One of the residual benefits of American prosperity for prudent folks is that pretty much everything you need to buy can be found in like-new condition for pennies on the dollar. If you are running down to Walmart, BestBuy or the mall to buy new items, you are simply WASTING money.
Light up a hundred dollar bill, and watch it burn. That is the same exact result you will achieve by visiting department stores and shopping malls.
I don’t know hardly anyone who doesn’t have lots of stuff to "garage sale", too many clothes, too many toys, to many gadgets, too much STUFF. We’re not talking wealthy people… this is the norm for run-of-the-mill middle-class folks.
Here are some places to buy like-new stuff for pennies on the dollar:
- Garage Sales
- Consignment Stores
- Salvation Army
- Craigs List
- Local Classifieds
There are three big hurdles to becoming content with secondhand stuff:
- It must be junk, right? Worn out? Old? NO. People have so much stuff today, that you can frequently find items that have NEVER been used, or rarely used. Because of the surplus of "stuff" people have, for the most part, they don’t put out "junk" because they know it will not sell.
- Only "poor" people who aren’t successful buy used items, right?. No… only "poor people" who are up to their eyeballs in debt and credit cards refuse buy perfectly good used items. People who are worried about status, image and keeping up the appearance of lifestyle have the hardest time buying secondhand. Even if you insist on the best name brand, you can find all the latest fashions, styles, models and upgrades secondhand because of the sheer amount of extra "stuff" people have nowadays.
- Impulsiveness and convenience – it’s faster, easier and a quicker gratification to buy now, even if it is 10-20 times the cost. I understand that. You have to measure the balance of instant gratification against long term pain. There are times when we need, or WANT to buy something now, instead of looking around for a used version, but if that is your HABIT, then you are willingly giving up a big chunk of your potential wealth (that could be going to something truly worthy, rather than another pair of $100 jeans or a $600 golf club).
My wife and I, even with seven kids, have purchased almost no new clothing, new toys, new books or new educational items. And it’s not like our kids are wearing rags, or get made fun of. We find tons of in-style, brand name items. Especially for the pre-teen kids, we are able to find MOUNTAINS of toys and like-new, brand name clothes for LITERALLY pennies on the dollar. [TIPJAR]
It is simply amazing the amount of clothing, furniture, electronic items, sports equipment, toys, baby items and decorations you can find secondhand in perfectly usable condition. "Hey, I’ll give you a dollar for that…" Most of the time you get a "yes" and just saved yourself another 20-30 bucks.
Want to take it one step further? Simply ask friends, church members and family if they have any "extra stuff". Tell them you need clothes for the kids, need a piece of furniture, looking for a computer, need a lawn mower or trying to get some toys for the babies… and typically you’ll have mountains of stuff thrown your way just because people want to 1) get rid of stuff, and 2) would like to help someone in the process. It makes them feel better about having wasted money on the stuff in the first place! Or, it could be they are just being nice and doing a good work. Either way, you save TONS of money.
This one topic alone can reduce your personal expenses by amazing amounts. Try it for a month and see if I’m right.