Buying art supplies is exciting. I shop online so it's super convenient to browse the different products with just a few click of the mouse. And of course I have my wish list items that I'm always tempted to buy but usually end up removing it from the cart before checkout.
And that brings me to exactly what I want to chat with you about.
Raise your hand if you usually add more to the cart than the three tubes of paint and handful of canvases you set out to purchase. It's easy to do right?
While I'm at it how many of you use a credit card? I'm not talking debt card. I mean an actual credit card that is already 50% maxed out with other purchases you made months ago. It's easy to do right?
If you raised your hand to any of these you are guilty of making common consumer mistakes that we all do from time to time. But make no mistake it's a bad approach to buying art supplies and I will share a practical way to shop.
Here's how I buy art supplies and save money doing it.
First of all never charge art supplies. It's absolutely silly to buy supplies when you don't have the cash in the bank to pay for it. Art supplies are expensive enough so why add 15% compounding interest on top of that already expensive price tag?
Secondly, always make a list of what you need and stick to it. Stores are great at making you spend money. I can't go online without being solicited by my favorite vendors. Ads pop up all over the place and they know how easy it is to get impulsive buys.
Lastly, I would highly recommend becoming a minimalist. Truthfully you can create some amazing works of art with seven, maybe eight hues, three bristle brushes and a stack of paper. So why overcomplicate the process and buy things you don't need?
Here's your plan for next time you go art supply shopping.
Tip one - make sure you have money in the bank. If not, just wait it out. Grab a pencil and print paper and practice your drawing skills. You can easily feed the artist this way and not go completely ape-shit waiting for the next paycheck.
Tip two - Look over your supplies and write down what you need before you add items to the cart. Trust me on this one. I have racks of unused art supplies that add up the hundreds of dollars that I could care less about. Bottom line is I should have never purchased them!
Tip three - Create a spreadsheet of the supplies you use. You can actually do it on an app if you have a smartphone. I use the Notes app built in to Apple iPhones and use the checklist option for my list.
If you take inventory of your art materials I think you will be amazed at which supplies you actually use and which ones sit around collecting dust. Keep it simple and be smart with your cash flow.
As the saying goes a dollar saved is a dollar earned!