Buy Used and Save the Difference -- Even on Splurges

9.23.11

Photo courtesy PraireEyes/iStockphoto.com 

We teach our 19 kids to be responsible about money. And when they've saved up for something we encourage them to see if they can find it on Craigslist or in a thrift store, or just be patient to see if it goes on sale before buying it new.

Our daughter Jinger is a homing device: I jokingly tell everybody, "You know, Jinger knows when there's a sale at the thrift store." It's a built-in GPS for her; she knows, "I've got to go by there today because I'm sure they're having a sale."

Not too long ago I found a really nice black jacket at a thrift store that looks great with my black skirt, and I wear it on nicer, dressy occasions. I was really excited about that. I was like, "Whoa, for me to find a great jacket in my size that I really like?" And it was only $2.

There are some specialty items for the kids that are hard to find, like EzyRollers. (They're like a bike that sits down on the ground real low.) And the kids save up for these kinds of items. Especially Heeleys -- they love them! When they outgrow a pair they begin looking, praying and searching for another pair of Heelys. They even begin scouting for the next size before they outgrow their current pair.

And amazingly we have found them at second-hand sales, like the ones in our area that hold a twice-a-year consignment sale, and inevitably someone is selling their Heelys and the kids get to buy almost brand new pairs of Heelys for a fraction of the cost.

They're really learning to be frugal when they spend their money that way. And then sometimes they'll want to buy special treats, whether it's candy or a favorite kind of pickle (because we love pickles around here!), and sometimes they'll splurge and they'll spend some of their money to buy this special-crunch-garlic-whatever-whatever-whatever kind of pickle.

It's all in what you think is important, because most things you can buy used and save the difference, and other things you just have to find it when you can and splurge.

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