it (sell it, trade it, give it to someone, etc.) and free up some storage space for something you will use!
  • What do you enjoy making most?  Invest in products that are geared toward that.  For example, I enjoy card-making more than anything else; investing in tools for making my own books (such as a Bind-It-All, which I think is *uber* cool, and I want one only because it is cool), would not be a wise investment for me and I *know* it; I don’t actually like making books. (insert shocked expression)  So, it would be wiser for me to buy the occasional pre-fab book when I do want to make one as opposed to investing in a tool I’d use so rarely.  I also think about for whom, and for what occasions I am most likely to stamp:  I *love* flowers, and they work well for all girls in my life, and are suitable for get well, birthday, thinking of you, sympathy, friendship, etc.  For the men in my life, well, they all fish and are into sports, so I focus on products that enable me to create a variety of projects that suit.  I also love things such as coffee, chocolate, girlie stuff (shopping, dresses, shoes, purses), snowmen/snowflakes, and last, but not least:  appletinis *wink*
  • There are certain embellishments that pack a wollop, but are relatively inexpensive and worth having on hand, as staple items, from the get-go.  I would be lost without: Prisma Glitter and a Sakura Quickie Glue Pen, Mini brads, ribbon, and a bottle of Prima "Got Flowers" (dang, have you seen how many little blossoms there are in each bottle???).  These are things I always keep available and re-stock when the supply gets low because, more often than not, when I need that extra little touch to set off a design, these rescue me perfectly and I love them!
  • If you need to, create a monthly spending allowance and stick to it.  If there’s a big ticket item you want, what are you willing NOT to buy or how much are you willing NOT to spend, for a few months to enable you to save to buy that item?
  • Invest in organization and storage; if you can’t find it, you won’t use it, OR, you just might buy a duplicate ‘cuz you forgot you already have it!  ACK!  ROTFL!

Now, if you got into stamping because you thought you’d "save some money by making your own cards", over purchasing them ready-made at the card shoppe, I’m sorry to inform you that this is a myth, and you need to quit deluding yourself!   ROTFLMAO!

But, if you consider the stress-relief that stamping provides, well, no offense to all the psychotherapists out there, but, any hobby, including this one, is well worth the investment for that reason alone. *chuckle*  That, and the joy of creating, simply for the sake of creating, give me immense personal satisfaction.

One thing, above all, holds true:  the friendships that grace my life, as a result of this obsession shared by so many, are absolutely priceless! *grin*

  1. Where were you when I needed you most. I am a compulsive buyer, see a card, think I need the stamp, make a card, and then don’t use it much after that. But, I like having them in stock. I do not spend money in anyway,the way I spend on this craft. But, hearing my friends and family comment on what I do, is well worth it. I did like the idea of budgeting. I am considering it, but, not right away. Once in awhile, I do think twice, buy it anyway. I purchased all of the SU stuff I needed to make my Christmas cards, it is all in a bottom drawer with several other ideas. I am going to print this out, and reconsider my spending, honestly. Thanks for the tips, they truly are very true and I am going to learn something from it soon.

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