I did no sewing yesterday. The Fall Kickoff meeting was fun, and I did grocery and laundry and my French lesson and played with Sketchup and also did a little bit of work because I was inspired, and then it was too late to start sewing.

I have done some stash enhancement lately. Now, I am on hiatus from my big client, with a hope but no guarantee of starting back up next month. I have dental work and #1 son’s tuition  and #2 son’s college visits on the horizon, and the price of my website and possibly that software package I mentioned, and I daresay there will be other business expenses that I haven’t foreseen (Blessing says it cost $5,000 to set up the home office for her husband’s business). There are also likely to be some expenses coming up for the new season with the kitchen tools business as well, depending what place that ends up having in my future. Given this combination of uncertain income and large expenses, I am being careful.

And yet I bought yarn, fabric, and soapmaking supplies, as well as ordering some books.

The soapmaking supplies were because we are running out. I spend about $70 a year on those supplies, and that keeps my family in soap, bubble bath, shower gel, lip balm, lotions, and so forth, plus supplying materials for lots of gifts. I did my last order about 15 months ago, so it was just time. I can’t buy these things locally, and shipping from the company on the west coast where I buy it is ruinous, so it isn’t practical to buy these things a bit at a time instead of all at once.

I’m doing pretty well on justifying that one, actually.

And there was a big sale on fabric. Of course, there is always a big sale somewhere, so that doesn’t really justify it. And I have quite a stash of fabric, too. And I haven’t been sewing. It is certainly true that I need clothing, and also that making your own is thrifty, but I think I’m skating on thin ice here if I want to claim that my fabric purchases were frugal.

The yarn is what really tips it over. I bought the yarn Knitpicks used for the Doctor’s Bag that I have been wanting to make for the past year. It wasn’t on sale. I don’t need another bag. I have an actual stash of yarn — enough, I would estimate, for a full year’s knitting, given that much of it is laceweight and you know how slow that is. I really had no business doing that.

The books scarcely deserve a mention. My book purchases are so much less than they used to be (a combination of Amazon Vine, Booksfree, Frugalreader, and no longer working in a bookstore) that I can hardly complain about the occasional little book purchase. And one of my clients is letting me buy books from her at cost.

Still, these frivolous purchases represent three to six hours of work, depending who’s paying me.

The only way to justify this is to make sure that I get the most out of the purchases. So I will get some sewing in this week. Starting today, I hope.

Hey, speaking of finance, I learned something recently.

Now, if you’re like me, your portfolio or retirement account or mutual fund or whatever you have has been losing money since —  well, since Mr. Bush got into office, roughly (I have no oil or munitions shares). So I haven’t been contributing to it. Seems like it’s just throwing away money. It used to double in value every few years, but now the numbers just go down, so I sigh and try not to think about it. However, it isn’t really losing money, I’m told, because I have the same number of shares as before. The shares themselves are merely cheaper now than they were before. It is therefore now the time to buy more shares, because they are essentially on sale. Then, when perhaps things improve, the shares that we have will become more valuable and we will be richer.

If those of you who are more knowledgeable than I have opinions on this, I will be glad to hear them.