The Frugal Millennial: Upcycling


According to a recent study by TD Ameritrade, about 53% of millennials expect to become millionaires one day. And one shouldn’t expect any less. We are, after all, the most ambitious cohort that’s walked the Earth, with our only rivals being those who belong to Generation Z. But that life of abundance takes two aspects that should go hand-in-hand.

Simply put, the trick to becoming wealthy is to generate income while keeping expenses to the bare essentials. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t bother making investments. You will, eventually. But for now you need to save.

And before you throw your old things into one of those skips littered throughout the neighborhood, you need to assess if you can recycle, or even upcycle the things you’re planning to dispose of. Because these two concepts are some of the best ways that you can get the most value from the things you buy.

What is upcycling?

First off, upcycling is the process of finding a new function for an old item that increases its value. Another concept that upcycling is often mistaken for is “repurposing”. And while you might think that they’re one and the same, they are in fact different. And the difference is this: repurposing is when you find a different way to use a certain item. Either way, both of these concepts are a great way to not only save money, but to also save the environment.

How do you save money with it?

It’s a rather simple concept that’s often overlooked. With upcycling, you simply make use of the things you currently have, even if they’re old. You can use old trash cans as plant pots, old bed frames as makeshift benches, old glass jars as gift containers. There are a wide variety of ways on how you can upcycle. But the main point is this — by using what you already have, you no longer have to buy new things (for a while, anyway).

How can you earn money with it?

Now, here’s where things become a little more fun. You can upcycle old items into things that can actually net you some sales. All it takes is a bit of skill and time. The best bit is that the Internet, the greatest invention of the century, is chock-full of ideas from people all over the world. Pinterest, Instagram, and Reddit are all great sources of upcycling ideas. These also come complete with detailed guides on how you can make something new out of something old.

Upcycled Art

Sometimes, the things you upcycle don’t always have to be functional. Sometimes, the art in itself becomes a function for your new item. Broken tiles can be made into a fancy mosaic. You can turn old toys into pendants, old t-shirt can be upcycled into other apparel.

And, yes. While you may feel cheap with all this upcycling, your bank account definitely won’t. We all need to start somewhere, after all. Besides, humble beginnings are the most loved of all. In fact, some businesses were built on upcycling.

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