When you live month to month and have retired your credit card, sometimes you have to decide between getting paper towels or getting toilet bowl cleaner; face moisturizer or a fresh, non-rusty razor blade refill. There’s not a whole lot of wiggle room for extraneous purchases, so you either go without some things for a while, or get creative with the things you already have.
When the New Year crept closer and closer and my wall calendar was nearing obsoletion, I couldn’t fit a new one in the budget, so I opted for getting creative. Not creative in the sense that I busted out artisan craft-skills, special photos on oversized paper, rulers and markers. Heavens, no. I kept the previous year’s calendar with all its beautiful images, googled “monthly calendars for 2017,” printed out the free PDFs offered online, and taped them over the old months in my old calendar.
Of course it doesn’t look flawless. The 8 1/2 by 11 print-outs are a little small for the size of my old calendar, so last year’s grid pokes out a little around the edges. But it is well worth it to not have to either go calendarless, purchase a cheap $5 one with lame pictures, or eat only beans and rice for a month in substitution for a nice new one (although you can get pretty creative with the rice and beans). Plus, this way, I get to relive the 12 months of beautiful images again as well as the memories of my honeymoon whence came the calendar.
The silver lining to being broke is sometimes renewed experiences through the memories of something old. Sometimes it’s the satisfaction of kicking consumerism in the face by recycling and living within your means. In my case with the calendar, it was both. I hope those of you who are struggling with money can find a little inspiration to recycle some of your old stuff and that you receive renewed joy in the process.