Thursday 3 July 2014

Beads, Boilers & Budgets (6 months on)

Wow it's July already!!

Butterfly in flight by Mars (Greece 2014)

As we've just tipped the half way point of 2014 it seemed like a good time to revisit my New Years Bead Resolution No. 6.

This is what I wrote at the start of January 2014...

6.  To spend less on jewellery than I did in 2013 so I can finally get my boilers replaced
"...I think this one is fairly self explanatory and obvious to regular readers of Curling Stones.  I've had a bumper year for jewellery buying and I've added up what I spent in 2013 then compared that figure to the one that represents what I've been saving up for generally (not just my boilers) and I didn't like the way the scales tipped - although I do love all the lovely new jewellery! No regrets for last year, just a change for 2014; I've set myself some personal financial goals and the result of this is the scales need to tip back to a more manageable level on the jewellery spending... well let's just leave it at that for now and see how this year pans out shall we?"
I expanded on this further when I wrote my A to Z series in April, 3 months later...
"My latest method is to say that "I won't spend more on jewellery than I save in any given 6 month period" - essentially hoping to promote a win win situation, if I spend more on Jewellery then I need to save more money for practical stuff.  So far it's looking good, but then again we're only in April... a lot can happen in 3 months!"
So, it's 3 months later and what did happen in April, May and June?!

Carved Amber Bracelet: Rose, Turtle & Ladybug

I thought I had a chance of recovering this resolution after I indulged heavily in the Liquidation Sales at the start of 2014, and then, a'hem, carved ambers appeared, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 carved ambers later - say no more!

Carved Amber Fantasy Necklace: Fat Fish, Thin Fish & Scarab

My resolution has evolved into 3 broad goals over the course of the last 6 months:
    1. Spend less on Jewellery overall than I did in 2013
    2. Increase my savings (preferably to the point where they exceed my jewellery spend, or at least match it)
    3. Replace my ancient boilers (I have been seriously saving up to do this for 3 years now)
Well if I take the optimistic view and don't get into too many details; to quote Meatloaf 2 out of 3 ain't bad, although in case you think he's developed a secret Trollbeads obsession, the song isn't about my battle with beads, boilers and budgets (sorry, although you gotta admit that would have been rather awesome).

So what's the verdict in July?
    1. I've just about (by the skin of my teeth) spent less on jewellery than the equivalent 6 months of 2013
    2. I've increased the amount I've been able to save by being uber strict, and probably a bit too hermit like, but this means I've almost doubled the amount saved for practical stuff by this time last year.  Despite all this I've not been able to match my jewellery spend yet, let alone exceed it
    3. My ancient boilers are no more, and a big shiny beast of a boiler has replaced them with a huge magnetic hat to keep it all going
All in all it's been a pretty good 6 months!  I've achieved the third goal completely, which is pretty major in itself... but as I enjoy a toasty warm and hopefully cheaper winter, I will continue to attempt to also complete the first and second goals by the end of the year.  Fingers crossed!

How do you all manage your spending/collecting/obsessions??

I'm always looking for new ideas to help me budget, as willpower by itself doesn't work for me;
I'm far too impulsive and magpie like!!

Hit the comments and share your tips, trips & slips!


  1. I keep a little spreadsheet of my bead purchases with a running total. I'm hoping this will help curb the temptation to buy especially with all the sales going on. Doesn't help that I'm not a purist and will happily drool over other charms from different companies. I just started my collection though and hopefully I will be increasing it slowly and not go wild.

    1. I think the spreadsheet is a great idea; it's how I keep track of spending! I'm a bit of a geek with spreadsheets - I love doing it this way!

      Good luck in not going wild, I'm hoping to tame myself somewhat over the next 6 months and see if I can get back on track, fingers crossed for both of us!

      Mars xx

  2. A spreadsheet just scares me! :D I did try one at the beginning, but I found it too hard to label my uniques so I gave up. And I kind of don't want to know the total that I've spent on beads.

    Lately I haven't really been managing my spending well at all :\ For a while I tried a "one in, one out" philosophy, but that was when I had more beads that I wasn't using. Now that I have mostly thinned my collection down to what I want, I try to limit myself to two beads a month, but I've usually bought them within the first week of the month so that doesn't always work either. I also try to think of at least two combinations that I can use a bead in before I will get it so that I'm not having a bead sit in my bead box unused most of the time when I could have bought another bead that I would use more often!

    The best thing that has helped me is creating an Amazon wish list for myself and using the priority and date added rankings in there. Then if I'm thinking about a bead, I can go to my wish list and say to myself "why am I buying this bead when I haven't yet bought this other bead that has a higher priority and has been on the list for longer!" It has helped with my impulse buys, although I still occasionally get caught up in uniques since sometimes it's the first time that I've seen a pattern and I don't always have the time to go to my list when dealers post new uniques. And sometimes the cheap price in a big sale still trumps the priority or length of time that a bead has been on my list.

    1. Yeah spreadsheets that tell you how much you've spent are rather scary... I'm not tracking which beads but tracking my spend as I try to get to grips with my resolutions :)

      New unique beads and cheap prices in big sales tend to be my downfall, July is really busy for me but in August I really need to make sure I want everything in my bead box.

      I really like your wish list on Amazon, that sounds like a great idea!

      I've already used my limited spend for this month on one new unique, actually bought right at the end of last month but not arrived yet. I'm hoping that the fact I'm so busy, away a lot, and that I've just had to pay an unexpected bill will help me keep a lid on my spending for this month.

      Ignoring the sales at the moment is hard going but I'm a week in and just about holding out! Giving up smoking was easier I think ;)

      Good luck with yours!
      Mars xx


I love saying hi to people who've read my blog, or are just passing through via the A to Z, or anyone not a spam bot!

P.s. If you use an iPad/iPhone and are having trouble leaving a comment on Blogger, you might have better luck using a browser that's not the default iPad one... Then from the "Comment as" drop down menu choose Name/Url (you can leave URL field blank or add your web address) or Anonymous and (hopefully) away you go! Mars xx