Friday, 20 January 2012

Frugal Friday - Temptations and Balancing Acts

I am having one of those days, when I want something "just because" and part of me is rationalising hard to get it.  The thing is, it might turn out to be pretty ordinary when I finally get my hands on it.  But I won't know that until I handle it.  All I've seen are pictures and the colours are lovely...

Naturally, I'm talking about yarn.   I subscribe to the Lidl newsletter, which lands in my in-box on Mondays and Thursdays.  Every so often, they do knitting yarns and the odds are 70:30 in favour of their yarns being good instead of cheap, nasty acrylics.  Yesterday's edition announced that, as of Monday, they'll be stocking a cotton-wool-blend sock yarn (this one with a new name), some 100% DK cotton in assorted packs (meh), and a cotton-viscose blend DK which really caught my attention (this one, I think).  The colours I'm lusting after are the two at the back, the pretty pink and the aqua:

 (Photo from Lidl's website.)

They'll be sold in packs of 4 skeins for £4.99 a pack.  Two packs of either would be enough to make a Soleil from Knitty; three would make a Raina from the Twist Collective.  And here is where my argument with myself really starts:

On the one hand, the price is totally within my self-imposed £3/ball limit.

On the other hand, purchasing enough to make the Raina would absorb a quarter of my £60 yarn budget for the year and we're only one month in; buying both colours would have me spend £25 or even £30 on something I might not knit with for 2 or 3 years.  That's 40% or 50% of the budget.  Can I really go 11 more months on £30?  Money will be tight until DH gets a new job and I don't want to set myself up so that I'll break the budget later on.  Also, if I spend this much now, what will I do if something better comes along later?

On the first hand, I'd like to encourage Lidl to keep stocking yarn, and the only way to do that is to buy some.

On the second hand, I have two separate yarns in virtually the same shade as the pink (if the photo is true to life).  I don't need more.

On the first hand, I don't have anything like that aqua.  I could settle for just the one colour.  And while Soleil is nice, the Raina will be more flattering (especially if I modify the neck to a sweetheart one like this one in Ravelry).  Or I could do the Soleil - that'd mean only spending £10.

On the other hand, I have far too much yarn as it is.  I DON'T NEED MORE YARN.

God, I hope the stuff looks horrible in real life!  That'd save me from trying to square the circle.  Knowing I only have £xx to spend means that I want to get the best value possible and not squander it.  I have to balance the "I want it now" with the "but will I want that more, later?".   That is what budgeting is all about.  It's a way of ensuring that sufficient money accumulated now for goodies later. 

- Pam

1 comment:

amy said...

Oh my, that is a list of goals on the sidebar you have there! Is this a temporary sale? Because if not, the "wait a while and then see" approach really does work well. I've been known to delete fabric/yarn emails without opening them, but I did get sidetracked by new fabrics posted on a shop blog today. I had such a stinky afternoon. Some retail therapy in pretty fabric sounds so tempting.

PS, Did you hear? Patriots at Wembley in October!