Guest post from Joanne
I am a stay-at-home mom of five who enjoys novice photography as a hobby. While the cost of quality photography equipment has come down in recent years, it is still a good chunk of change to purchase quality cameras, lenses, and software.
In the past two years I have been able to purchase (with cash) both a Nikon D3000 (digital SLR) and a 50mm f/1.8 lens! I used three total sources of income to save for this equipment: Swagbucks, a garage sale, and birthday/Christmas money.
I also spread out the costs over 3 years…
2010: Camera savings and purchase (approx. $450)
Early in 2010 I was introduced to Swagbucks, and established an account. I was also able to get several friends and family to join Swagbucks through my referral link, which greatly increased my earnings. Over the course of a few months I was able to spend my Swagbuck earnings on Amazon giftcards.
My second means of saving money was as a result of a garage sale in late August in which I sold, among lots of other things, my old Minolta 35mm film SLR and lenses. I had advertised the camera specifically on Craigslist and sold it at the end of my sale as a direct result of my Craigslist ad.
When I totaled my garage sale earnings and added it to my Amazon gift card stash (via Swagbucks), I had enough to purchase my camera from Amazon (with free shipping, of course).
2012: Lens savings and purchase (approx. $150)
After a year of shooting and learning on my base-level camera and “kit lens”, I learned that the results I desired required better lenses. For those familiar with the “bokeh” effect – that’s what I was after in my portrait shots, and not successfully achieving.
Upon research I realized that what I needed was a higher aperture lens, but that was going to cost more money that I didn’t have to spend. So back to my savings plan I went. I was able to purchase one of the lenses I wanted just last week via Amazon.com after combining more Amazon cards, Christmas money, and birthday money from the past year.
As a non-working (or should I say non-income earning worker?), I have been able to save to pay cash for equipment that I use frequently. Now I’m working on building up my Swagbucks account to purchase a zoom lens and then some photo editing software!
Joanne is a stay-at-home mom from Michigan. She has been married to a widower for 6 years and has five children aged 15, 13, 5, 4, and 3. She enjoys couponing, music, paper crafting, photography, and spending time with her family.