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I’m an amateur quilter, and I just love it.
I’ve never been very artistic. I should not be allowed to pick paint colors for the house (learned this one the hard way). I just don’t have an eye for it. This is what friends are for, stepping in where you lack. Thank goodness.
But quilting is different. There’s a wonderful accidental quality about quilting—no matter what you do—it turns out beautiful.
Last week, I noticed that my fabric stash had gotten very thin. I like to have a good bit of material on hand so I can whip something together easily. Now, fabric isn’t cheap, you can easily pay $11 or $12 a yard. You can pay even more for specialty fabric. My favorite store averages $5 a yard, and they have a fantastic selection. So off I went.
Naturally, there was money in my Quilting Category!
I got to the store and found out they were having a HUGE sale. HUGE. Some of the fabric on sale was down to $1 a yard. I honestly can’t remember a time when they had a sale this big. I seized the moment and stocked up. I went a little bit crazy, I mean, I bought a TON of fabric. Polka dots, stripes, flowered prints, and everything in between. I could easily make a half dozen quilts with all my loot.
Naturally, this completely drained my Quilting Category.
As I was piling fabric upon fabric, filling up my cart, I kept thinking, “Oh man, this is going to be expensive.” But when I checked out, all I felt was joy.
Because my money was doing exactly what I intended for it to do. When I handed over my debit card—no kidding—there was a huge smile on my face. And I took just a moment and relished in how much I love my budget. Why?
Quilting is a hobby, something I really enjoy, and so I plan to spend money on quilting. I never have to feel guilty about it. Quilting is important to me and I budget accordingly.
So much so, that once I got home, and I remembered that there was a second location of this same fabric store in a nearby town, I decided to take things to the Next Level.
Oh, yes, I did. I moved some money around and I headed out to see how I’d fare at the second location.
This sale and the-crazy-rock-bottom-fabric-deals were suddenly more interesting to me than buying new clothes this month or eating out again. I can change my budget whenever my appetite for clearance fabric strikes! When the situation changes, when my priorities change, I just change my budget. Simple.
I was able to make changes and take advantage of the sale and never doubt whether or not I’d be able to meet my other financial obligations. That was never in doubt. My budget gives me clarity. Even in the haze of a second run, I never doubted that I was spending money I needed for something else. I knew my obligations were covered. My categories assured me that I could have this moment of fabric frenzy without a stitch of worry.
Remember, budgeting is not restrictive. You won’t be spending less, you’ll be spending right. You can do this! Today. Right now. What do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress. (Ok, so kind of a lot.)
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