Nov 16 2009

A downside of thrift store shopping


I’ve hit some thrift stores pretty hard lately as I’m reworking my wardrobe. I’ve found some incredible deals! Thrift store prices are usually really cheap ($2-4 for a top, $4 for a skirt, $6-7 for ‘brand name’ jeans, etc.).

To really save money, go when certain items are on sale. For example, one of my frequented thrift shops offers 50 percent off “upscale” brands on Thursdays. I spotted a lined blazer from JCrew for $5, so it would have been $2.50 on the sale day. Too bad it didn’t fit me!

Some thrift stores have junk for clothes, but if you go to the right ones, you’ll see that many offer quality items for extremely cheap.

It’s so cheap, and such a good deal that I’ve discovered one of the downsides (if you could even call it that) of thrifting:

Paying retail is so much harder to do once you’re accustomed to thrift store prices!

Some things you just can’t thrift. For example: socks, underthings, shoes for people with weird foot sizes, etc. I maintain that if you can find an item in a retail store, you can probably find it in a thrift store if you look long enough and hard enough. But darn it, I just haven’t been able to find some dress pants or khaki pants that fit right.

So, I’ll probably have to go retail for it.

It won’t be easy. I’ll likely have to go to multiple stores and look for sales and coupons.

But you know what? When many of your clothes come second-hand, you have more money left over to pay retail prices on other things.

Nov 13 2009

Let’s donate money to pay off the national debt


I was listening to the radio this morning and heard how the government invites folks to donate money to help pay down the national debt. Brilliant!

Read more about it here. The national debt is rapidly moving toward 12 trillion dollars. I don’t even know what a trillion means.

(Googling it now)

OK — one trillion looks like: 1,000,000,000,000. Ron at the Wisdom Journal explains what one trillion can do. Mrs Money shows us what one trillion dollars looks like.

Take those concepts and multiply it by 12 and you’ll get the national debt.

Want to watch it grow before your very eyes? Check out the national debt clock. It will make your brain hurt a little.

The national debt interest is so substantial that it’s about 8 percent of the 2009 annual federal budget. Just think of all the things we could do with that 8ish percent!

Now, it won’t be easy. According to the debt clock, each citizen will need to pay $38,954 (as of this moment). Yes, this includes babies. Or, if we think it better, we could just have each taxpayer make a one-time donation of $110,442. You can afford that, right?

What’s more, these donations are tax-deductible. What bonus! I wonder if the government will send you those little pre-made address labels as a “thank you.”

We’ll just do it the Dave Ramsey way — with gazelle-like intensity making a massive debt snowball.

And then we’ll build up a national emergency fund so we won’t have to be in debt again. And then we’ll take all that money we were throwing at debt and then buy a nice house, go on vacation, and send our kids to college.

You’re ready to write a check, aren’t you? I am.


Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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