On the Paperclipping Roundtable episode #108 Amortizing Our Stamps, the panelists tackled the question of scrapbooking budgets. How much they spend, the ebb and flow of their spending, and how much they spent on their last five layouts. I wondered about those questions for myself, plus a couple more. How does the cost of digi scrapping compare with paper? Where do Creative Teams and freebies come into the mix?
For me, my journey into digiscrapping started with freebies. I wasn’t about to spend a bunch of money on a hobby that I wasn’t sure if it would last. And besides, they were just a bunch of jpegs… who would pay for that? So I scoured the internet for freebies. I think my first great find was Shabby Princess. I found a few designers who offered freebies like Numb Bumm and Summertime Designs. This eventually led me to forums that gave away Daily Downloads, freebie kits that were given away a small piece at a time throughout the month.
I began to start enjoying my new hobby (as opposed to just cursing at photoshop all the time). I began to think it was worth it to start buying kits. I began spending money. Not a ton, but I’d say at my most spendy I was dropping about $20 a month on digi supplies. That was fine, because I was always on the lookout for good sales, plus fueling my freebie addiction. Also I was working, so I could afford it. That all came to a screeching halt when I left my job late last year. I didn’t make a lot of money, but when we lost my income, things had to change in our budget. So I stopped spending money on supplies.
I had two things going for me. One, I had amassed a pretty sizable collection by then, so it was easy for me to “shop my stash”. But I think the things that are really getting me through these lean times are being on a Creative Team and working for SDD as a moderator. “Will work for product” should be my motto.
That made me wonder how my experiences as a digiscrapper differed from those on the Paper Side. I’m going purely on assumption here because I’ve never paper scrapped. But it seems like, other than the initial cost of an image program, digiscrapping can be more budget friendly. There are freebies everywhere. I think it’s entirely possible to scrap for quite a while on freebies alone if you’re willing to search and do your own quality checking. The same can’t be said for paper scrapping. (although I know you can use many things you already have, such as office supplies, if you don’t care about being archival). Also it seems, which is purely an assumption on my part, that it’s easier to get on a CT if you’re digital, just because there are so many sites and designers out there. Teams aren’t always easy to get on, but it can be done. You too can “Work For Product”.
Now this is not to say that digi is better than paper. Digi has it’s own costs, especially initially for software. Then there’s printing your own pages, which as I’ve found, can be a pretty costly undertaking.
The ladies on the PRT panel priced their LO’s at anywhere from $5-12 each. So I was curious to see how my LO’s stacked up. Unfortunately the last few weeks have not been extremely prolific ones. Taking a look at my current gallery, I see that my last five LO’s were creative team assignments. Therefore the product was all free. So factoring in printing costs, my Price Per LO was anywhere from $1-1.50. I think thats’s a somewhat accurate representation of my costs in the past few months. I just don’t buy a lot right now. I strongly believe in supporting designers for their hard work. I just can’t support them monetarily right now, so I do it in other ways, by advertising for them. Which isn’t the same, but hopefully helps out some.