January - Spent: 0€ - Earned: 4€
While doing the SFS challenge last year, I observed my own spending patterns and realized that sometimes, I took it a bit to far - for example, I would order stuff in the US because it was cheaper there (took less away from my budget), but proceeded to pay so much in shipping and sometimes customs charges, that it became more expensive then just buying here in the end. Obviously, that can't be the goal for SFS, so in order to work against that for a bit, I decided to convert my budget 1:1 to euros (the actual quote would be about 22,30€, so I'm not giving myself too much of a bonus here). However, if I buy stuff in $, I'll substract the same amount from my budget 1:1 as well, to adjust for shipping a little. Purchases in £ will be converted to € using the current rate.
The first thing that changed about SFS itself is that subscriptions of any kind - magazines, monthly patterns, floss and/or fabric clubs - do not count towards the budget. I was a bit tempted to sign up for half a dozen clubs, but in the end I stayed strong and decided I'd only do one subscription at a time. This yeah, I signed up for the monthly DMC club at Cross Stitch Heaven - it's £18.50 + shipping a month, and after one year I will own a complete set of DMC thread, as well as boxes to store it in, some needles, and also twelve skeins of beautiful hand dyed floss. My first order for January arrived about two weeks ago, and I already wound it onto bobbins and stored it away (the box that came with it was smaller actually, but I just bought three of the bix storage boxes some time ago and decided that I'd would rather use those for the set, and the smaller one for single projects). This first order was 35 skeins of DMC as well as Fiberlicious' 'Christmas Wishes', which is really beautiful. I'm looking forward to having a full set soon, as stores around here don't sell DMC and it gets really frustrating if you have to order less than a dozen skeins online just to start a small project.
The other big change in the rules of SFS is that we now can earn new budget for finishing projects from our stash. There are a few limitations, like the projects need to have been purchased more than six months ago, and we can only count stitching that happened after the start of SFS, but that's okay, I can still make a few extra € of budget this way. The amount you earn depends on the size, coverage and stitches used of the project, and I will convert those amounts 1:1 as well. For January, I have one finish to count, and that's Magicals Ornament of the Month for January. it's a free pattern, so the six month rule doesn't apply here, and all of the supplies came from my stash. It's 35x35 stitches, so that gives me a bonus of 4€ to my monthly budget.
Apart from my monthly club, I only bought some stuff I need for my current projects that's reusable, and thus won't count for the budget: Another q snap so I don't have to move projects all the time, some easy guide line for gridding, and a magnetic needle organizer to use for smaller projects. I don't think I will continue to be this good, but it was important for me to start of with a zero :)
I had three starts from stash this month: the ornament you can see above, Dark Force, which I'll be talking more about in my next update, and the Mystery Band Sampler, of which I just finished week four: