Make saving fun: get a hobby!

There are plenty of hobbies that are expensive: video games, sailing, RV-ing, building model planes, particle acceleration, etc. Not entirely budget-friendly, no matter how much fun they are. (And usually the things that are the most fun are the costliest, aren’t they? Le sigh…)

Well, I started a hobby just over six years ago that has proven to be a very cost-effective one.

Knitting is pretty freaking great, if I may say so myself! I haven’t knit a sweater or any other kind of large wearable item yet, but I haven’t had to purchase a pair of gloves, a hat, or a scarf in years! Case and point:

hmprod

Scarf from H&M = $17.95

Yarn = about $7, but you can get cheaper yarn than this specific brand for as little as $3.

Needles = free, if you already own the pair; $3 or less, depending on the brand, if you need to buy new (but then you have them for future projects!)

Savings = at least $7.95… and this is a reasonably-priced scarf! Imagine the savings if you compare to this $65 infinity scarf (same type as the yellow one in my photo above, which cost less than $5 to make) or this $40 beret (similar to the purple one in my photo above, where I also have the purple finglerless gloves on)!

I wasn’t one of those people who was surrounded by crafts all the time. I knew my late grandmother knit, but had never witnessed it myself. I was so bad at using a sewing machine that when I had to take Home Economics in the 7th grade, I had to stay after school because my teacher said the pillow I was sewing was so bad that I would fail the project if I didn’t start over. I was never destined to be in fashion, that’s for damn sure.

But, in college I impulsively purchased some knitting needles, a book, and some yarn. To this day, I still don’t remember why in the world I chose knitting. I simply did. I tried to knit a simple square… and failed. I don’t remember exactly why I was so frustrated, but I was so pissed off after the first week or so that I crazily threw all of my newly-purchased knitting supplies under my bed, never to be seen again…

…until a couple of years later.

My now-fiance constantly held this over my head. “Oh, so you want to try [random new activity/hobby/thing]? Are you going to give up on it like you did with that knitting stuff??” (Obviously he knew early on in our relationship that I needed help with my impulsive purchases!) To shut him up, I dusted off my knitting stuff and tried again. Lo and behold… I did it. I knit a square and turned it into a fingerless glove. I knit another and had a pair. (I gave them to my fiance because they were too big on me, and he still has them to this day.) I knit a scarf… then donated it because it sucked… but knit another, and another. I knit more gloves. I knit hats and gloves and little purses for family members and friends. It was great, and it still is.

I’m now part of a knitting group where we go to bars, drink, chit-chat, and knit (though we do have plenty of members who crochet, cross-stitch, and do needlepoint, too!). I’m technically the co-founder, to boot, which is still strange to me. A hobby that I failed and gave up at six years ago is now something I’m leading? Man, oh, man.

Tip: find a fun hobby that saves you money, too. Maybe it’s canning, pickling, and/or fermenting home-made jams, jellies, sauerkraut, veggies, and fruit. Maybe it’s quilting. Maybe it’s re-finishing furniture that you find on the curb in your neighborhood. Maybe it’s brewing beer. If it saves you money (or earns some extra cash on the side), it’s a win-win.

Weekly Allowance: $60.00
Weekly Allowance Remaining: $60.00

J

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