Day 13 of the Spending Freeze Challenge – Hobby Spending

* A bit of blogkeeping – Yesterday’s race was great! After nearly a year of injury and rehab, I ran a half marathon in 2:19. Not my personal best, but nowhere near my personal worst either! I’ll be putting up a race report later today, so if you’re subscribing for the spending freeze emails, you’ll get to read a bit about my running too.

Also, thank you to reader Jill who shared this favorite busy week night dinner recipe – sounds delicious! 

Layer a micro-waveable platter/dish with favorite nacho chips.  Pile on baby spinach.  quickly drain 1 can organic black beans, put the beans on the spinach, I say quickly because a little bit of wetness is good.  Now  put on a layer of shredded Mexican or light cheddar cheese.  Microwave at 50% -this is really important , you don’t want hot heat.  Microwave slow at 50% for about 3 to 4 minutes. This heats the spinach without cooking it, gently warms the beans , melts the cheese just a little, everything stays fresh tasting.  Do not use high.

Serve with whatever you ‘d like. We prefer sour cream and salsa. My older boys put leftover or rotisserie chicken on theirs.*

Fresh from a half marathon, I’m tackling a topic that may be a bit touchy in your household – how much we spend on our hobbies. Now, depending on your personal spending freeze guidelines, perhaps hobby spending is not an issue. If you’ve managed to build a hobby in to a business (and you’re making serious cash selling your handcrafted materials on Etsy), then maybe your spending doesn’t qualify anymore. But for those of truly examining where we are with our spending, we have to take a good look at our hobbies.  Here’s what that looked like for me and my husband:

  • Eliminating spending on fitness. We agreed to keep our family YMCA membership going, but decided that we would not pay for any additional classes, workshops, equipment, etc.  No registering for future races either.
  • No shopping for knitting supplies. This one was just for me – Phil’s not much of a knitter, after all. I have a tendency to buy a pretty yarn well, because it’s pretty! Not because I have a certain project in mind for it. Cue huge pile of yarn in my closet and not a project starting in sight.
  • No spending on fantasy football. This one was just for Phil, as he had several leagues starting with friends and opted to minimize cost for joining.

Your list probably looks different from ours, but we all have a common theme in this journey – examining where and how we spend our money and determining what truly serves us and what does not. So, here are my suggestions for fostering your hobbies while also honoring your journey to lowering your spending:

  • Work on one project to completion. If you’re a crafty person, it may be tempting to start a quilt, a knitted blanket project and 27 crocheted Christmas gifts today. Why not focus in on one individual project and work on it until it’s done? We love to multi-task, but often get frustrated with ourselves for not finishing things. Make this the month that you wrap something up, beginning to end.
  • If fitness, racing or other competition-based goals are part of your household, take a moment to examine your motivation and your calendar. Is this a month you can cut back and enjoy active rest? Is there a season of the year that you can use to step back, cross train or just simply spend less?
  • Clean out your actual closets – maybe you had the best intentions of becoming a quilter or a woodworker, but you’ve learned that these hobbies are just not for you. Consider selling your unused materials or donating them to a worthy cause. My local craft store collects unwanted yarn to use in charity projects. I cleaned out my stash and donated a bunch. Doing the same might relieve you of the sense of failure that goes with not completing a project, while also helping someone else. And who doesn’t need more room in a closet?
  • Lead by example for your own children. Help them clean out their own toys and closets and donate unused items or craft supplies to help others.

How have you handled spending on your hobbies this month? I’d love to hear about your plans.

Day 12’s Post

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