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.


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?

REVIEW: 2015 Hobonichi Planner


At the end of last year, Mr. Pentulant came home from a business trip with a number of prezzies for me from the Kinokuniya store in Seattle. One of those gifts was this 2015  Hobonichi Planner.

I asked on Instagram and was told that this edition is the Weeks Planner. Apparently, it’s not available on the Hobonichi English website – just the full Japanese version.


I was immediately taken with the look and feel of the book. Like other Hobonich Planners, this one is filled with Tomoe River Paper. The cover is somewhat flexible (but not bendy) and the look is slim. There are two ribbon bookmarks. An elastic band would have been helpful.

This planner is too small for me to use as a daily planner, but it’s perfect perfect as a financial planning calendar.


The first set of pages are monthly grids. Keep track of payday, scribble daily spending amounts. Goals and accomplishments could easily go at the bottom of the pages.


The “meat” of the book consists of dates on the left-facing page and a lightly printed grid on the right. So far, I’m using the left side to keep track of future expenses and I’m using the right side for motivational words to stay on track with spending. The right side could also be used for food planning, lists, weekly goals, etc.

IMG_1343 Near the end of the book are a bunch of grid pages. I’ve not started using these pages yet, but could imagine using them for monthly summaries, keeping track of other goals, and of course – lists (always lists).

Bottom Line:  While we’re not that far into 2015, I like the way this is planner is shaping up!

Which planner(s) did you end up with? And, tell me, how many planners are you actively using?

Oh oh oh . . . don’t forget to enter my Stateside Notebook Giveaway! It’s a nice little notebook filled with Tomoe River Paper.

Hobonichi For Sale

I’ve decided that the Hobonichi Cousin format just won’t work for me and I’m selling the 2015 planner and the cover as a set.
You can get details about the book and the cover at the Hobonichi website – here and here.
Original packaging not available. In perfect new condition. Completely unused (though I may have scribbled with the included pen once or twice).
Non-smoking home, but we do have dogs. w00f!
$55 including shipping to US addresses 
I realize these aren’t the best photos – please see the Hobonichi website for better photos and complete details regarding size.

I can be reached at christine (at) christinewitt (dot) com. Though I generally welcome the opportunity to wheel and deal, I am firm on pricing.

I’ll be back later this week with a very special inky giveaway!