This weekend, I got to do one of my favorite things – go to an indie craft fair! This weekend was the Handmade Mart, a small but wonderful gathering of independent crafters.
I am always amazed at the creativity these artists display in their wares, be it clothing or jewelry or body products or art or any number of things. I’m always picking up cards from the vendors so that I can track down their websites later. It’s rare that I spend a bunch of money actually at the fair itself, but I bookmark websites and often end up ordering gifts for others from these artists.
I overheard people at the fair saying “This stuff is so pretty, but it’s so expensive. I could get something cheaper from <insert store name here>.”
Well, sure, you could, but it wouldn’t be as original, plus you would be supporting a big business as opposed to someone who perhaps works out of their kitchen or spare bedroom. Maybe that’s not something you consider. After all, saving money is important. But if I’m going to spend the money on a necklace for a friend, or a gift basket of soaps, I want it to be special and creative, and I’ve found that going to independent crafters is a great way to do that. I love to peruse Etsy, just to see what people are making. I’m always impressed by the creativity and dedication to the art.
While I like to save money, when I do spend money, I want to get something worthwhile for my money. I would rather spend $35 on a necklace for a friend and know that I got her something beautiful and carefully made than spend $20 on something mass produced and perhaps not as high quality. It is always a balance, of course, because I only have so much money to spend, but though I may get fewer items for my money by buying from indie crafters, I definitely get so much more for my money than I would otherwise.
(Don’t forget! I’m hosting the Carnival of Pecuniary Delights this Thursday, so be sure to get your submissions in!)
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.