Over the weekend, I went to the Crafty Bastards craft fair here in D.C. I love this fair. Lots of fun, eclectic handmade items for sale. As always, I had to pick up some soaps from Biggs and Featherbelle, but I also picked up some gifts from The Broken Plate Pendant Company. It was so much fun to just wander and see what people had made.
Of course, this isn’t the place to find cheap deals. A lot of these crafters put quality materials into their products, and those aren’t cheap. They definitely deserve to make some money for their labor (and based on some of the prices, I’m not sure many of them were making much). But it’s a great way to find something unique for yourself or as a gift for someone else.
I love perusing etsy to see all the creative things people have made. I am not visually creative at all. Give me words or music anyday. I enjoy visual arts, but can’t make them. I can color inside the lines, but that’s about it.
However, if you are creative, maybe that’s a way to save money (or even make money, if you want to put your wares on etsy). Instead of buying, try making! As the mass retailers like to remind us, Christmas is coming. It’s a little early to hear holiday music in the stores, but not too early to start making gifts. After all, that takes time.
Or you can be like me and support the indie crafter and buy something unique as a gift. Lots of options.
Megan is a 40-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.