If you take embroidery (or any hobby) seriously, chances are, you’ve noticed that embroidery can be an expensive undertaking.
Whether you’re buying linen or threads, frames, needles, hoops, or scissors, you know that the costs can add up! Even if you are a casual embroiderer who takes up a project now and then, chances are, you’ve spent money on your hobby.
This is a question that comes up often from readers. I receive a lot of e-mail from people who are looking for less expensive linen, cheaper silk, the place to get goldwork supplies “cheap.” What it all boils down to is that we look for ways to save money on supplies because living is expensive. I’m all for saving a buck (many bucks, if possible!), but I realize that some things just do cost money. I also realize that, on some items, it’s not worth taking shortcuts and buying inferior goods.
Here’s an illustration: For the last several months, I’ve been looking for an ideal embroidery stand. I started hunting around, even driving two hours one way just to try an embroidery stand. I finally found the embroidery stand I want, but the price tag was out of my reach – almost $300 for the two components that would make it usable for me.
And yet, the stand will arrive this week! How did I manage it? I didn’t just charge it so I can pay for it later. If I had done so, I would have had it months ago. But, given human nature and the credit card mentality, it probably still wouldn’t be paid off, and I’d be paying interest on it, to boot. And that would make an already expensive product ridiculously pricey.
So what’s the key to being able to afford your hobby so that you can enjoy it with a free and easy mind, knowing that whatever you purchase for your hobby hasn’t become just one more debt to pay off sometime in the future, when the credit card has ballooned to extraordinary proportions?
The key is budgeting. If you spend money on your hobby, but it sets you back and puts you in debt, then it will eventually catch up with you. And you won’t enjoy your hobby as much, if it puts you in the hole – it’s difficult to enjoy things when a cloud of debt is hovering! How do I know? Well, I’ve been there. It was a hard lesson to learn.
But now, I have a budget, and in that budget is figured my “fun” money – the money I spend on my hobby. When I want to make a major purchase, such as a $300 needlework stand, I don’t buy it right now simply because I want it now. After all, rarely is hobby stuff a need.
Instead, I plan it into my budget and I save towards it, until I can buy it. Believe it or not, budgeting isn’t hard – it’s not rigid or restricting if done the right way. On the contrary, on a budget, you’re much freer to do things, because you know exactly where you money is and what you’re doing with it.
So, to answer the inquiries I’ve received on affording needlework supplies, now you know how I do it. I’m not wealthy (by a long shot), but I don’t subscribe to credit card spending, either. I live on a budget. I’ve found that, budgeting my money and budgeting my time, I enjoy my embroidery a whole heck of a lot more!