The 5 Biggest Mistakes I Made When Planning My Craft Budget

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collage of organized craft room pictures with text: 5 Craft Budget Mistakes That You Should Avoid

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How often do you find yourself coming home with a few too many bags from the local craft store or even watching the tracking and impatiently waiting for the package that you just had to have? Do you have a creative budget? Do you have a hard time sticking to it?

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Craft Budget

I think we all do. I know I’d rather forget such a thing even exists. Let’s face it, though. It’s a necessary evil in life. I definitely try to keep it reasonable these days, but that’s easier said than done.

Cropper Hopper filled with patterned paper
There are of course a few things I’ve done as far as planning my creative budget that maybe I shouldn’t have. Are you curious what they were? You can read my list of the 5 biggest mistakes I made when planning my creative budget on the next page.

collage of organized craft room pictures with text: 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Planning Your Creative Budget

Have you made a few of these same mistakes?

Not knowing myself and the way I work 

Let me tell you a quick story. I have a Cricut, a Cuttlebug, and a Cameo and I haven’t used one of them. I also have 100ish packs of Thickers and of course, I use them all the time. Go figure, right? I wanted a Cricut so badly.

At that point, it seemed like everyone had one. Ditto with the Cameo. Die-cutting machines just aren’t my thing, though. It’s actually kind of a shame I didn’t realize it sooner.

As far as I’m concerned, they’re entirely too much work when I can just grab a pack of letter stickers. Know yourself and how you work or you’ll end up spending a lot of unnecessary money on whatever happens to be the latest trend.

Consistently buying more than I’m using 

I’ve said it over and over again. If your input exceeds your output, you’re eventually going to find yourself in trouble for one reason or another. I have an entire studio full of awesome supplies, but I can definitely say there’s not a chance I’ll be able to use them all.

Some things will probably get purged as my style changes. Other things more than likely won’t stand the test of time. Either way, it doesn’t make sense to waste money just because you can. I’m all for having a stash, but just remember there’s such a thing as balance.

Letting myself indulge in Retail Therapy 

Have you ever been bored on a Saturday afternoon? I’m sure grabbing a few 40% off coupons and heading to the nearest craft store sounded like a good idea, didn’t it? 

Yea, don’t do that. I can’t even begin to tell you how often I was doing just that before I had the little guy. I didn’t feel like actually making something, so I went shopping instead. I brought home all kinds of cool stuff, but a lot of it is still here because I just wasn’t sure what to do with it at that point.

I brought stuff home because I thought it was cool or because it was on sale and yet it just sits here waiting to find its home on one of my projects.

Not buying with a specific project in mind 

Sure, there are some things we need. Solid cardstock and adhesive to name a few, but there’s also a lot of stuff we buy just because. And buying just because means, more than likely, not using it. Or at least not using it anytime soon. Let me reiterate.

Don’t buy things just for the sake of buying them. Have a project in mind or at least a plan for what you intend to do with your new purchases. If you can’t see yourself using something in the near future, maybe you should pass on it for the time-being.

Then again, if you keep looking at something over and over again every time you’re out and you have at least an idea what you want to do with it, then go ahead and buy it.

Relying on self-imposed spending freezes 

Have you ever been on a diet? Have you noticed how much you crave particular things when you take an all or nothing approach? I think the same principle applies here as well. Set a budget and stick to it, but be patient with yourself.

Realize that there are definitely things you’re going to want and try to make good decisions about what you bring home with you. Maybe, you subscribe to a kit club. And that’s fine as long as you’re actually using it each month.

Maybe, you spend $30 a month at the local craft store. That’s fine too. Just don’t forget why you fell in love with this hobby in the first place – create, don’t collect.

What are the biggest mistakes you’ve made when it comes to planning your creative budget? Leave a comment and share.

This post is part of the Creative Mistakes mini-series. You can find the other posts in this series here:
5 Mistakes To Avoid When Organizing Your Creative Space
5 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Your Creative Blog
5 Mistakes To Avoid When Scheduling Your Creative Time

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Thanks so much for visiting. Have an awesome week!


  1. I was a paper hoarder. Once you talked about knowing how you craft. Then set up accordingly was really like a weight off my shoulders! I also visualized my craft room complete. It did not involve containers and shelves up to the ceiling on every wall. I want pretties framed and in my walls. To make it homey. Even though I am not done, at least I know where I am heading.

  2. Too funny, Andrea! I hear ya! It’s so easy to rationalize just about anything. Lol… Thanks so much for visiting and have an awesome week!

  3. Your crafting habit sounds so much like my kitchen tools habit! I use the excuse of having a food blog as a reason to have every neat little kitchen tool and utensil I see! And don’t eve get me started on my collection of cool and vintage dishes! The worst part is I know I can write it all off as business expenses on our taxes, so I can rationalize just about any purchase. ♥

    I have always been into crafting and sewing too, so I can relate to a lot of your advice of creating rather than just collecting. xx

  4. Thanks so much for visiting, Mandy! And so happy to hear this post really helped you! Sometimes, I can’t even believe I bought some of the things I did. Lol… Live and learn, right? Have an awesome weekend!

  5. Great post and really helped me ~ especially #1 . I am, in fact, in a spending freeze but it’s working for me. My crafting is for fun & friends so not selling. I have so much and most with a clear intent (just wasn’t knuckling down to “do it”.) Nothing coming in until some goes out. It’s motivating me to create and get things moving so I can buy new goodies 🙂

  6. Too funny, Abby! We all have our things. Lol… Thanks so much for visiting! Have an awesome weekend!

  7. Great tips, Cristi. Thanks for sharing! I’m glad I’m not the only one guilty of buying craft supplies- or, more likely in my case, baking ingredients- for that undiscovered recipe I might need them for down the road.

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