ARTICLE: Budgeting for Fountain Pens

With January comes resolutions. Lose weight, travel more, and spend less are some of the most popular resolutions out there.

All of this has me thinking about how I find money for my fountain pen habit hobby.

TOP TEN WAYS TO AFFORD A FOUNTAIN PEN HOBBY

Budget. I’ve budgeted a small amount of money to spend on whatever I want each month. I usually choose to spend it on my pen hobby. Sometimes, I’ll buy a few ink samples and save the rest for a larger purchase. Fountain Pen Physicist talks about this in a video.

Save your pennies – literally. Loose change can accumulate quickly. Even if it accumulates slowly, it still accumulates – usually without any discomfort.

Prioritize. I have to prioritize. There are certain things that I know I’m going to want each year. If two pens are released at the same time and one of them is the new Lamy Safari, that’s the one I’m getting.

Focus on affordability. There are so many affordable options available for fountain pen lovers. Good options. I used to believe that a pen had to be expensive to be high-quality. I was wrong. It’s possible (easy!) to put together an amazing collection of affordable pens, ink, and paper.

Watch for sales. Discounts on pens aren’t nearly as frequent or as deep as discounts at Old Navy, but they are out there. Keep an eye on your favorite retailers, read blogs. Don’t forget to compare prices at Amazon; I’ve found some great deals there.

Give up something else. Take the bus, make your own coffee, stop buying so many clothes. Seriously, how much washi tape does one girl need?

eBay. Research reputable sellers, dive in, get a deal.

Sell something you don’t love. I recently sold a 2015 Hobonichi Planner that I knew I wouldn’t use. While I didn’t recoup all that I’d spent on it, I ended up with enough to get a couple of small things that I will use.

Focus on smaller parts of the hobby. Practice handwriting. Sample inks. Try new paper. These parts of the hobby are less expensive than buying a fancy new pen and can be just as rewarding – especially in the long-term.

Make friends. Choose one of the online communities dedicated to Fountain Pens, become a regular, and make friends. Friends (and yet-to-be friends) often trade ink and paper samples.

How do you afford your hobby habit? Do you budget? Play it fast and loose?

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