Earlier this year, I got yet another card offer in the mail, but this one was different: it was for a debit, rather than credit card. It came with an offer of a $50 bonus for something like using it three times within two months, and no fees as long as you direct deposit into it. You’re going to give me money for… spending my money? That I was gonna spend anyway? Well… okay.

I decided to make this my allowance card, and set it up to receive $15 of each paycheck, which is a nice, small amount that I won’t really miss, but can build up quickly enough that I could get a nice skein of sock yarn within a month’s time. And I have actually managed to save up for that a few times. But more often, what I end up doing is buying patterns, notions, and other little enhancements to my knitting life. (I haven’t jumped on the stitch marker train yet.)

My last pattern spree left me with half a dozen copies of Interweave and Interweave-related digital magazines. They had a sale recently, offering a ton of back issues for $2 each, and there were several coupon codes floating around. I think that’s a pretty good deal for a publication that has 4 or 5 patterns I know I want to knit (I did go through my favorites specifically to find Interweave patterns that were in the discounted magazines). The Koolhaas hat alone is $6 if you get it as a Ravelry download, but it’s also in the Fall 2009 Interweave Accessories, for which I paid $1.70.

I also bought an e-book (Sock Knitting Master Class) because I was bored, two physical books (Knitted Socks East and West and Alt Fiber) because I got lost in the inevitable Ravelry Rabbit Hole (Ravelhole?), a sock pattern because I wanted to show my appreciation for her toe-up pattern (that was after a long spell of looking at cuff-down patterns, growing ever more irritated), another sock pattern because I’d wanted it forever and it went on sale, a sock pattern just-be-freaking-cause, and another sock pattern that was being offered on a sliding scale from free to full price, which I paid for because I didn’t want to look like a cheap-ass. (Or because I’m a sucker. But I don’t feel like I got suckered – it is a nice pattern, even though it is cuff-down.)

And then, after all that, I went to FedEx Office and paid $15 to have them spiral-bind the books. The books that I, with my massive collection of patterns and stuffed-to-bursting queue, will probably not get to until sometime in 2019. (What I want to know is, why don’t they just bind them like that to begin with?)

But that’s not all! I also have been looking for a new hand cream. Moving always makes my skin mad, and this time was no exception. I did several olive oil/sugar exfoliating scrubs, but I needed something that was less messy and could be used frequently.

I’ve been using Lavishea, and I like it in theory more than practice, I think. The scents are nice (for the most part), but the bars are just a little too greasy. If you’re doing absolutely nothing but knitting it’s not bad, but if you’re watching tv, you’re getting the remote greasy. If you’re listening to a book, you’re getting your audio player greasy. If you’re using a counting app on your phone or tablet (or just keeping track with a pencil) you’re getting something greasy.

I’ve also been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, probably because my commute to work is now a 25 minute walk, and listening to talking has become more enjoyable than listening to music. One of them mentioned Happy Hands, and when I got home, I looked it up. It got good reviews on Etsy and Ravelry, so I ordered a mini bottle.

This stuff is divine. The cream is great on its own, but the scent is amazing. It’s very long-lasting, too, so even if I wash my hands, I can still smell it (which is especially nice given that the scent I ordered was cinnamon bun, so it just makes things that much more pleasant. It also came with a sample packet of pumpkin spice (because autumn just ain’t autumn without it), although I haven’t opened it yet. I’m still hooked on the cinnamon stuff.

Samples and trial sizes are a marketing tool, to get consumers hooked on your product. Since I am prepared to order either a full-sized bottle or a massive sampler pack of Happy Hands as soon as my allowance clears again, I’d have to say it works. (And I am entirely too susceptible to advertising.)

This, people. This is why you give your kids an allowance. I never got one, and look at the fripperies I’m blowing my mad money on. To be fair, though, I suppose I’ve made some progress since my first paycheck ever, which I spent almost entirely on candy. (But given how delicious this hand cream is, this might not be much better.)