Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Arting on a Budget - The Importance of a Good Stock

As many of you probably know, I am on a very strict budget. I get a $7.00 allowance a week; a dollar goes to my tithes and offerings, $3.50 goes to my Ford Fiesta savings (I'm very specific about what car I want... that one in lime :D), and the last $3.50 goes to any spending I want to do. That includes arting and investing in my business. Unless I sell something on Etsy, which is kind of rare. $3.50 a week! Crazy huh?

Contrary to popular belief, when you're on a tight budget having a stash of supplies is actually very important People think that building up a stash costs tons of money, and you have to do it all at once, thus making it impossible for somebody on a budget. These are both false. Actually, the reverse is true. When you don't have much money to spend, having a stockpile or stash is quite handy.

So how exactly do you start building a stash? Why is having a stash better than not having one at all? I'll start by answering the latter. Why is having a stock good for people on a budget? Well, for example; think if you've already spent all of your money you have allotted for the week. You would normally have to just wait it out until you could get the stuff the next week. That would be trouble just waiting to happen, since when you (at least when I) take time off for a time, even so little as a week... well let's just say that I get major crafting block (actually, I think it's more like a cramp...) However, if you have a stock, then you can normally just work out of what you have.

Even when you have a strict budget that you have to follow, it is possible to build up a rather large stash. It's actually quite easy. The hard part is that it takes a while, so you have to use patience. People with more money to spend may be able to build their stash quickly, while people like me will take a while. It will be easier however, if you will wait a couple of weeks (at least) before using anything out of your "stash", that way you will see your things accumulate.

When you are on your weekly (or perhaps monthly) shopping trip, buy what you need for the next week (we'll talk more about planning what you need another time), and then you should be left over with a bit of spare cash. Say that the only thing that I really NEEDED for the week was a black ink pad. I found a good one on sale for a dollar. With the leftover $2.50, I could buy some other things to add to my stash. Sales are always good, and I'll talk a bit more about finding supplies in unexpected places in a minute. My point is, always buy more than you actually need. This goes against ALL the budget books, I know, but I'm just telling you what works for me. Let's say I get some pattern paper. Say... 4 sheets for a dollar. That's four sheets I can use some other time.

Also, get used to buying your supplies in unexpected places. I'll often buy stuff in the dollar section of target. Also, the dollar store. Goodwill is my VERY favorite place to search for supplies, and hardware and office supply stores are goldmines if you know where to look. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail right now, since I'm planning to make a sort of series around budget buying. So a lot of these things will be mentioned later on. But anyways. Just keep a sharp eye out everywhere you go to find supplies. For a very brief example; when I'm at goodwill, I look for all types of things; clothing to take apart for the fabric, books to tear the pages out of to use as text paper, sweaters to rip apart for their yarn (I'll do a tutorial on this too), and other things to be repurposed. Also, I'll look for things MEANT as craft supplies. I've found things such as oil paint, gouache, beads, yarn, fabric, glitter glue, and vintage or older sewing patterns.

So, as you can see, it's easy to find supplies in places not very well known for their craft supplies, even though it takes a tad bit of looking. Also, one other question I had for you guys; what do you think about a weekly post... a "what's in your pockets today" type of post? I'm just that type of person; you should see some of the weird stuff I have jammed in there (I'm seriously considering getting some boys pants just for the pockets)... that's what gave me the idea. Tell me what you think!!

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