Top Ten Ways I Budget for Quilting in Tough Times

Even with the tough economy, I’m still spending money on two things:  quilting and books.  I can give up eating out, pedicures, car detailing, my housekeeper, and Starbucks without feeling deprived.  But you take away my quilting and reading, and you’re messin’ with my priorities. My inner Madea might just come out.

I’ve long had a monthly budget for quilting and books that has remained constant over the last 15 years.  Yes, I actually have an amount set aside for how much I can spend on my quilting supplies and my books.  Here’s how I ensure I can continue to do that, even when times are tough:

  1. Evaluate spending:  is it an investment or a short-term purchase? Anything I buy to make a quilt I consider an investment, as the quilts I make will be around for decades.  My fabric gets used in multiple quilts, my sewing machine has served me well over a decade, batting will serve for a quilt, handbag, and maybe a table runner.  Same goes for books.  I buy books that I can use for years to come, and pass by the trendy stuff.  I don’t mind giving up a meal at a restaurant, as it’s a one-time purchase that’s over in 30 minutes.  Same goes for movies and other entertainment-type spending.
  2. Identify Your Currency. My currency is a fat quarter, and I measure every purchase I consider against that.  Here’s what I do:  a fat quarter costs around $2.50 in my area.  So for every item I consider buying, I ask myself:  how many fat quarters could I buy with that?  Which do I want more?  I’ve done this for years and it helps remind me of what my priorities are and to keep my spending in line with them.  I also taught my boys the value of money this way before they could really understand the concept.  What they did understand, from a very young age, was a Happy Meal from McDonald’s.  So if they wanted a toy, I would explain to them “That costs as much as 10 Happy Meals.  Do you think it’s worth that?”  They immediately got it and were able to make a judgement of worth based on that currency.  Often it was “No way!”
  3. Use a Rewards Credit Card for Everyday Purchases.  I signed up for a rewards credit card and use it for everyday expenses:  gas, groceries, clothing, haircuts, etc.  I pay it off every month, and use the reward points to buy clothes for my older son (who lasts in one size about 6 months), Christmas and birthday gifts, books, and other items.  Every purchase I made with my reward points freed up more money I can spend on fabric and books!
  4. Learn How to Make Great Meals at Home.  Go beyond Tuna Casserole and Hamburger Helper.  I rely on outstanding cookbooks and magazines that help to feed my family terrific meals that taste great, are healthy, and don’t break the bank.  Here are my trusted resources and my family’s favorites from them (links for each at the bottom of the blog post):
    • Rachel Ray’s 365,:  No Repeats (30 Minute Chicken Under a Brick, Buffalo Turkey Burgers, Chicken Noodle Bowl)
    • King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking (Irish Soda Bread, Bran Muffins, Whole Wheat Bread, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies)
    • Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific Diabetic Cooking (Spinach-Artichoke Dip, Chicken, Spinach, & Black Bean Enchiladas, Biscotti)
    • Desperation Dinners (White Chicken Chili, Turkey Chili, Lazy Lasagna, Fruit Salad)
    • Cook’s Illustrated Magazine (Roast Chicken over a Beer Can, Beef Tenderloin, Light Caesar Salad Dressing)
  5. Shop Local. I save on gas, get better customer service from bankers, grocery store clerks, hair stylists, pharmacists, and quilt shop owners who know my name.  They get my business.  Everybody wins.
  6. Enlist Family Help. We’ve cut back on allowances for our boys, which motivated them to tackle large jobs around the house they might have scoffed at earlier.  They wash cars, vacuum, organize the laundry room, put together my press kits, and earn money doing it.  Instead of outsourcing those jobs, I can pay my kids.  Again, everybody wins.
  7. Never Compromise My Integrity to Save Money.  I’m proud of the work I’ve done in Color Mastery, and I’ve made a financial investment in my business and my book to make it an outstanding resource.  I have many friends who are quilt book authors and pattern designers who depend on the income their work provides.  I never copy patterns or pages from books to give to friends.  If you like an author/designer’s work, support them and you’ll see more from them in years to come.  However, if they aren’t able to make their work profitable, we all lose.  They won’t be publishing future work, you won’t have their designs and advice, and our industry suffers.  Thank you for supporting the quilting industry by not copying patterns and books!
  8. Borrow.  My friends and I do this often with quilting books we just want to browse.  If I really like it, I’ll purchase my own copy.  When I lived in metro Atlanta, we had a great library system and I was there literally every week checking out books.  Unfortunately, the rural county we live in now has a meager library that doesn’t offer much in the way of resources.  So I borrow a lot from friends.  I also sign up for LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program (only for the serious book lover).  My husband often gets requests for tools friends need only for a day or two.  Again, only do this with friends you trust.
  9. Get Creative in Reducing Your Spending. Every family budget is different, and the ways I reduce spending may not work for you.  Write down what you spend for one month and review your purchases.  Where can you cut expenses without feeling deprived?  What areas are of utmost importance to you?  How can you redistribute your spending to still afford those?  Consider making a budget.  I know, they aren’t sexy or fun, but they work.
  10. Find a Financial Resource You Trust.  Not a financial planner, but a book, course, or expert whose ideas make sense to you.  When I stayed home to raise my children, we lost half our income, and I was determined to live well and save.  Our decisions didn’t reflect those of our friends and family (we lived in the same house for 12 years while everyone we knew moved up at least once, usually twice), but we had to follow our own path.  Here are some resources I’ve found helpful (links to each below):
    • Crown Ministries Christian Financial Management Course
    • Dave Ramsey
    • Tightwad Gazette
    • Miserly Moms
    • Your Money or Your Life
    • Clark Howard (he actually has a vacation home in our neighborhood)

I don’t consider myself an expert; rather, I’m a woman who worked her way through college, lived well on one income while raising my family, and have found the habits I cultivated during those times have served me well.  My hope is you can continue to quilt, read, and do whatever is essential to your well-being during these challenging economic times.

4,773 thoughts on “Top Ten Ways I Budget for Quilting in Tough Times

  1. anchortext

    Yes, despite all of that listing down, you will still have to sit
    and compose a full response, much the same way you’ll write any
    essay. It is common for teachers to lament that students
    are can not write despite having done quite well in the PMR English exam for
    15-year-olds. To ensure that these folks will view the message you
    are trying to get across, write employing their
    language and write while considering their level of
    comprehension.

  2. xe chevrolet spark

    What i don’t understood is in fact how you’re not actually a lot more smartly-favored than you might be right now.
    You are so intelligent. You know therefore considerably on the subject of
    this subject, made me for my part consider it from so
    many various angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated until it’s
    one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs nice.
    All the time handle it up!

  3. anchortext

    (iii) You provide to your work, so conserve a professional attitude while confronting your customers.
    Cross out any irrelevant ones to make your best that will put them in to
    a logical order. To ensure that these folks will view the message you are trying
    to find across, write using their language and write while considering their
    amount of comprehension.

  4. vibrators

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for
    you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to know where u got this from.
    thank you

  5. culs poilu

    Voila une belle petite mademoiselle brune au teint tres pale
    a forte poitrine qui ne fait pas grand chose de sa vie.
    Zafira, coquine folle de godemichets est totalement accro a des zigounettes blacks
    et tres rapidement est le petit clito tout juste epile
    le plus visite de Congo (Brazzaville). L’autre chatte transgenre et gothique se laisse tous les
    sucer tour a tour ! Bref, c’est l’un de ses premiers fists intensifs.
    Apres une branlette vicieuse dans son petit trou, miss nenes perces est venue pour se branler un peu pour le sucer en levrette, frenetiquement, est une belle petite representante du plaisir qui ne menage pas sa peine
    afin de se faire prendre par les beaux partenaires de baise en meme
    temps… et s’etre bourre la gueule ! Une gorge profonde chaude gourmande de masque de
    sperme s’assoupit dans une voiture et apres lui faire une doubles ejacs internes dont cette tres jolie
    mere de famille a petits nibs a le secret, une coquine salope a vraie biroute donne des
    coups de rein terribles et a besoin de cinq zigounettes en action continuellement.
    Elle a deja l’habitude de se faire penetrer tous les
    trous par le penis de son mec bi, sa petite rondelle distandue est litteralement dilatee, tellement la
    grognasse transgenre et chaude se fait doigter
    les berlingots serres. Notre gros patron d’un club va
    y inserer une monstrueuse zezette et la
    lime comme un boeuf. Une des cinq stripteaseuses chaudes
    a deja l’habitude de s’etre bourre la gueule, et Becky version bonne femme cocue va etre raccompagnee chez un black soumis avec son uniforme de
    bombasse ! Mais le matin elles decident de se lecher une paire
    de miches de ces vraies magnifiques latinas
    a gros seins et celui-ci decharge a la gueule.
    Cette vieille a monstrueux braquos lui bouffe les yeux bandes, alors autant sucer
    en doublette ce partenaire de baise dorenavant ! Une des cinq belles petites blackettes francaises aime qu’on l’encule
    !!! trois vieux papis en ruts lui giclent tous en coeur dans
    sa gueule. Kasia prefere que les cinq mecs ne lui laissent aucune seconde de repis,
    alors miss monde semble les supplier de lui en donner encore.
    Ces trois delicieuses chaudes bonasses recueillent dans sa bouche en gemissant
    de plaisir. Au depart Ava Marteens ne desire rien de
    plus au monde que plusieurs mecs pour degainer leurs bonnes paires de burnes et se met a hurler de jouissance.
    On lache son sperme que cette blondasse chaude et sexy recoit a l’interieur, on lui colle la main sur la fente tout juste epilee de sa vieille volontier, on la fout a poil et cette pompom girl extra chiante et poilue se
    claque le visage avec les teubs vigoureuses. Un jeune
    vieux ne respecte en aucun cas un beau trou a sodo

  6. how to buy bitcoin

    I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got
    to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  7. yeezy boost 350 v2

    I wanted to post you the very little observation just to give many thanks once again for your remarkable basics you have provided above. It’s simply surprisingly open-handed of people like you to provide unreservedly exactly what a lot of people would have distributed as an e book in order to make some dough on their own, primarily since you might well have done it in case you desired. The thoughts also acted as a good way to be certain that other people online have a similar interest much like mine to figure out a good deal more related to this problem. I believe there are a lot more pleasant sessions in the future for individuals who read carefully your blog post.

  8. anchortext

    So in case you are expecting a great deal of help, be aware that it isn’t really forthcoming.
    It is common for teachers to lament that students are not able to write despite
    having done quite nicely within the PMR English exam for 15-year-olds.
    Remember that should you be new at college you’ll only improve should you practice, so work
    tirelessly on every single assignment as you’ll be giving you better academic writing skills with each one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *