Sunday, October 18, 2015

Chatty Sunday: Impulse buys and pacing

Today, I'm combining a chatty Sunday post with a card - mainly because my chat has to do with one of the stamps I used on the card. The card itself is nothing really special. It's very simple and it doesn't feel completely finished, but I really wanted to share it because it's a great way to illustrate my ramble-y chat.

The drinking mice on the card are from Penny Black's Homemade stamp set, which features several absolutely adorable images of mice and making/eating home-made goodies. I first saw this stamp set a couple of years ago, when I got into card-making. I immediately fell in-love with it, but it happened to be out of stock in the store I was shopping at, so I never got it.

Over the next few shopping tricks, it never ended up making it into an order. Sometimes I'd put it in the cart, but then take it out because I needed another stamp more. Other times, I'd just write myself a wish-list reminder that I should get it when I had a budget to spare. Whatever the reason, I didn't get the stamp set right away, and then forgot about it in a flurry of brand new releases.

Recently, I came across the Homemade stamp again and -  to my surprise - found it just as interesting and as inspiring as it was two years ago. I was amazed that a stamp with an image I'd seen at least a hundred times was still something I wanted in my stamp collection. So, I bought it! And I'm incredibly pleased with my purchase. I've already thought of/planned out several cards featuring the stamp set, and I'm really looking forward to making them happen.

Inspired by this, I immediately ran to browse other Penny Black stamps and see if there was another set or two I just had to have. Of course, I found about a hundred and even went to fill my cart to the brim with awesome stamps. But I didn't complete my purchase.

You see, a little while ago I'd narrowed down one of the biggest behaviors that make me overspend and go way beyond my budget -- impulse buys. If there's a new release or a new sale going on, I find myself mighty tempted to go overboard. And then one purchase leads to the next, as I discover that I missed getting something or something that was out of stock is now available. It's a bit of a vicious circle - one that's just terrible for my budget.

So, I took a step back and decided to apply my new buying tips:
- I wait a few weeks between placing things in my cart and actually buying them.
This seems like a small step, but it's a HUGE help. Those few weeks give me a chance to really think about what I'm buying and decide if it's worth investing in. There have already been several stamps that I felt like I absolutely HAD to have at release, but then I changed my mind a couple of weeks later. Likewise, there were a few stamp sets that didn't seem like a big deal, but I continued to feel inspired by enough to buy.
- I don't shop sales.
I appreciate a good deal just as much as any crafter does, but every sale ends up with me filling up my cart with piles and piles of supplies. Sometimes I luck out and get awesome deals on things I adore. But most of the time, I end up with just way too many supplies that get looked over or forgotten. Paying full price (or close to full price) gives me less supplies, but it makes me value them more - not to mention stops me from getting overwhelmed by new goodies.
If there's a sale or discount code when I'm placing my order, I make use of it. Otherwise, I don't worry about it.
- I make only one order per month.
I find it easier to stay on budget if I limit myself to making just one order. Having to get everything in one trip really makes me re-examine just how much I need the things I'm adding to the cart. Some months, I find myself getting new stamps, dies and embellishments. Other months, I'm stocking up on staples like adhesive, cardstock and ink. I'm able to balance things better and find myself making much better use of my supplies.

So! My next Penny Black haul will have to wait a little. But, I'm sure I'll discover many must-have sets to fall in-love with while I wait. In the meantime, I'll be making good use of Homemade and creating several projects I've got bouncing around my creative brain.

Happy Sunday to you all, and thanks for reading!


  1. I love your Chatty Cathy posts - they are so thought provoking! I actually do something similar to you but mine was brought about by the exchange rate. There was a time when the USD and AUD were at near parity which meant shopping was fun. haha Then our dollar dropped which means everything became that much more expensive (eg. USD15 is now nearly AUD21). Throw in international shipping too...ouch! I really started to think much harder about whether I really wanted something and the WHY I wanted it. (Prices at home skyrocketed too as all the best card making goodies come from the US). I put things in and out of shopping baskets and think long and hard about whether I will use it, or if I'm caught up in the fun of new releases, etc. Then there's the sell out factor - I've a few things that I am coveting but I can never seem to find them in stock when I am ready to buy. lol Such a shame!

    I love your card. I wonder what you think is missing? It looks so sweet. You cannot go wrong with Penny Black stamps - they are just the best!

    1. I think I'm missing some twine around the top. And definitely loving Penny Back stamps! I don't have a whole lot of them yet, but I'm making good use of all the ones I do have.

      On one hand, it's such a shame that the dollar dropped so much. It makes everything so much more expensive! On the other hand, it's definitely nice to be careful about purchases and slow down to enjoy the goodies we've already got. It's a nice feeling to use them all up. :D