Money Matters: How do you budget for sewing?

Look, I know money is a taboo subject… but it’s also a BIG part of our hobby! And I think it’s time we talk about it. 

money matters

No matter how you look at it, sewing costs money. Whether your sewing budget is big or small, I bet it’s never quite enough, is it? We’re all balancing our hobby with other costs of living or saving for the future. 

I view the money I spend on sewing as an investment in my happiness and mental health. That fabric I buy provides me hours of entertainment, a wearable wardrobe, and a sense of pride and fulfillment. On the other hand, times are tight and there are a lot of other ways I could be spending that money, so I have to get maximum benefit from the small amount I have to spend! 

Over the past 5 years, I’ve tried different kids of budgeting… When I lived in Japan, I pretty much spent as much as I wanted with no regrets. (Oh how I miss those days!) Then I had to majorly cut back, but still didn’t track my spending: If I really wanted it, and the price was reasonable, then I would buy it. For the last year or so I’ve been giving myself a weekly budget (the same amount my husband gets for for spending on his hobbies).  If I don’t spend my budget one week, I roll it over to the next week for a big fabric sale or ordering patterns. I don’t track it meticulously, but I do keep the budget in mind. Lately I’ve been wondering if it would make more sense to have a monthly budget – more on that in my next post! 

budget types.jpg

In truth, I’m not confident in financial literacy. I’m taking a teacher-training course right now about how to effectively teach math, and it’s all about real-life problem solving… Such a shame then, that absolutely NOTHING in school every taught me to manage my money!

We do just fine, but I always feel like our money *should* go further. I’ve tried various programs for household budgeting, like You Need A Budget (YNAB) and Mint.com… both of which are excellent! The problem is, trying to control money tightly makes me panic be no fun to live with. (Jamie is not interested in budgeting either, so if I don’t do it, no one does!) Instead, I try to check in with our overall spending every paycheck, but not obsess over money in the meantime. 

So, ‘fess up: How do you budget for sewing? Weekly, monthly, or not at all? How does your sewing budget tie into your household budget? Do you like to have a plan and control everything, or do you just make reasonable choices and hope for the best? 


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