I’m 80% of the way to finishing a cardigan crocheted with the above pictured yarn and I am already thinking about buy new yarn for the next project. Thing is, I have at least two sweater-quantities of yarn in my stash and I am attempting to stay on my stash-busting track to use those before purchasing anything new. As I mentioned yesterday, I have the same goal for fabric – I simply do not need to stockpile anymore. And yet I still find myself perusing and pinning items that I would like to have, that I plan on making something with. I’m lucky this week that the Canadian dollar has taken such a significant tumble
I have to admit, probably the only thing which has held me back from buying new yarn or fabric this week is the collapsing Canadian dollar. which makes online purchasing way less attractive. As the prices on imported goods start to climb (and they will, it’s only a matter of time), all purchasing of non-necessities is going to look pretty unattractive…. (and that is the sound of a contracting Canadian economy, right there).
This is helpful to me at the moment, it really is, because one of my big focal points at the moment is to pay down the line of credit that we’ve racked up over the last two years with our land purchase and cabin building project. Going back to work full time has definitely been helping with that, but also since November I’ve been strictly budgeting myself (not counting the new violin purchase) each month using a program called You Need a Budget which my friend Emily introduced me to. Using this system, I set all spending allotments on the home computer, and then track incoming and outgoing money using a simple phone app which helps me notice what (junk) I am spending my money on as well as how much I have left in each of my budget line items. While I think the budgeting system has some flaws, it’s the best one I’ve found to date and I’ve found that I’m able to use it consistently which is the point.
I know I said that I wasn’t going to go on a tracking kick this year, but this is one of my concessions. Since using the app I have managed to pay off my credit card entirely and make a few decent payments onto the line of credit – which I wasn’t doing before, even at the same income level. YNAB is at least partially responsible for this shift – though I have to say that another aspect is that outside of fabric and yarn for making things, I have experienced a serious decline in my interest in stuff over the past few years. Not that I have ever been much for shopping, but I’ve become increasingly stressed by just owning things even if they come into my life for free.
This sounds hypocritical, coming from someone building a second dwelling structure (shared, but still, not a necessity by a long shot), but it’s not! (Or maybe it is, but hear me out). One thing that budgeting and thinking about consumption patterns has really helped me to think about (and I know my partner has similar feelings about this which is why we do so well together) is how and when I do like to spend money. While I absolutely *hate* purchasing clothing, I love doing a big, bulk grocery shop that ensures my family and friends will be able to eat well even if there is an emergency. I can’t stand household knick-knacks, but it’s imperative that I have enough dishes to feet thirty people at one sitting. That cabin is somewhat similar in that I will forgo a whole lot of mindless going out, driving around, purchasing new household items, etc – in order to create a space for people to gather outside of the city. It’s pretty much all I envision doing outside of making things – insuring that the space is there for friends to gather, rest, recharge and face the world again. And of course one can do that without owning property – but my dreams always include a place to which people add on as the years go by – their footsteps and photographs, the cracks and the scrapes which come along the way. That we come to know a place by all the people who dwell there and pass through over time.
I have been missing our land and our cabin all winter, since we are not built to a state where the cabin is usable and the winter has been somewhat cold and snowy (not to mention the fact our woodstove never did get installed in the spring). I’m hoping we will get up there as soon as March, even though work won’t begin again until we are firmly in the spring. This gives me at least three more months of payments before we start spending off the line of credit again…..