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Creativity and Cutting Spending

by Sarah McMurray

Creativity and Cutting Spending

If you’ve gained clarity around your financial situation, and practised self-care, you will soon need to take action – the steps needed to increase the money coming in and slow the flow of money going out.

Before you do, it’s helpful to understand creativity as it relates to your money.

It’s not a step to take in its own right, but it is a guiding principle to follow while you are taking action.

When I talk about creativity with money, I mean:

  • making sure deep needs are met (while spending less or no money)
  • being open to considering alternatives

Meeting Needs

Even with drastically reduced income, you still deserve to have your needs met.

For example, food is a need we all have. If we only regard food as meeting the need for baseline nutrition, then prison food would suffice for us all – it’s nutritionally balanced, and it only costs $5.60 per person per day.

But food can be so much more than just fuel for our bodies. Food can also be:

  • an expression of love
  • an outlet for creativity
  • a reward
  • a way to express our culture and beliefs
  • a sensual experience of tastes, textures and temperatures
  • a way that we relax and spend our time
  • a key part of a celebration
  • something that helps keep boredom or uncomfortable emotions at bay
  • a habit
  • an important way that we connect and bond with others

If you are considering cutting your food costs, put some time into thinking about the needs that food meets for you. Then get creative – how could you meet those needs while spending less or no money?

Sometimes there’s no way to meet the need without spending the money. In that case, it comes down to knowing what your priorities are, and getting creative in other areas of your life.

Being Open to Considering Alternatives

When we’re happy with how things are, we tend to regard change as a bad thing .
But you may need to consider making significant lifestyle changes. Very few people would do this willingly . And you may not have to.

Just commit to being open to exploring the options. Curious about how each option would work in practice. Creative in seeing if there are ways for you to combine the best features of each option.

Clarity, Self-Care and Creativity. With those pieces in place, you’re ready to take effective action.

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