Are you on a budget this year? Yeah, me too. Boooo! Well, actually being on a budget and sticking to it is a good thing. It means that you have money to spend on things that you have made a priority in your life and it means you have to cut back on the things that are not a priority. I really don't need more craft supplies. I don't need to make shopping for them a priority. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to go into the craft store.
Over the years I have talked to thousands of crafters and scrapbookers in person and online. Wanna guess what their number one problem with creating is? It is a problem with too much stuff. That might manifest itself as any of these:
- Buying too much
- Not putting away stuff you bought
- Not putting away stuff you used
- Not being able to organize the stuff you bought/have
- Buying stuff you don't have a need for – because it is on sale, cute, you might need it later, etc (idea of scarcity)
You get the picture.
Shopping for craft supplies is fun. Sometimes, a new stamp or goodie might be just the ticket to sparking your creativity! It is nice to “treat” yourself to something special every now and then. I often go overboard though. I go into the craft store for more hot glue gun sticks and I come out with a cart full of $100 of other stuff.
When I went into Michael's yesterday, I thought about why I went there. I didn't have a real reason. Just that I hadn't been in a craft store for forever and I wanted to see what was new and if there was anything that I might be interested in using for some upcoming projects. I grabbed a small wicker basket from the front of the store and started on my way. After 20 minutes, I had filled the basket. I found some stuff for my niece's birthday in a few months, a few nonsense toys for Matthew, some goodies on clearance I might use. I recognized I was doing the same things that got me into crafty trouble before. I realized I should only buy things that I actually have a purpose for and use for RIGHT NOW. My niece's birthday isn't until October! There will be lots of new things to buy between now and then…
I decided to limit my purchases to $5. I went through each item in the basket and asked myself:
“Will I use this THIS WEEK?”
If the answer was, “no”, I put the item back. I did a second round of purging before I got to the checkstand, while waiting in line. I realized I was trying to buy stuff I would never get to use this week. And that means I might not ever use it. It will go in a box or bag or get put away and be forgotten for years. Because I literally (don't judge, you do it too, I know! LOL) have stuff that sat in boxes or bins for YEARS that I just recently re-discovered. How much credit card interest could I have saved if I hadn't shopped so much? How much better would my back feel if I had not moved all this stuff around with me from apartment to house to house all this time? How could that money I spent been working for me as an investment if I hadn't spent it all on craft crap?!
It makes my head spin.
I whittled it down to 3 items:
- Card bases for 50 cents. I need more thank you cards so these will be great for cranking those out.
- Sentiment Stamps for $2. I can use these for the cards and the “A Note” sentiment is great for blank notecard cards I've been making
- Playing cards for $1.20. The robot motif is cute for crafting and I can play the games with Matthew.
Check out this video where I explain what I bought and why:
Will you take the challenge with me? A couple times a month I plan to get some craft supplies for under $5. I might shop at a craft store or local scrapbook store, thrift shop, or flea market. The point is to not spend over $5 for whatever I am getting. I'll use the hashtag #Under5 to mark my posts in social media so you can find them easily.
I'd like to invite you to take the challenge with me!
- Spend $5 or less on craft supplies
- Share a video or photo of your purchase on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube
- Use the hashtag #Under5
When is the last time you spent less than $5 at a craft store?