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Yarn Over Money: A Crafter’s Guide to Budgeting for your Hobby

As with everything else in life, we’re all looking for a way to save a few extra bucks. Personally, Mr. M. and I have recently decided we need to cut back and spend our money on more important things (like my student loans and our mortgage…yay…).

It’s a sad fact that yarn costs money. And while it seems like a daunting task, saving money when shopping for your crochet or knitting hobby is easier than you might think!

Here are my 5 tips for budgeting for your yarny hobby:

  1. Shop the sales. If you shop at big box stores (think Michaels and Jo-Ann’s), these places often have sales up to 50% off yarn! Check the websites for coupons and weekly deals.
  2. Skip the fancy yarns. Don’t get me wrong–that $24.00 hank of alpaca-silk blended yarn is gorgeous, but unless it’s a special occasion, you don’t need it, which brings me to my next tip…
  3. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it! This is perhaps the Hardest. Thing. Ever. But if you find yourself buying skeins of yarn you just don’t need or don’t have immediate plans for, then you don’t need to buy it. Try this: when you pick up a skein off of the shelf, ask yourself “Do I really need this? What project am I going to make with this?” If you have a good answer for either question, then put it in the basket! But if not, put it back on the shelf.
  4. Save your shopping for once a month. If you’re like me, you want to shop for yarn all the time! But buying just a couple skeins here and a couple skeins there really does add up–especially if you’re not buying during the sales (see tip #1)! If you go once a month (or once every couple months, if you can manage it), and you only buy what you know you’ll need, you’ll save yourself a lot of money (and a lot of yarn-buyer’s guilt).
  5. Remember that it’s okay to treat yourself once in a while. But don’t do it every time you shop. If you need a new hook, buy one! If you just need to have that silk blend yarn, go for it! But remember to ask yourself if you really need it. Keep the end goal (saving money) in mind whenever you shop, but don’t feel guilty if you buy something fun for yourself once in a while.

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