My first article for IScrap's monthly newsletter appeared today. I love it! It's such fun to see your own articles in print. Thought I'd share with you.
Staying Away from the Gimmies
by Lissa Ballard
Each year when all the new products debut, all the scrapbook product enthusiasts (or hoarders like me) eagerly comb the internet for glimpses of the latest and greatest product. Many online communities feature threads, or conversations, that show off beautiful new patterned papers, fun new tools and gadgets and great new embellishments in yummy patterns and rich textures. It is often a dizzying experience to pour over page after page of amazing new product. With all that comes the "gimmies". Gimmie one of those, two of those, one of these and, and, and... Before you realize it, your shopping cart is overflowing and your credit card and bank account are screaming, "Help me! I'm drowning!"
While the best way to avoid overspending is, of course, not to look, we are in the business of keeping our memories, feelings, events and thoughts recorded for all posterity. We absolutely must look! Not looking would be to deny who we are and what we do! All kidding aside, we can look as long as we are prepared.
Keep a good handle on your tools and materials. If you haven't been re-visiting your collections regularly, try to begin doing so at least quarterly. By going through them, you'll be well aware of what you have, what is beginning to age, what needs new blades or replacing and what you no longer favor, and can purge. Keep a clear thought with regard to your style, the colors you like to use, and the colors your albums typically contain. That great new vibrant collection is beautiful, but will you really use it? Will it fit the theme or style of your life, albums or projects? It might help to take notes you can keep with you to which you can refer when looking over new products and each time you are in the store.
It's wise to plan ahead. Budget a little each month to be saved for new products. This, of course, is in addition to your monthly budgeted amount. When the time comes, you'll have the opportunity to be a little indulgent. The newest tools can replace those you already have. You can recover some of their cost by selling them on a list, online message board, Etsy or eBay, providing they are still in excellent working order.
Be wise when spending impulsively. Over spending on a whim can really stunt your product growth in areas that count! There is something for every appetite and taste; simple, elegant, shabby, whimsical and everything in the middle and all around. While there is a need to have a little of everything on hand, be careful to not "let your eyes be bigger than your tummy". That is to say, don't let your appetite for all the different goodies overwhelm your budget.