Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the latest social media sensation called Pinterest. It’s a big virtual bulletin board where users can post pictures of just about anything and group them into collections like, “Things I love,” “Books to Read,” and “Things I’m passionate about.” While I’m not on Pinterest personally, a friend asked me to check out her board. When I did, I discovered that this site is bigger than I’d imagined. People have posted pictures of almost anything and everything you can think of.
As I wound my way through some postings, I quickly realized that Pinterest can be used to gather and post ideas about all kinds of topics related to finance and frugal living. You can post your own ideas and tips for others, or just spend (literally) days trawling around and looking at the ideas and tips that others have posted. The search function means that if you’re looking for ideas related to, say, home storage solutions, you can find that. In just a brief visit through the site, here are some of the things I found related to finance and frugal living.
Plenty of people had posted their “want” or “dream” lists of things they want to buy or things they want to do. Post your own for inspiration or use it to track the items you discover you no longer really want after a while.
Recipes and Cooking Help
If you’re into food porn, there’s plenty to see. Many people have posted recipes, ideas for kids’ lunch boxes, presentation ideas, meal plans, links to their favorite cooking sites, BBQ ideas, and homemade versions of restaurant favorites.
Just about every kind of craft is represented and you can get some neat ideas for things to make for your own home.
Motivational Quotes and Pictures
Some people have posted collections of motivational quotes and pictures. Some relate to sports or business, while others are more general. Post your own words of wisdom for others.
Looking for ideas for repainting your living room? Installing new faucets? Building a new kitchen table? Just about any DIY project is represented here and you can get both help and ideas.
Looking for ideas on organizing your closet or home office? Getting the kids’ toys squared away? Plenty of people have posted their own solutions.
Books to Add to Your Library List
Some people keep lists of fiction. Others keep lists of non-fiction. Some even keep lists of books on finance and frugal living. Whatever your interest, someone is probably keeping a list of books you didn’t know about.
You can get ideas for promoting your existing business (some people keep pictures of business cards, brochures, freebie items, etc.), or you might find ideas for products or services that you can turn into a business. Or you can see what kinds of businesses other people are already running and start your own version.
Keep a list of the places you want to go. Or the places you’ve been. Look at how other people travel and pick up some cost cutting ideas. Get packing ideas. See attractions you might not have known existed. Look at luggage. If it’s travel related, you can probably find a picture of it.
I love the people who keep lists of frugal tips and ideas like how to make your own laundry detergent, how to make a “Chip Clip” out of an old coat hanger, and what to do with old Mason jars. Plenty of people have some really creative and useful tips.
Looking for ideas for the living room you want to redo? Or ideas for redoing the kids’ rooms? Maybe you just need some ideas for how to display all the candles you’ve collected. There are tons of ideas for home decor for every room in the house.
You can find pictures of garden layouts, lists of recommended products and seeds, pictures of organic gardens and tips, and even composting.
Frugal Gift Ideas
Crafty gifts, creative ways to wrap gifts, gifts that don’t cost a lot, and ideas for everyone from parents to teachers are all represented.
Clothing on a Budget
Sure, there are plenty of high-fashion collections here, but there are also many collections of lower cost and “knock off” ideas.
If you like to sew or quilt, take a look at what some other people have done or post your own creations.
“What to do with…” Ideas
Pinterest is perfect for those times when you don’t know what to with old coat hangers or shower curtains, for example. Put the item that has you stumped into the search engine and see what other people have done with their items.
Health and beauty
Exercise ideas, makeup ideas, lists of favorite products and their uses, medical and beauty books, websites, and articles, and even support groups and ideas are all collected here.
Preparedness and Stockpiling
You can see how others are preparing for disasters or how they arrange and manage their stockpiles.
Some people just compile lists of interesting and relevant websites. Plug your topic into the search engine and you might find that someone has posted sites of interest that you’ve never heard of.
Ideas for Kids
There are tons of ideas for kids. Crafts, educational products, outdoor and indoor activities, birthday party ideas, room organization and layout, books, and toys are just a few of the child-related topics you can find.
If you’re getting married, plenty of frugal brides have posted pictures of their dresses, cakes, decorations, favors, and party/reception ideas.
Yard Sale Ideas
If you want to have a yard sale, you can see how other people have set theirs up and get inspiration for your signage.
Everything from binders to filing cabinets to computer programs is showcased somewhere on the site. Some people have even posted their budgets and budget categories.
If you’re wondering how to organize your coupons, check out some of the ideas that others have posted.
Of course there’s much more than this. And, of course, not every posting is budget conscious. Some of the ideas are clearly for the very well off. However, even those can provide inspiration for your more budget-friendly version of the same thing. If you have a frugal or financial area where you need some inspiration or ideas, Pinterest can be a good place to get you started. (Membership is free, although at this time you have to be “invited” to join. Browsing, though, is always open.) Just don’t get so wrapped up in all the goodies that you go on a spending binge trying to replicate everything you see.
(Photo courtesy of GoodNCrazy)