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Penny Pinching

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It suddenly dawned on us this year that if we were going to get anywhere in life, we would have to start watching our spending and putting some money aside for the important grown up purchases that everyone seems so bothered with.

It kind of sound like a new years resolution, with it being a new direction in life and the beginning of the new year and all…. but I personally really dislike the idea of a new years resolution. Why does new things in your life always have to start Jan 1? wouldn’t it be better to space them out throughout the year so you get to enjoy the newness all year round? And why are they always all about loosing weight, getting healthy and general boring stuff? Surely that should be a beginning of every day resolution?*

(* this is not, of course, a go at those wonderful people who have used the beginning of a new year to redesign their lives for the better. I salute you! Keep up the good work, you are awesome!)

So anyway, random rants aside, I turned our decision to reduce spending into an opportunity for some creative boundaries. Usually I see something bright and shine somewhere, get all excited, and embark on a shopping trip to Spotlight where I put a considerable dent in the credit card. Not only is this bad for the bank balance, the environment takes a bit of a beating as well. New fabric, haberdashery and all of the bits and pieces you buy because you think it will make you a crafty genius, take considerable amounts of resources, carbon and electricity to make. SO the new rules in my studio are;

  • No buying of new fabric/ribbon/beads/embroidery floss. It all must be sourced from my own collection, swapped or brought from an op shop.
  • Recycle as much as possible. Break down old projects or things that have been discarded if needed.
  • Organise. This might sound a bit odd, but if you are organised and know exactly what you have in your studio, the condition its in and how much is left, you are less likely to buy new products out of laziness, or not being able to find them.
  • If new things need to be brought, it has to come out of the Craft Fund (essentially a can of coins! no fancy investment funds here!)
    The Craft Fund

    The Craft Fund

    Rhonda Hetzel’s book ‘Down to Earth‘ really helped me come to this decision. She has some great things to say about attitudes towards money and spending which really put some things into perspective for me. It’s funny how ¬†you can know something in principal, but when it comes to translating that to action, there is that little missing link. Rhonda’s book filled in some of those missing links for me.

“I thought it was normal to have everything I wanted… we are encouraged to think that way. The average Western lifestyle always gives you need things to crave; it keeps encouraging you to spend beyond your means. That will never change, you will have to change instead (p 48)”


(You can find Rhonda’s blog here)

I am pretty sure I will break these rules at some stage, but I think boundaries can help the creative juices along!

What do you think? I would love to hear your thrifty crafty tales!