For the past two years, I have held monthly accountability challenges on the blog.
In 2013, The Christmas Savings Club encouraged all of us to save monthly so that we could have a cash Christmas.
In 2014, the Grocery Budget Challenge encouraged us to keep our grocery spending in line and to be creative with our meal planning so that we do not over-spend.
In 2015, the monthly challenge will be Choose Thrift First.
Too often, I resort to the mall or Target when I need or want something. So for 2015, I want to challenge myself and you, to rethink our purchases by taking advantage of more cost effective solutions, like borrowing, buying second hand, or just making do with what we already have.
This is going to be a daily challenge for me. While I love thrift stores, I can be easily swayed to run into Target or Kohl’s when I’m in that part of town. But often, I could have saved myself a trip if I had just looked in one of our closets for a solution.
I’m curious to see how much we can save and also how creative we can get by making do with what we already own or looking for things at a thrift store.
This challenge already has me thinking differently. Our youngest daughter’s dresser practically disintegrated into pieces over the holiday break. It is at least 10+ years old and served its purpose, but we are in the market for a new (to her) dresser.
For curiosity sake, I stopped by a local furniture store and saw some really cute new dressers that cost $500-$700. Ouch!
That’s motivation to take some time to scour Craigslist and some local second hand furniture stores this week.
I’ve put a band-aid on the situation by using plastic tubs for her clothes and a plastic drawer unit for her socks and underwear. Plastic isn’t pretty, but it will work until we find something. And the best part is that she’s NOT complaining about it.
Instead of buying new this year, ask yourself these questions:
- Can I borrow from someone? For one-time special occasions, ask friends if you can borrow instead of buying new. My mother recently borrowed some luggage from us for a plane trip. She hasn’t flown in 20 years and probably won’t fly again for sometime, so she didn’t’ want to buy a carry-on suit case.
- Can I find what I need at a second hand or thrift store? I have found new or gently worn name brand clothing, snow gear, shoes, household stuff, and books. Start keeping a list of needs with you for your thrift store trips.
- Can I make do with something else around my house? Recently, I thought I needed a new picture frame, but realized that I had a pile of unused frames sitting in a closet that I had forgotten about. One of the frames was perfect for what I needed.
The Choose Thrift First Challenge
On the last Thursday of each month from January to November in 2015, I’ll hold a virtual meeting (a post) where we will discuss how we did for the month. I’d love to hear your solutions for your needs other than buying new.
Your main assignment is to think differently when a need or a want arises and to Choose Thrift First. I can’t wait to see how much we will save in 2015.
See you on Thursday, January 29.