Crafts for Poor People

It’s official.  I’m poor.

For those of you who tuned in to the Life List Club’s last Friday post, I had a little truth to tell regarding one of my life goals.  I desperately need to start saving money.  You can hear more about it at my guest post for our newest Life List Club contributor, Lara Schiffbauer, in Confessions of a Shopaholic.

With the New Year still looming over me and a reflective eye on my 2011 Life List, the shortcomings of my big plans were staring me square face in the eye.  The biggest barrier to making some of my dreams happen:  money.  So the first thing I did was make a new plan and commit to a visit with a personal banker.  I WILL also finish reading Women and Money.  I joined which lets me track the money I save from not buying every impulsive thought that crosses through my brain via text or tweet so I get a nifty graph that shows me what dollar amount I could place in *gasp* savings!

photo source:

But, I’m a visual learner, so with a little helpful advice from one of my favorite comedic actresses, Amy Sedaris, I took a cue from her latest book, Simple Times:  Crafts for Poor People.  Amy is full of ideas on what to do with used matchsticks and a jar of modge podge!  She’s really my kinda gal.

So in the spirit of Ms. Sedaris, I made myself a little chart, complete with gold stars, cause I’m traditional like that.  Please clap for my newest money saving technique: Jess’ $$ Saving Chart for Poor People!

     I’m aware the picture isn’t the greatest, but you can’t miss it’s childish stunning charm!

Simply put, I get a gold star whenever I:

  • Eat at Home
  • Don’t Spend Money at Work (and I work in retail)
  • Only Buy Coffee When I Am Writing for an Extended Time
  • DON’T Spend Money Frivolously
  • Enjoy Free Entertainment
  • Put $$ in Savings

At the bottom, I wrote down all my goals that required money to achieve:  Visiting South Korea, attending the DFW conference in Texas, visiting Yellowstone National Park, paying off student loans, and having back up for life emergencies (such as, oh I don’t know, getting into a four car pile up on the first big snowfall day – Thanks for nothing, Wisconsin!) 

So you see, my method of money saving may be childish and not even particularly pretty to look at, but so far, I’m liking it.  It’s doing it’s job, which is keeping me accountable.

And now that I’ve got my crafting feet wet, I’m ready to get started on a whole series of burned matchstick crafts which I will be handing out for Christmas this year!  Maybe I’ll auction one off on my blog!  If you’re lucky!  😉

Talk to me crafters!  Should I add rainbows to my money tracker sheet?  What about in the form a thermometer gage?  You know ROYGBIV your way to financial freedom?! 

How are you all spending less/saving more these days?  What are you saving for?

12 responses

  1. Brilliant chart, Jess! Keep us posted on your progress towards saving. I’m a save-a-holic, so I have to force myself to spend money on stuff I really need. Good problem to have. 🙂

    My one guilty pleasure that I am saving for is an iPad 3 (after they come out). I’ve been eyeing them for about 1.5 years, now. 🙂

    1. That’ll be cool to get. I was smart about my Christmas ask list. I asked for money to get two things: a kindle and cruise control on my car. I’m still saving up for them, but they’ll be so good to finally get.

  2. Cute chart, Jess. Anything that works for you is a good thing. How about sparkles and glitter? Glue on a few ‘gems’ and you’ll have a glam savings chart!
    I like that you’re taking action. When your income is not huge to begin with, you work a lot of hours and don’t really have as much time as you’s like to do the fun stuff, spending money can be a substitute. Depriving ourselves of stuff is tough whatever the reason.
    So kudos to you! Once you develop the habit, you’ll be golden!

    1. I hope you’re right. And it is feeling good to save. I’m finding ways to entertain for free and eating at home more. Next step is to buy better groceries…

  3. I’m not a crafter, but I definitely spend less…I can’t remember the last time I spent $$ on anything other than groceries and gas. Seriously. My favorite new grocery store is Aldi – it has almost everything you need without the name brand, therefore it’s even cheaper than Walmart by quite a bit. The produce is all picked up from local farmers too, so that’s even better!

    1. We have one in town that I haven’t gone to in years. I’ll have to hop over there again. Good idea, Tiffany!

  4. Hope this works for you, Jess. Even when you become a bestselling author making biiiig money, if you don’t watch the spending side, you can blow it all. Not that I’m a bestselling . . . but you already knew that.

    1. That’s right! You’ll have to autograph your book for me at the DFW conference!

  5. Eating at home and buying coffee out only occasionally are excellent money saving tips. You’d be surprised how quickly you drain your resources when you don’t do those two things. Good luck on meeting your goals, and you get a GOLD STAR for this post.

    1. LOL. Thanks for bonus star, Mark. Yah, the food thing is tough, I’m so last minute before heading to work I’m kind of the lean cuisine diet right now. It’s not exciting. And so many coworkers always run to the coffee shops and the food court, but like the cheapest meal at one of those places is over $6, and most put you in the range of $8-$10, which I think is ridiculous for the amount of food you get.

  6. […] on her blog because she’s pure and good clean fun. She blogs on anything from book reviews to Crafts for Poor People to wanting to hibernate all winter long. Plus she has like a bajillion subscribers. I don’t […]

  7. […] Save Money – I was amazed at how much money I could add to my savings after using my ridiculous star stickered chart to track when I didn’t spend money frivolously!  I was able to save up funds to ensure my […]

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