Friday, 23 January 2015

Frugal thinking

I am a thrifter. I have been a thrifter since the day I set foot in a second hand store. Who wouldn't be thrilled to get more for your money and unique finds that no else has? Especially as a  young high school student trying to express myself with little money :) As my little brother once told me, "You were hipster before being hipster was cool". Ha whatever that means. I am not considered 'hipster' anymore as I am in my late twenties and a mom BUT I will say that thrifting has become quite the thing nowadays and I was doing it long before it became trendy. It was not cool when I started but I knew how to get a bargain and I still pride myself in finding a great deal. And the thrill of the hunt is just as addicting! You never know what treasures you will find in second hand stores. It is very true what they say about one man's trash being another man's treasure!  Recycling old belongs is almost always guaranteed to be a sweet find for someone else in a different place than you are. So if you have something that is still in good condition that you don't use--always donate it before throwing it out!!
I recently read a silly little book that I thoroughly enjoyed called, "A bunch of pretty things I did not buy" by Sarah Lazarovic. A fun read about the challenge of saving money in little ways. Not your typical read, more of a coffee table type of book filled with drawings along with her thoughts but man oh man did she ever describe me well. I felt as if I could have written portions of the book myself with my love of thrifting and expressing myself, and how much it changes with each chapter in your life. I thoroughly enjoyed the read but mostly took from it her idea of THE BUYERARCHY of NEEDS. I love to try new things all the time. And with today's Pinterest world I have a whole fantasy closet of items and household decor I wish owned. My instincts tell me when I want something to always look to find it used first and then buy new if I really want it and can't find it. That goes for all types of things-not just clothes.
BUT as a new year is upon me and I am currently on a mat leave that will end quicker than I might think, I hope to stay at home to raise my baby girl myself. That means one less income then we are used too and that really means thinking extra frugal. I want to still be able to enjoy the little things and not feel tight for money so I will work hard at taking on small challenges in saving money in unique ways. I am thankful that I started my thrifting young as I am an expert by now.
Challenge number one is thinking in the BUYERARCHY way first before rushing to a store in general. Here is how it goes.
So you have something that you really WANT...a scarf, a skirt, shoes, a jacket, a throw pillow etc. We all have these times in our life. Before you rush to a store....follow these steps.
  1. Use what you have. What you say? But time you fall in love with an item that you think you must own, take a look through your closets and chests again and see if there is anything that you have that is close to it. Maybe the same colour or style. Many of us own more clothing items than what we actually wear and chances are you will forget about certain clothing pieces if they are tucked away good enough. You might just find a scarf under your bed that had a plaid pattern in it (not the same colours of the pinterest one you love BUT plaid non the less) I recently had this experience. I hadn't worn the scarf in probably two years and lucky for me it gave me the small satisfaction I craved from wearing a plaid pattern on my neck in winter and it felt new again as it had not been worn in so long. Just give it a try sometime. 
  2. Borrow. Pshhh you say.. Who does that? Well...people do. And the ones that do are most definitely smart. How many times have you bought a new dress for a wedding and it has been tucked in your closet since? And the next time a fancy event comes along you are wanting something new yet again but the practically new dress in your closet isn't exciting you enough. So ask a friend who has the same style and size as you if you could borrow a dress for that one day event you have coming up. Worth a shot anyway am I right?
  3. Swap. Even better yet you will have items in your closet that you are done with and a friend will have the some too. Why not trade a few things. You will get the thrill of a new pattern or colour in your wardrobe that you have been craving and given yourself a few more hanger spaces by getting rid of some items you don't wear anymore. Genius.
  4. Thrift. If you are really wanting something different or new to you, go looking for it used first. Either at a thrift store or with online buy and sell groups these days you can go garage saling sitting on your couch. I have found so many of my treasures in these different ways for less than half of what things would have cost new. It is also thrilling just wandering a store with only ONE of everything in it. 
  5. Make. This is another great way to let your creativity soar. Either using items you have around the house that you can alter some or buying something used for cheap and making it into what you want. I have done this with many of my home decor items and I hope to keep making my Pinterest dreams come true with this same idea! I used to make many of my clothes in highschool and they weren't great quality but they gave me a sense of uniqueness for a short time until I was onto my next idea. We will see if I can put my sewing skills to work again in the near future. There will definitely be some Pinterest fails to report.
  6. Buy. This is the last option. If you are in need of something specifically and had no luck with all the other options than you buy it. But I am telling you...this will feel way less satisfying when there are 7 more of the same item on the rack or shelf behind it. Plus you might be appalled at the number on the price tag after all your treasure finds and creations else where! If you can get your hands on coupons and always read flyers this will make buying new feel better. Of course there will always be items that you will need to do this with BUT in many cases you will save yourself lot's of money buy thinking through the first five steps first! 
Wish me luck! I feel like I jump to thrifting first which still is spending money in the long run. My biggest challenge ahead is to start at step one and use what i already have. As a thrifter I have many collections of things hidden away that I think I could work with first before getting out my wallet.

But I am feeling inspired already! I have just gone through old scarves and clothes and put them in my crafting room. We will see what comes of it...

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