5 things to do when your wallet gets thin

you may remember reading a little while back that chris was officially unemployed. things aren't too much better on the job front, and this time of year it's difficult trying to start your own business in the architecture field. BUT, i'm not complaining; we have a house, vehicles, food and each other, so that makes us very rich. life changes, and you have to be open to seeing what's next! so, living on a small fraction of what we used to has its challenges, and while i'm not an attack-everything-head-on-kick-asses-and-take-names kind of person, i still think you can get creative when a challenge presents itself. so, here are my top five ways to have fun when your wallet gets thin...

1. it's always fun to get new clothes, right? well, if new clothes aren't in your budget, try wearing old things in completely new ways (i find that other blogs can be VERY inspirational), or try doing a little alteration! this vintage dress has been in my closet for years, but i've only worn it once. it originally came to about the middle of my calves, and if you know how short i am, you know that that length isn't flattering. so, in less than an hour, i'd cut, ironed, pinned and hemmed it to make myself a new dress for fall! (dress-vintage, cardigan - gift from chris, slouch boots - vintage)

2. utilize the barter system. in the time i've been selling on etsy, i've done some amazing trades with other sellers, and i've also done trades with artists and designers in person. most crafty people like to support other crafty people, and trading is a fun way to get something new without having to spend extra money. shy like me and a little nervous about asking people to trade? here's a site that takes the awkwardness out of asking.

3. make things with items you have around the house. something i made years ago (and need to make more of) was an air freshener that was neat to look at. it's super simple, just get an orange and poke whole cloves into it, completely covering it. the orange will dry and it will leave your house smelling AMAZING! and they're nice to look at, so you can make a few and set them in a decorative bowl on your coffee table!

4. redecorate your house. before chris and i moved into this house (and we had lots more clutter because i was well on my way to being a hoarder), he would come home from work and ask, "what did you change today?" you don't have to buy anything new, but move lamps, books, knick knacks, etc. from room to room until you have a completely new look with no money. but if you have a few dollars to spend, anything can be given a facelift with spray paint!

5. have friends over for dinner and a movie or game night. if you have an appetite like i do, eating out can get expensive. why not invite friends over and tell them each to bring one dish? that way it costs less, plus it's easier to cook one dish than an entire meal! and the best part, staying in means you get to wear sweatpants!

if you have ideas on ways to have fun or be creative without spending much money, i'd love to know!


  1. what great ideas...and your dress is perfect!


  2. This is a wonderful post! Thanks for the lovely ideas!!

  3. you're adorable, love the outfit!
    we're pretty much in the same financial boat so i loved reading this.
    i think i rearrange my house just about every day!

    i had a dream about you last night... and we hated each other. weird!


  4. Love this post!! I am bartering with some friends in a couple of weeks. :) XO!

  5. You look beautiful! One thing that I have done is a clothing swap with a friend who is the same size and we like the same things. I got rid of some things that I liked but wasn't wearing and got some new to me things to freshen up my wardrobe.

  6. kassi, i love your house and the things in it! and no we can't hate each other! that sounds like a terrible dream!

    kayce, i actually love the idea of a clothing swap! i've seen other bloggers who've swapped a certain item with another blogger, and then post pictures of the way they wear it, and it seems like fun!

  7. it was more than just hating each other... dan and i came to visit you in VA, you picked us up at the airport (we had no car) and once to your house you tried to kill us... dan and i couldn't get away since we didn't have a car and you were creepy. i woke up sad. so weird. aunt flow is coming soon so i think that's why i had the weird dream...

    i just did a clothing swap last week! we did it last year and it worked out great. we trade clothes once a month, return those clothes and then trade different ones so that our wardrobe is constantly changing. it's fun.


  8. fun ideas...I'm drooling over your cardigan! What a nice gift!

  9. I love game nights! It's one of the reasons we miss our old town because we don't have any friends here to play games with :(

    p.s. love that yellow cardigan.. your man did goooood, girl

  10. 1. love the clothing swap idea.
    2. that yellow cardigan is the perfect shade of sunshine.
    3. go on a mini vaca to your parents house or a friend that lives in another city. explore their parks etc.
    4. did the orange clove thing attract gnats in your house?

  11. Such a great post!
    We were kind of in the same predicament as you and Chris earlier this year, so I know exactly how you feel.
    Strangely, it makes you hang on for dear life to the things you do have...and when it's love, health and creativity...there's nothing better than that.
    You've inspired me so much today!
    (p.s. we can el swapo anytim-o ;)

  12. LOVE your sweater! the color is amazing.

    thanks for the tips. :)


  13. This is great, and after spending $1565 at the DMV last week, my wallet is most definitely thin! I'm grateful for the reminder to scan my closet for clothes that I don't wear and try to find new ways to wear them. And the older I get, the more I just wanna stay in and play board games. :)

  14. such great ideas. I have been switching up my old wardrobe and making it new !

  15. I love all of the ideas that you shared and think the swap site is a great idea. To your list I'd like to add "get outside!". A walk this time of year is one of my favourite things. I never really feel like going, but once I get out there I always enjoy it...and I make a point of leaving my wallet at home!

  16. these ideas are fabulous!

    something i've done before is having a "naked lady party" where a bunch of girls bring clothes, housewares, books, CD's, DVD's, makeup, etc.... and take turns choosing from the pile. it's kind of like shopping without money :). i did it with the girls in our home community and i didn't actually get a lot, but i brought SO much stuff that every time we go to our home community now i see something from my closet on someone new! it always makes me smile.

    another thing to do is check our a cultural pass from the library. not sure if they do this everywhere, but in portland you can check out passes to go the museums and such. pretty cool!

    good luck to chris with the business start-up! praying for you guys!


  17. good advice and i love the outfit ;)

  18. wow thanks for #2!! That's pretty awesome! :)
    that do I do when I have a thin wallet - read more! Take walks with the little one and find treasures! Go in my craft room and clean and find hidden wonderful old crafts!

  19. That cardigan is to DIE for! Where is that FROM!!! mustard is my favorite color EVER! i'm obsessed and I would pretty much wear that every single day. haha!

  20. i hate clothing swaps bc other people bring ugly things and then they get good stuff from me:(

    you are cute!
    i loved this post!


    weird dream Kassi
    Lauren- you got jipped

  21. carla, you inspire me every single day. and you're pretty much awesome.

    claire, you're not the only one who likes staying in. i hate having to get ready and wear real clothes to go out!

    lauren, that's the downside to living in the country...i don't have neighbors or a community! and all of my friends are bigger then me!

    becky, i've been reading A LOT lately (but i'm kind of a bookworm anyway), but i need to take more walks, especially since the weather is so nice!

    brandi, i wouldn't get rid of my clothes if i were you, because you always manage to find awesome stuff!

  22. #5- i can't wait to do that soon! :) and see you on our thrifting date this upcoming week cos this past week has been upside down for me :(

    you are so cuuute in your mustard long cardi!

  23. Last Christmas I had all my gifts swapped from other etsy sellers. Good ideas and I'm off to check out that site.


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