We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs. ~Gloria Steinem
2014 was not my year. I had a stroke, heart attack, cancer and needed an emergency blood transfusion. I racked up a ton of medical debt despite having health insurance. I can't change the situation, I can just learn to live with it. I received some financial aid from the Hospital, but not nearly enough. My initial reaction to the debt was to get back to work full time as soon as I could. I think that is a normal reaction for most folks when faced with large medical debt. I was back working 40 hours a week between two part time jobs, but soon enough I realized that my body wasn't ready. I still needed naps throughout the day. I had to take my health seriously, which meant having the flexibility to take naps when needed and to go to the gym on a regular basis. What 2014 taught me was that my life is short and good health is not to be taken for granted, you must work to maintain it. First I left one job, but then realized in December that I needed to leave my second job. At first I though of myself as unemployed, but that is the wrong attitutde. I am a freelance designer, full-time blogger, content marketer, teacher and artist. I am actually now busier than ever, but have the flexibility I need. I know this would make many people freak with anxiety, but I am having a good time. I know I could sell my car and wipe out much of my debt, but honestly, I really like my car and don't want to sell it. I'd rather do what I am doing and live as frugally as possible off of my savings while I build up my business.
Despite my mountain of debt, I have other financial goals, like taking a vacation. I haven't had a vacation in 3 years, so I figure I am due to have one. That means saving what bits at the end of the day, week and month that I can. In comes the Piggy Bank or Coin Box! I was at a vintage antiques store, and saw many cute ones, but then figured, you are on a frugal budget girl, do you want that vacation?! If so, then make your own piggy bank! So like any self respecting crafter, I took stock of my craft supplies and then looked on Pinterest for inspiration. Here are a few of the pins I found. I really loved the Perler bead coin box. It is so customizable, so yesterday I set out to make myself one. I had a small stash of red, white and grey perler beads. Perfect for a Valentine themed box! Okay, cool. Well, uh, I will admit that this is a rather time consuming and slightly fussy project. I thought I could bang it out in a few hours. But it actually took me the better part of an afternoon.
Parts of it snapped together perfectly while other bits are still slightly wobbly. I like my crafts to be perfect! So I fiddled and faded with it until I got it to click together. Still not totally satisfied. But I posted my charts further below and go to the Pinterest file to find the original pattern, as it has clear directions on how to create the dovetail joints.
Frugal living simply means living fully on less. Less money, less stuff. To me it means fun challenge and less stuff to dust and care for. I will be bringing you more frugal living blog posts throughout the year with an emphasis on knitting, stitching and upcycle / recycle crafts.
PS: use your craft store coupons to get the best deals on perler beads or look for them the next time you are at Ikea. They sell them for less in large bottles over in the kids section.