Monday, August 1, 2011

August Happiness Blog Hop

Welcome to the August Happiness Blog Hop organized by Scrapworthy Lives to connect the lessons of The Happiness Project and scrapbooking.

This month's theme is Buy Some Happiness and you should have arrived from Scraps & Sass if you are hopping along.

When I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I enjoyed this chapter. This blog hop challenged me to relate the chapter to scrapbooking and crafting, but you can follow along on this hop and Gretchen's blog without reading the book. This topic is timely as my husband and I have been discussing a new family budget. Gretchen's key points from the chapter are to:
1. Indulge in a modest splurge
2. Buy needful things
3. Spent Out
4. Give something up.

Two "modest splurges" from the past year or so came to mind as I typed up this post. The first splurge was the "My Digital Studio" software, which allows me to make digital scrapbook pages with less stress. I find the software more intuitive than Photoshop Elements, and I can jump back into using it after taking a break. I am happy with this splurge. My second modest splurge was the Big Shot die cutting machine. I resisted buying a die cutting machine for a while, but this one has been worth the cost. I can use it for both card making and scrapbooking, and I love it.

Gretchen discusses the balance between overbuying and underbuying as it relates to "buying needful things." This is a challenge for many of crafters that I know, including myself. It is easy to overbuy, and it is also easy to get stuck during a project when you run out of a necessary item such as adhesive. After paper crafting for a few years, I learned from the experience about over and under buying. I learned not to overbuy themed items. (I bought way too much stuff for my wedding album...) I learned to stock up on some basics including quality card stock and lots of adhesives. (I have a drawer dedicated just to adhesives and another one full of card stock.)

Stephanie wrote a great post about "spending out" on Scrapworthy Lives recently. For me, spending out has been about donating craft items that I am not using. I try to purge my supplies a couple of times a year. I am a happier crafter when I can focus on using products that I enjoy. It also helps me keep my supplies confined to a smaller space. I do not find myself missing the items that I have given away, and I hope that someone else is able to use them.

For two and a half years, I participated in a Stamp Club with a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, but I gave it up last spring. Through the club, I fell in love with stamping and card making. I learned many new techniques and made dozens of cards and projects. For the club, you agreed to spend $25 per month on product (not including shipping and tax.), and received their "hostess benefits" about twice a year. Over time, I built up a nice collection of stamps and supplies. I was continually impressed with the quality of products offered by the company. Unfortunately, I rarely stuck to just my $25 order. I found it too easy to buy more than I needed each month, so I gave up Stamp Club last spring. I have continued to stamp and shop, but I have been able add in products from other companies. I have enjoyed trying some different supplies and experimenting and learning on my own over the last few months.

My husband is supportive of my hobby and has not been surprised by the money that has been spent on paper crafting. As we put together our new family budget, I knew that it was time for me to set a crafting budget for myself. Even though my craft spending what not causing conflict between us, it is too easy for those little purchases to add up over time. I have set a limit of $40 per month on crafting, including supplies and classes. If I want to purchase anything big, then I will need to "save up" for a few months. I think that this new plan will allow me to continue to find happiness in my hobby but also to be more aware of my spending.

Thank you for visiting my blog, and the next stop is a Slice of Life.

Here is the complete list of participants in case you missed any:
Scrapworthy Lives
Scrapping Mojo
Pie for Breakfast
Scraps & Sass
1200 Some Miles (You are here.)
Slice of Life
Our Life with Spiky Potatoes
Abstracts Mixed with Extracts
Your Memory Connection
Kiss and Tell Scrapbooking
Melissa's Blog


Katie Scott Scrapbooking said...

I have had an adhesives drawer for years too & its one of the most used areas of my scrapbooking room. I like your idea about having a pre-set monthly scrapbooking budget.

Tammy said...

I have been guilty of overbuying and when I took a critical look at what I was buying and how I was using it, I discovered that that trendy thing I HAD to have typically goes unused. I'm trying hard to shift to buying only what I will use in the next few months. It's hard, but so worth it.

Stephanie Medley-Rath said...

I would love to get to $40 a month! Do you include printing photos in your budget? I'm not sure if it counts as "scrapbooking" or not since I am printing mainly for my scrapbooks. What do you think?

Valerie S said...

I commend you for setting a $40 budget. Mine is higher than that, but I still go over sometimes. Seems that this summer I am interested in so many online classes, and I've been enjoying each and every one of them. But each class seems to introduce me to new supplies that I don't have (and want). I have been trying to keep new purchases to a minimum. It is truly a challenge for me, and I'm resolved to work harder at it.

Amy said...

I think your budget is a fabulous idea! Love your adhesive drawer, I have one of those as well!

Sara said...

As I made my budget, $40 seems both generous and limiting. I want to discipline myself to save up for those "modest splurges." I plan to attend a "Stamp Camp" in October, so I need to start setting aside money now.

Stephanie- Yes, I plan to take our photo printing and photobooks out of the bugdet. I am not sure how to categorize these items if they are gifts though... I try to print with sales and coupon codes to stretch those dollars.

I will plan to blog about my craft spending about once a month to keep myself accountable.

Kimberlee said...

I can totally relate to this post. I belonged to a SU club too... and even signed up as a demonstrator for awhile. I have a crazy amount of stuff.

Congrats on setting a budget and sticking to it. :D

Alison said...

Hope you are able to stick to your budget Sara..I think I should really try to do the same!
Alison xx