Thursday, March 05, 2009

Saving For Quilters

Let's face it.  Quilting is expensive.  Fabric, thread, notions, books, classes among others.  It's cheaper than therapy as I always say to people who don't quilt.  Usually they think I'm nuts anyway.  I started thinking about ways to save money.

1.  Regardless of income, it's important to plan and keep track of what you have.  You waste money by having to buy things over and over because you can't find them.

Go through your stuff.  Do a little at a time.  One drawer or a pile.  If you start doing too much you'll get overwhelmed and quit.  Don't make it complicated either.  Put "like" stuff together and them put them in way that works for you.  

2.  After number one, plan what you need.  Rotary blades?  Rulers?  Pins?  Now when you go to the store, you'll know what to buy.  Get them on sale.  Never pay full price unless you have too. Carpool with some friends to the store to save gas if you live long distances so you both get what you want.  Plan your trips so you aren't going up every other day.

3.  Check your UFOs.  You can save a lot of money by working on one instead of buying another quilt you may eventually get around to doing.  Start with one you don't quite hate and almost have done.  You'll feel so much better even if you get one done.  A couple of UFO's done in a year will save a lot.

4.   Keep your machine maintained.  Get it cleaned up every year.  Your machine will last longer.   If you need a new machine, you can haggle with the price.  Get one you will be happy with and can afford.  Don't settle for less.  It's a waste if you do as you won't be happy with the machine.

5.  Swap with your friends for items you both like.  Give stuff you don't use to someone who will use it.  

6.  Trim up your extra batting.  You can use it for smaller quilts or if sewn together make a bigger one.    Practice FMQ with them.

7.  Work with your weaknesses.  If you can't resist fabric, buy some, but don't over do it.  Same with gadgets and other notions.  Think about the purchase.  Are you just excited?  Impulse buy? It's a waste if you buy it and never use it.  

8.  Be thrifty but not cheap.  Cheap is cheap.  Some things are worth the expense.  Shipping is one.  Free shipping is never "free".  Don't pay the most expensive price, but you aren't saving if you spend 100 bucks just to get free shipping.  If you really need it, get it.  Running your rotary blade into the ground is asking for trouble.  Dull blades are more dangerous. 

9.   Buy online and buy in bulk if you go through a lot of it.  I live an hour away from major stores.  It's cheaper to buy online.  You have more options online.  Don't stop shopping at your LQS.  They need your support too.

10.  Cut back on quilting magazine subscriptions.  If you don't like it anymore or have moved on, cancel it.  Or, if you are buying off the rack every month, get a subscription.  *just checked the mail.  How did McCall's quilting mag get my name?  I don't have a subscription nor do I plan on it.  I don't give out my personal information at all.

11.  Pay cash.  If you are going into debt, you aren't saving anything.  Interest charges are not your friends.  There are times when you do need to go into debt but do it on your terms with your card.  Quilting supplies are not worth ruining your credit score.

Store credit cards have outrageous interest charges.  My Bernina card had a 24% interest rate.  I didn't think to check that.  I canceled the card when I saw it.  Be aware of "interest free until X time".  Nothing is interest free.  If you don't pay off the purchase before that, you will be slammed with the interest.

And lastly;
Don't make yourself miserable trying to save money.  It will just make you resentful.  Do what works for you.  We all save money differently.  What works for you won't work for someone else. 


Gina said...

Great tips.

Whenever I go to a show I always take cash only. that way I can't overspend. I also make a list of things that I need

Love and hugs Gina xxx