I’m not an overly creative person. Oh, I have my moments when I come up with a clever idea, but it takes a bit of work.
Sometimes I hesitate to try things for fear of wasting limited resources. Sometimes I get short on time or patience.
But here’s the thing I’ve discovered: We all need to spend time making something. Making something can help you save more money, and it can be fun, too.
This is easy to see in your kitchen. Making meals in your kitchen can help you save money. You can select economical ingredients, shop with coupons, and make the most with what ingredients you have. Figuring out what to do with leftovers can stretch your creativity and your budget.
Making meals in advance can save you money, as well as making your own seasoning mixes and household cleaners. It feels good to control the ingredients in the things you consume. It feels good to use environmentally-friendly containers instead of disposable options.
Many crafters would argue that crafting is not a frugal hobby, but I would argue that there are some aspects of it that are. Crafting draws out your creativity and develops skills that help you solve problems in other areas of your life. It allows you to look at an empty bottle and turn it into home decor. When a button falls off a sweater, it allows you to sew it back on with ease. It allows you to look at something old and worn out and give it new life. Those skills will help you save money.
Taking the time to create can also boost your confidence. I was reminded of this as I worked my way through The Botanical Hand Lettering Workbook.
This excellent guide by Bethany Robertson teaches you how to create pretty hand-drawn letters and flowers. It was easy to follow even though I don’t think of myself as an artist, and I loved how Robertson gave plenty of room for practice, recommendations for tools to use, and ideas for what to do with your projects. I realized that with just a little bit of time and practice, I could turn what I learned from the book into decor for my home and handmade greeting cards. Making my own greeting cards is sure to be a money-saver, and thanks to the practice, I’m excited to try more projects.
Making something also allows you to create something unique. I was inspired to try loom knitting this past year, and was thrilled to be able to say I made myself a new winter hat. I combined a coupon with a sale to get the yarn for cheap, and the knitting looms were a gift.
In just a few hours, I was able to make something useful that won’t get mixed up with all the other hats in the closet. It feels pretty good to know that I can make something to keep myself warm in the cold winter months. It feels good to know that I could create a unique gift for someone without spending a ton of cash.
Even the simplest of hobbies can help you get creative about saving money. For example, I’ve been really into coloring lately, and received a fabulous coloring calendar for Christmas. Each day I spend a little bit of time coloring. It helps me relax and focus on what I’ll need to get done that day. It also helps get my brain in the mindset for planning. Selecting a color palette and figuring out what parts to color gets my brain thinking about planning and organization. It helps me to think about how I can be more efficient.
Making something can also lead you to make connections. We can reach out to a family member or friend for a new recipe to try. We can make a new friend with the person sitting next to us at a quilting class. We can learn from others who are making things or we can help others when we teach what we have learned.
Making something does take time, and sometimes it doesn’t save you any money. But what it really does is provide you with an opportunity to learn new skills and build your confidence. That knowledge and confidence will help you to find ways to save time and money in the future.
Now go make something.
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