If you take embroidery (or any hobby) seriously, chances are, you’ve noticed that the costs associated with hand embroidery can range from negligible (when you’re just starting out) to pretty darned expensive (when you get to the point when you want to invest in good tools and supplies).
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 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, I bought the stand. And over the years, I’ve purchased many other somewhat pricy tools for my hobby. 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 right when I first wanted it. 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, and it was a hard lesson to learn.
But now, I live on 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 right now. After all, it’s not a need. Hobby supplies are a luxury, a want. So they don’t get first priority in a budget.
I plan my hobby into my budget and I save towards expensive items. 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, but I don’t subscribe to credit card spending. I live on a budget. I don’t buy things unless I have the money to buy them. I’ve found that if I budget (and this concept works for money and time), I enjoy my embroidery a whole heck of a lot more!
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