Ever wonder how much money you spend on your hobbies? Just out of curiosity I did a little investigating. I downloaded data from my checking account for the year and sorted through and kept only known yarn shops, paypal (because that's pretty much all I purchase via that method) and chain craft stores. I came up with $2,238. This does not include my $230 membership in Socks that Rock and the $550 I spend on a spinning wheel. Wow!
Now, this is not an exact number - I can't track cash purchases, sometimes a coworker and I go in on Knit Picks orders together (however, she ordered sometimes, so I guess its a wash because I paid her cash for her orders, so I'm including our combined numbers from the orders I placed in my total here) and some of these are patterns or other items. But I think this is a fairly accurate number.
I was trying to come up with a budget for 2012 - mainly to force myself to knit from my stash and stop collecting. I was thinking $100 per month. Then I was really wondering how much I actually spent in 2011. So let's say $2,500 with the club membership - and now I want to decrease that number. So I will continue with the $100 per month, plus a bonus of $50 - that's exactly half of what I spent in 2011.
So there you have it folks, as part of my Surmount the Stash exercises I will be held accountable to maintaining this budget for 2012. I have some rules and exceptions here:
1) Amounts can be borrowed from a coming month. For example, if I want to sign up for a club membership and that total is $250 ... then I borrow from the next two months to get that amount. Jan + Feb + 1/2 March = $250.
2) Gift cards and presents do not count towards my budget.
3) Unused amounts roll over til the end of the year.
4) What is considered and accountable expense? Yarn, knitting notions (needles, darning needles, stitch markers, wool wash, blocking accessories, knitting bags), patterns, roving, spindles, knitting or spinning books, knitting or spinning magazines, class and workshop fees.
I think I've covered anything. Do you see any loopholes I can come up with in this plan?