The software for the cricut is aweson. You can do so much more than with the cricut. The software is not that much. I've bought 2 software packages, one for me and one for my daughter, both off of ebay for less than 35.00. You can get good prices for the cartridges on ebay also. Sometimes Cricut has sales that are pretty good. I have about 7 cartridges now and one christmas one on the way to make christmas cards this year. We'll see how that turns out!!