How creativity saves you money and improves your life

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Creativity? Saving money? You’re probably wondering how can these two topics possibly go together?

The internal saver/spender is a two headed beast. For me, I appreciate good design; it could be in the form of a beautiful garment, a household object, or a work of art. But in general, beauty can cost money. Money that I can’t afford to spend.

So, I try to create beauty. If I can’t make it, I try my best to alter or pair it with something to make it beautiful.

How can creativity help you earn money? On the topic of extra income, I found this blurb on Ramit’s blog interesting:

There’s a limit to how much you can save, but no limit to how much you can earn. Think about that — it’s far easier to earn $1,000 than to slash $1,000 from your budget.  And more fun.

I find most bloggers (even non-personal finance related) tend to focus upon spending less, meeting their budget, and cutting costs in their daily lives:  financial decisions that spur negative emotions… feeling guilty or feeling ‘poor.’

I agree that it’s much better to earn more than to save more, but I know it’s tough.  It’s much easier said than done.  We’re all busy with school, work, friends and family so who has the time to get an extra job or earn side income?

If you do have the time, however, and you feel you have some skill set in something you enjoy, then do it. Or even just learn something new. :)

I think its better to think about ‘creating something out of nothing.’  Or using creativity and skills to make something and mitigate those guilty feelings of overspending. 

I do have an Etsy shop and I’m happy to have the opportunity to earn extra income through it.  But it all started because I wanted to make something.

I started sewing as a hobby. I ended up with a pile of projects that I didn’t need, so I started selling them on Etsy. And the rest is history!

How can creativity help you save money? Through DIY! I know a lot of these things are old ideas, but maybe it’ll inspire you to change up your own your closet or home. :)

If you search through Pinterest with the keyword “DIY” or in the “Crafts” section, I’m sure you can find a project that will stir your creativity.

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Alterations are costly; as a petite person I know this very well. Learning how to sew by hand or machine can save you time and money if you have garments to fix, whether it be a hem to shorten or holes to mend. Clothing that is too large can be taken in. Items that are slightly damaged go on sale quite readily, and a good dye job or a snip with sharp scissors can completely transform them.

Or, if you’re feeling bold, try making clothing from scratch!

Accessories:
Broken jewelry can be refurbished into new pieces with some pliers or glue. Punch holes into a belt that’s too big using a cheap hole puncher from the hardware store (thanks to Jean for the tip!)

Decor:
“DIY” doesn’t only mean paper, fabric or glue. Pairing decorative items and furniture together is one of my favorite things to think (and obsess!) about. I love to move things around in my space, and when I can, I use items around the house for a new purpose. Best of all, it’s free. I currently have a vintage champagne bucket that holds my large kitchen utensils. A silver toast rack holds my unread mail.

Beauty:
I love having a fresh mani on my nails. Professional manicures are too expensive to get regularly, so I’ve practiced with nail polish and nail stamping kits to get nails that reflect what I’m feeling at the moment (see all my nail posts here!). I’m not too adventurous with face and eye makeup however, but I appreciate those that do. Youtube and blog gurus are inspirational and fun to watch… I watch new videos in my subscription box every day when I get ready. :)

Food:
We all know that cooking at home can save a lot of money compared to eating out. That’s especially true when cooking from scratch, since you’ll probably have leftovers. It takes time to find good recipes that you’ll want to repeat, but it will be worth it! (That’s what I’m trying to do… compiling a book of my favorite recipes.) Food tastes better when you put your heart and soul into it.

Gifts:
Now that it’s the holiday season, I couldn’t not talk about gifts! Gifts that are made by hand are so personal and thoughtful. Even putting together a gift basket of little treasured items is creativity in itself. “Kits” can be the best things to give. Two examples: Beauty kits filled with makeup, beautifully packaged recipe kits with dry ingredients and directions.

I love being creative. It’s a part of who I am and it enriches what I wear and the surroundings I live in.

Many people complain that they’re not a “very creative person.” I don’t think that’s true. We all have different tastes and views on what we think is beautiful. You just have to play around with what you have on hand to make that beauty real. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you want them to, and that’s okay. Skills can be learned, what may not work today can be thought up in a brand new way tomorrow.

If you’re fearful that trying to be more creative will waste your money in the end due to failed attempts at DIY, try buying items from the thrift store to alter. What I like to do is find items of clothing in larger sizes to use as base fabric for projects. (Here’s a recent clutch I made using a scrap of upholstery fabric:)

Aside from saving (or even earning) money through creativity, I honestly believe that making something with your hands really feeds the soul. I encourage you to try to create things as much as possible!

♥ E&I