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Daily Wire Tip Mar. 26: Keeping a Budget at Gem Shows
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
March 26, 2011
Hi Dale, I’m going to a very large gem and bead show in a couple of weeks. Every time I go to one of these shows, I completely forget my carefully-made list, and start buying everything that puts an idea in my head. I’m quite sure the shows in Tucson would have resulted in me selling my car to buy more gemstones! How do you stay on track and on budget?
-Mona in San Jose, California
Yes, Mona, I really did laugh out loud when I read your question (and so will a lot of readers)! It is so hard not to pick up every single item that gives you the flash of an idea while shopping – worse yet, to get caught up in the deal. When I personally shop, I make sure that my "Needs" list is on a 3 x 5" notecard in my wallet, along with short pieces of my favorite gauge wire. (Sometimes I also tape a specific finding or bead on the card so I know exactly what I need to find).
I do some research ahead of time, checking prices on both the internet and in catalogs (that usually do not include shipping), and I look to see what is easily available if I should decide that my Needs list changes because I find something extra. I usually plan a certain amount of money for these Needs and I allow an extra slush fund, for those specialty items I will probably never see again.
To help me stay on budget, I only bring my allowed budget in cash and just one credit card for the special things I think I can’t live without. I never keep all of my cash in one place, either; I split it in thirds, so I am aware of how much I am spending. The main tip here is, put your list in your wallet the night before you leave. Have fun, and don’t hock the car!
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong
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