A Note about This Feature: Why Wednesdays is a Move Eat Create weekly feature determined to turn the mid-week doldrums upside down and celebrate things I love to do and blog about. Currently, the focus is on creating and creativity.
Last week I talked about how creativity supports self-sufficiency. Today I’d like to take that a step further. I don’t know about all of you readers out there, but I will admit that I am a bit . . . thrifty these days. I wasn’t always. I used to spend money like mad. I didn’t have that money, exactly, but I had little pieces of plastic and it’s remarkable how many retailers you can trick into thinking that plastic = money.
Fast forward a few years and things are a bit . . . different. Without lamenting about all of my financial drama, let’s just say that I have learned some lessons. I am now a much more frugal individual. I buy what I need and sometimes what I want, but I spend thoughtfully and save wherever I can.
Connecting to my creative mind is such an ally to the new more prudent me. Let’s face it, life is costly. Eating well, enjoying various forms of entertainment, gift giving to those you care about, clothing one’s self appropriately, and paying for transportation to get through your days are just some of the ways in which just living can empty our pocketbooks. Throw in a recessed economy, the need to think about future financial security and inflation and you can get a pretty grim, dull picture if you’re not careful.
Now my picture has, too, been grim and dull at times, but creativity has been able to liven things up a bit. I’ve talked plenty on this blog about my love for running, knitting, and cooking – all endeavors that provide inexpensive entertainment – but it goes way beyond that. My creative brain is saving money on holiday gifting this year by churning out some handmade items. It frequently saves me money on transportation, by strategically planning shipping trips and errands in the most cost-effective way (Yes – successful strategic planning DOES take massive amounts of creative thinking); and it cuts my grocery bills by thinking about cost-effective ingredients in new, interesting ways. You get the idea.
Thinking imaginatively can open up a whole world of ways to make your life a bit more affordable. Mr. Move Eat Create and I were finally able to take a bit of a mini-break a few weeks to go visit his family in Michigan – something that seemed very out of reach financially. However, by creatively planning and playing with travel dates, accommodation options, and entertainment ideas, et cetera, we were able to make it happen.
As I’ve mentioned before, I work in social services. I can say, without hesitation, that some of the most creative people I have ever met are many of my clients – those living with little or no income. There is something about survival that necessitates creativity, but many of them have taken it even beyond just surviving. I have been amazingly impressed by the tactics, talents, and skills that many of my clients have drawn upon to put together gifts for their kids, for their friends, even for me. (Don’t worry – I’m not accepting gifts from my clients unethically! But, I’m also not rejecting a beautifully crafted handmade thank you card given to me with earnest appreciation and respect, either).
A wish that I have is that more of us would find and tap into our creative streaks in times beyond necessity. Do it when you’re struggling and need to be inventive to survive, but do it again later, too. Do it when you are beyond just surviving and when you’re your ready to manifest your ideas, try something different, plan out a helpful strategy, and save a few bucks!
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