Creativity Kick-Start: Craft a Creative Budget

creative budget and managing time


A creative budget is not just for artists, it’s for anyone with a passion who wants to find a way to spend more time doing what they love. It’s easy to get hyper-focused on responsibilities or distracted by mindless television, so a creative budget can help you make sure there’s room left for things that feed your soul. A budget is also a simple way to plan and save towards a creative goal, just like planning for a big ticket item or a trip.


So what exactly is in a creative budget? It’s all the little things you need to manage and contribute towards your creative loves so you have the resources to add passions to your everyday life (if it’s not already part of your work). It can include the following:

  • Time
  • Joy and passion
  • Inspiring creative space
  • Physical movement
  • Brainstorming
  • Supplies and resources
  • Creative fuel


This is a basic list that includes key ingredients. Go ahead and add a few more or take some items away based on what you feel would be most effective for the way you create. However, each item supports a key piece of the big picture to help you move towards a creative goal in a more well-rounded, grounded way.


Getting Started on a Creative Budget Begins with the Biggest Ingredient, Time


Finding small ways to contribute towards a creative budget is the first step. Time is one of the key pieces because it impacts what you can really commit to so that creative progress can evolve. Time is as much about planning as it is about the desire to take the leap and remain dedicated to playing with your creative desires, even when it feels like you aren’t getting anywhere tangible.


To shape a good foundation, start by thinking about how much time can you free up:


  • What times of the day do you feel most creative?
  • How much time can you dedicate each week. Or will it have to be every other?
  • What can you comfortably add to your schedule without it adding stress?
  • Is there some small part of your current job that you can use to focus more on your passion while there, even if you are working for someone else?
  • What can you cut out of your current routine to make room for more creative playtime in the budget?


When you have a sense of the amount of time you can play, it helps loosen up your creative flow and re-set your ambition because you are making your creative gift a priority. For example, if you are thinking of great things you can create but never make room in your schedule to actually work on them, it can contribute to one big creative block over time. However, if you know that Tuesday nights are your night to really dig in and play, then an idea or project is just on the back burner instead of “someday”.


Pick a few times you think will work, then experiment. You may find the first few aren’t doable, but then you can settle in on something that feels right and fits with your life. For me, Monday night yoga is a very important part of my creative budget. If I don’t get to class and reset my body for the week ahead, I’m not quite myself and have trouble feeling centered.


So what’s your relationship with time and creativity? Do you have a way to dedicate the time you need without feeling guilty or stressed about fitting things in?


Special note: This post is the first in a series for the ongoing Creativity Kick-Start Mondays where I will work through each creative budget line item listed in this post in more detail. Be sure to check back next week when I dive into details on connecting with your passion and joy and how to add them to a creative budget.