Creative Living on an Extreme Budget

Creative Living On An Extreme Budget

So, you’ve decided to follow your star. You’ve made some changes, but all of a sudden you feel overwhelmed by all the choices laid out before you. You long to live as creatively as you can, but you’re broke and have no idea where to start. That’s where I come in.

All of the content here on this site is free with some affiliate links, and will remain so as long as possible. All of the content on the YouTube Channels is free, though there may be some ads or sponsored videos. My goal here is to help writers and other creatives build their practice into one that is sustainable, healthy, and satisfying. I am developing a segment on creative living and writing on the writer’s homestead You Tube channel called Cat Tale Acres. This playlist will be called Chasing the Muses.

You need nothing but materials, something to view it with and something to write with.

When I first decided to pursue my writing seriously, I was a lunchlady, which was lovely, but I needed a change. I knew, finally, what I wanted to be I finally knew that there was no running from being a writer. (More on that later…) I funded my education entirely on grants and student loans. Yes, I was lucky enough to have a supportive husband to lean on. That said, we didn’t have much. Often it was secondhand and thrift stores that I turned to for clothes and basic supplies. I bought my first good camera for school and used my school funds since it was for school. Same with my first good laptop. Those were my first materials. Before that, I had an old desktop (it still had a disk drive) that I used mostly for word processing. Before that I borrowed word processors, and before that, it was just my dad’s old ribbon typewriter. There were gaps, sure. Large gaps in time when I was unable to write in anything but longhand. For those years, I hit the back-to-school sales and bought the cheap notebooks, paper, and pens. I saved up anything the kids had left over from school that they didn’t want.

My point here is that if you want to create badly enough,  you will find a way.

It seems strange, but it is similar with crafting.

I’ve picked up odds and ends at garage sales and estate sales, sometimes saving up supplies for years before I could put them together for a project.

Some ideas for sourcing materials on an extreme budget:

Art Supplies/Paper/Notebooks:
  • Yard/garage sales
  • Dollar Stores
  • Recycling/backs of papers
Clothes/Cloth/Yarn, etc:
  • Yard/Estate sales
  • Thrift Shops
  • Upcycling/Sewing
  • Dollar Stores
  • Yard Sales
  • Nature
  • Kitchen

You may notice that many of these categories share sources. These are good sources because they often feature the items in question and they can have offers for pennies on the dollar. My main point here is that if you can’t buy something, sometimes you can make it. Sometimes, items can be traded for.

Bonus tip:

Put your intention out into the world. Let your tribe know what you love to do, and how you love to create and let them help you come up with ideas/ sources. Often when we express our love for creating with something there is someone else in our tribe who creates in a similar way. I once told a random person at a garage sale that I enjoyed making jewelry. They directed me to a sale they’d just come from. It turned out to be run by an elderly man who sold me his entire cabochon making kit along with several stones in process, for $12, and threw many extra pieces for free. The kit was easily worth $100, especially with the stones. Now, I still haven’t arrived at a place in my jewelry making where I can cut cabochons, but I am getting closer with each passing year, and when I need the tools, they will be there. He was also a font of information. I only wish I could have spent more time there listening.

I hope that some of this will provide inspiration to be as creative in the sourcing of your supplies as you are in creating your works.

What are some questions you have about creativity, writing, or homesteading?

I’d love for you to slide into the comments below this post and let me know if you have any requests or questions about creative writing, speculative fiction, or even my own writing process. Some of these will become blog posts here and some will become videos. For convenience and a shot at monetization I will post some of this on YouTube. Coming soon, however I will have unique content just for my Patreon folks.

Until next time my friends–be safe, be well, and we’ll see ya.








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