Wednesday, April 25, 2012


When attempting to get out of debt you have to take actions you have never taken before and go places you have never been.  Sacrifice is the key word in becoming DEBT FREE and for many that is a brand new concept because before sacrificing to win financially sounded like punishment and abuse.  On the journey to getting out of debt I hit the problem of debt from all possible angles.  Of course our family found new ways to bring in additional income, but the most beneficial changes came from cutting back on certain items and services.  One area that I cut back on was clothing for not only me, but for the entire family.  I use to be the person who wore only name brand clothes and shoes and the same was true for my husband as well.  We had been dressing this way ever since we were in college.  That all changed once I was on unemployment and $48K in debt.

At that point shopping at Goodwill and consignment shops became a new hobby.  I could no longer justify spending $20+ on a pair of jeans or $40 on a pair of shoes because we didn’t have the funds to cover it.  For those of you who don’t know what Goodwill is it is a store that sells used clothes donated by others and the proceeds go to career training for individuals in need as well as other services.  Before I started shopping there I use to look down my nose at Goodwill and you wouldn’t catch me dead in there.  That all changed one day when I went to one of the local stores and seen multiple BMW’s and other luxury cars in the parking lot.  Before going in I said to myself the drivers in these cars must be here to donate clothing, but once I was inside I seen a couple of the ladies actually buying for themselves!  At that moment I realized that these women are just continuing the spending habits they had before they owned the luxury cars and there was no shame to them to be shopping at Goodwill.  This store was allowing them to save money in their clothing budget so they could spend in more important areas like college funds, retirement, and vacations.  Right then and there I said to myself “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”  “These wealthy individuals don’t think they are so much better that they can’t shop in Goodwill why do you think you are?”  From that point on I have been finding great deals at Goodwill and consignment sales and tell you the truth it is those clothes that I get the most repeat compliments on. 

I attend consignment sales mostly for my son’s clothing and shoes because if you have kids you know that they don’t care if they drag their shoe until it is a hole at the toe.  They don’t care about crawling in the dirt until the jeans they are wearing are no longer recognizable.  That is exactly why their clothing shouldn’t cost you a lot of money.  I hate to see parents spend $100 on a pair of sneakers when they could just spend $8 or less at a consignment sale and put the rest in a 529 college fund.  Kids are not hard to impress in fact every time I bring home clothes or shoes from a consignment sale my son always says “mommy you got me some new shoes, thank you mommy!” They don’t care where the shoes come from as long as they light up and they can play outside in them.  We as adults are trying to impress other adults when we buy our kids expensive clothing and all we are doing is depleting our own bank accounts for the future.  When I was employed in my first pregnancy five years ago I bought all of my son’s items brand new. Brand new changing table, crib, stroller, car seat all of it was coming out of my bank account at full price.  I know I spent thousands of dollars before he was even born.  I am now eight months pregnant again, but this time I bought the stroller, car seats, changing table, diaper bag, bath tub, etc, from church consignment sales and saved thousands!  The point of all this rambling is that you don’t have to care what people say if they see you shopping at Goodwill or consignment sales because they may be laughing, but if they saw your bank account the laughing would surely stop!  I actually brag about the deals that I get now because I want people to know that there are more important things in life than clothes.  So the next time you find yourself sticking up your nose at Goodwill and consignment sales while at the same time in debt do what I did and say to yourself “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”

Have you ever saved money by buying used clothes?

1 comment:

  1. Great blog this week. I personally love Kid 2 Kid, because I can sell my kids clothes and then buy on the store credit I earn. They have a great selection, and sell some new educational toys if I need a birthday gift for a party we're attending, that I can also get on store credit.