I’m still on vacation so Tara Gentile of scoutie girl is guest blogging today about mindful spending and indie living. – jen
By guest contributor Tara Gentile
One of the ways our “indie” way of living is defined is by how we choose to spend our money. We strive to be more mindful of our spending, more in tune with sustainability, conservation, and originality. Our dollars vote for independence over being tethered to commercialism, for innovation over status quo.
Sure, you love to buy handmade. You scope out the thrift store on a weekly basis. You’re the queen of the yard sale and consider how each item might look with a new coat of paint.
But how else might you spend more mindfully? How else can your dollar be used to vote for quality over quantity, craftsmanship over commercialism, and higher standards of living for makers everywhere?
- Impersonal Luxuries – think cable, new cars, a big house, faster this, shinier that. They are the things that society tells us we have to have, that we really should want. But they’re not the things that makes us insanely happy (if they are, by all means, go for it!). Consider spending your money on things that do make you happy or more relaxed or more independent. In my family, its dinners out, expensive cupcakes, Phillies tickets, and coffee. These might not be your luxuries but these are the things that keep us going!
- Supplying Your Creativity – examining where your supplies – the wire, the beads, the yarn, the fabric – come from might lead to some surprising realizations. If you create a necklace made entirely from mass-produced parts, you’re supporting one artist only: yourself. If you create a necklace that incorporates other handmade or sustainably produced parts, you support a supply chain of makers.
- Time – can you buy time? You bet. One way you can improve your quality of life is using extra dollars to pay someone else to mow your lawn, clean your house, or do other things that keep you from doing the things you love. You pay them for their passion & attention to detail so that you can live more passionately. When you pay for “luxury” services like this, I truly believe it starts to pay for itself. You concentrate better at work, making that quarterly bonus. You have more time to make a delicious dinner instead of eating out. You have more energy to go to the park or beach on the weekend instead of paying to see a movie.
- Gifts – it might be cliche, but sometimes it’s better not to give a gift at all. If you’re out of time, out of money, or otherwise unable to get a special gift for someone you love, I think it’s much better to leave your cash in your wallet. I have wasted so much money over the years on unwanted gifts. Genuinely and mindfully spending your time with a loved one is so much more appreciated than an unwanted gift that takes up space.
Mindful spending is about making choices with your money independently of what others do or tell you to do. Think outside-the-box with your money and you’re bound to make another indie chick’s way of life better down the line!
Above: My own choice for a handmade wallet that reminds you to be mindful about your dollars! This wallet isn’t cheap. But it’s beautiful, exceptionally functional, and freakishly well made. Find it at Moop.
About the contributor: Tara Gentile is the editor of scoutie girl – the blog with a penchant for the passionately handmade – and the editor & founder of handmade in pa. subscribe to *the weekly dig* – a brand-new e-newsletter featuring deals, events, & news from the world of indie brought to you by scoutie girl.