Pocket Lint: The Story Of A Writer’s Wallet

My kid’s will do just about anything to earn a dollar for their bank as they raise money for this or that. They even bargain for more than a chore is worth, just to up their profits. Even emptying out my car console change  becomes fair game when they are looking to buy a new toy.

Why are they so driven? Because they want that toy more than anything! They even pool money together to buy it sooner.

We could learn a thing or two from our kids. Writing, as my husband says, “Is a very expensive hobby.” Until that first contract an author often spends on conferences, retreats and contests all out of their own pocket.

What if your pocket is full of lint? There isn’t always money for the things that develop us as writers, so how do we make enough to afford it?

Careful planning. The only way to have money for conferences on a tight budget is to plan ahead and make necessary sacrifices to raise the money.

Tips To Attend A Conference Despite Pocket Lint:

1. Prayer. Pray that God gives you wisdom about what conferences or retreats are important for your growth as a writer. You can’t go to everything, so prayerfully consider where God wants you to go.

2. Select the Conferences/Retreats/Contests. After praying about it decide in January where you are planning to go for the year. Write these events on a calendar or paper in your work space.

3. Set A Budget. Determine the amount of money needed for each event. Post it with a dollar chart. For example, if the conference costs $500, then post a rectangle for each $50 and color it in when you have saved that much. Prioritize in order of importance, so you don’t spend on all the little things and miss out on the most important if you don’t quite reach your goals

4. Determine Monthly Requirement. Determine how much money you need for each month to reach your goal in time to attend the conferences you have in mind.

5. Plan to Cut Spending. Once you have figured out how much you need to raise a month to reach your goal. Look for places in your budget to cut spending. One possibility is to eat out one meal less, or buy generics, cut down on splurge buying, plan a cheaper meal than you often plan a few times a week, etc. There are a plethora of places to cut spending. Realize that this is the most likely way to save the money.

6. Plan to Raise Money. Look for extra ways to earn a bit of cash. Collect cans. Ask family to give you money for your birthday and Christmas to put toward your writing retreats, instead of gifts. My hubby loves this! No more trying to figure out what I want. Pick up extra hours at work if that is an option.

Life doesn’t always make budgeting simple, but even on a pocket lint budget, you could do something for your writing career. It may not be a big conference the first year, or maybe it is, but careful planning will get you where you want to go in time.

How do you save money to do things that are important to you?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

2 thoughts on “Pocket Lint: The Story Of A Writer’s Wallet

  1. Love your suggestions! I try to pick up work with our local school district in the summer, doing pottery projects with the kids. That’s the way I paid for my DT retreat and for ACFW in September.

  2. Michelle Lim says:

    Great strategy, Pat. Summer work is something that can supplement your income and still be fun.

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