Our second grader (my how time has flown!) is in choir this year. He absolutely loves it, and looks forward to Tuesday mornings despite the fact that he has to be at school 50 minutes early for choir practice. We love seeing him have so much fun with it, and we’re glad he decided to join.
Joining choir was only $3 for the whole semester (hard to beat that deal!) but the kids also need a plain white shirt, black pants, and black shoes for their choir performance in December. Our son’s regular school shoes are an awesome pair of black Keens that we found in a thrift store in new condition last spring, so we’ve got the shoes covered. But he didn’t have any black pants other than sweats, and he doesn’t have any plain white shirts.
But that’s ok, because I knew I’d easily find those things in my normal shopping trips to the local thrift stores. I go to the thrift stores once or twice a month, with a list of things that we currently need. We keep the list updated regularly, and I’m always planning ahead with my list – don’t want to get stuck looking for mittens in November. I’ve been to the thrift store twice since school started. The first time, I struck out on the choir outfit. But last week, I found a great pair of black Children’s Place pants, exactly his size and with cinchers at the waist to make them fit just right. They were $1.50, and looked like they’d never been worn (maybe they were some other little boy’s choir pants?)
I didn’t find a shirt I liked yet, but we don’t need it until December. And I know I’ll find exactly the right shirt another day, almost certainly for less than $3.
My husband also needed new belts. His dress belt was started to get a bit worn out, as was his casual belt. I found him one of each, for $2 apiece, both in great shape (I took a tape measure with me, so I could make sure the belts I found would fit him). Later that day, I spotted the dress belt at Costco for $18. That $16 savings went to much better use buying delicious food at Costco instead of a belt.
I know I sound like a broken record with my “buy everything used” motto, but it really is one of the main reasons we’ve been able to grow our net worth so much over the years. If we had spent our money on new clothes and belts, those things would be worth very little now… about the same as the used-when-we-bought-them clothes that are currently in our closets. But because we bought stocks and a house with that money instead, our money has been growing instead of depreciating. And every time we’ve purchased something used, we’ve been a little kinder to our planet, since new resources didn’t have to be used to make whatever it was we were buying.
Happy Fall! And here’s to garage sales, thrift stores, and Craigslist!