I’m a frequent thrift store and yard sale shopper, always have been. And since our financial hiccup (when my husband lost his job a week before our kid went to college and I was just getting used to the stay-at-home mom thing,) my thrifting skills have made it possible to do what we should have been doing all along—living within our means.
I am currently redecorating our home, yes, even though we don’t have as much money as we once had, I still want our home to be a warm and inviting place. I am replacing the furniture that our dog destroyed when he was a puppy. And because of our very, VERY, tight budget, I only purchase second-hand items that I feel are necessary and only with money earned by selling off something that I love a lot less.
I don’t purchase a lot of clothes because I have a standard uniform for my job as a school photographer. And the only child I have at home is a boy who cares nothing about fashion (right now). I have bought his baseball pants second hand, though, and gotten a couple of great deals on winter jackets. Why pay a boatload of cash for a fancy, name-brand jacket that he’s going to lose somewhere at school before the semester ends? For myself, I recently bought a very nice rain coat for $5. It replaced the very expensive Banana Republic trench coat that I’d bought a few years back during a spontaneous shopping spree and then accidentally ruined it by washing it. It was a dry-clean only item. Aaargh!
The added bonus I’m finding with all of this is that I now have a drama-free downshifting and simplifying experience. I spend more time donating my gently used unwanted items to the thrift store than, and I am careful about what comes back into my home.
I am a minimal minimalist, meaning I do like a few nice-ish things, but now I know I don’t have to have everything and what I do choose to buy need not be high-priced and brand-spanking new.
My ultimate goal is to downsize to a small house when my son goes off to college. And to do that, most of what we needlessly accumulated has to go. What’ll be left will only be what we truly love and need, that furry dog thing that lives with us notwithstanding.