Friday, August 26, 2016

Going on a No-Spend and Loving It

"You can buy happiness...for a little while."
-unknown craft stores...the mall...major hauls on YouTube...the shopping's all got to stop. Why? Because Christmas is around the corner. I don't really need anything. I've seen too many episodes of Tiny House Nation. And unless it's a Christmas present it's time to go on a good old-fashioned no-spend. And it doesn't have to be painful either. Just think M-O-N-E-Y.

Recently I really wanted some cute new little zipper bags. Then I realized, it was a great opportunity to make it myself! I have a fabric stash, I had some zippers, and I'm rubbish at sewing them. So I found a great tutorial on YouTube, and I was in business. These could even be cute gifts. AND...YouTube is good for a lot more than pining away after other people's hauls!

If you've been on my blog, you know I make fabric Midori traveler's style notebooks all the time. And I use what I make. But recently I really was pining away after a gorgeous leather Midori I saw in an Etsy shop. I came very close to putting that $70 or $80 on my credit card. But then I looked around my stash for some leather. It came in the form of an old, falling-apart Coach bag from the 1980's. Enough leather in this bag for two Midori's! (one can be sold or be a gift) See? It came down to, do I want to owe or do I want to upcycle!

Click here to see how I upcycled an old bag into a fabulous Midori Traveler's Notebook

"Values are more important than valuables."

The most expensive notebook I have ever bought.

These little accordian notebooks are fun to make from 12X12 patterned paper.
Of course, you know that anytime you buy something you should always ask yourself if you need it. (Groceries and things like that are kind of excluded here. But I do make my grocery list around what's on sale.) Recently I bought this gorgeous pink notebook for myself because it's back to school time, I'm busy, and I needed and wanted a fun to-do listy book. I'm a paper kinda girl. And I saw what I wanted in a bookstore. I thought twice about it. I thought three times about it. And I knew if I walked away I'd keep thinking about it and wish I had it. So I got it. And really, it wasn't that expensive, but still I've never spent more than a couple of bucks on a notebook. It was before my no-spend. I really enjoy it. Will I want more fun paper things? Yes. But for now, I'll look at what I have and what I can make while I'm on my no-spend.

Zuchinni noodles saute
Crockpot Swiss Steak Stew
Bet you weren't expecting that question having anything to do with a no-spend. Maybe your no-spend has to center around eating out and the huge amount of money that costs. That's why it's good to keep your pantry stocked, and much cheaper, and yet feed yourself well. You'll feel good and be more creative about how you spend your time, and not your money. Also, do things, like utilize your crockpot and let it have dinner ready for you!

Click here for my Crockpot Swiss Steak Stew

A local vintage shop I LOVE
You can say "yes" to shopping and "no" to buying. Here's the secret. Think of it as research. While you're shopping, and you see things you really want, or maybe want to purchase at some point as a gift, make a list and write down what the item is, where you saw it, and the price. Maybe the next time you go back, the price will change and it will be on sale! Another idea, keep your phone in your hand while you shop, and take a photo of a display that you are loving. Sometimes the whole reason we impulse buy is because of the way something is displayed and how gorgeous it looks. Then, you get it home later, and you're not really that thrilled with it. Take a photo though, and you can enjoy looking at that pretty anytime you want.

Also...go shopping places to just get out and enjoy the atmosphere!
A local shop that has a lot of aquariums.
Outdoor festivals don't need to cost a lot!
And a bonus tip: take very limited funds with you! Don't carry a bag full of credit cards and cash. Then you can't spend!

"Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abudance."

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

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