If your neighbor is building a chicken coop in the backyard, your mom has an Etsy shop, and all your friends are brewing batches of artisanal something-or-other, you may already suspect that crafting and DIY (do-it-yourself) projects are enjoying a boom not seen since pioneer days. According to the latest Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index, it’s true: over the past year craft store spending has jumped by 91%.
Lessons needed on how to do it yourself
After buying those craft essentials, many people need some help figuring out what to do with them. Along with DIY supplies, people are spending more money on lessons, classes and books. And while home improvement spending is up slightly, sporting goods spending is enjoying almost as big a boost as books.
The Lifestyle Index keeps track of cardholder activity and compares year-over-year quarterly spending. During the third quarter of 2013 (July-September) the biggest spending increases were in the craft and road toll categories (at 91% and 13%, respectively). Looking back two years, from the third quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2013, those categories still have the biggest jumps in spending, at 82% and 39%.
Gas spending was down year-over-year (- 5% from 2012 to 2013 and – 6% from 2011 to 2013). Since gas prices hit a two-year low last summer, analysts concluded that lower gas prices lured people onto the roads more often, causing toll spending to rise.
Electronics and office supplies spending down
Meanwhile, spending on gas, electronics and office supplies was down in the third quarter. Spending on electronics dipped by 7% compared with the same quarter in 2012 and 11% compared with 2011. But the biggest dip in spending was in the office supply category, which saw a decline of 7% year-over-year and 14% looking back two years.
Here are the differences in third quarter spending year over year:
- Craft stores: +91%
- Tolls: +13%
- Lessons and Classes: +3%
- Books: +6%
- Sporting Goods: +5%
- Gas: -5%
- Electronics: -7%
- Office Supplies: -7%