When I first started Family Friendly Frugality, I knew I wanted to approach frugal living from a very relaxed and welcoming mindset. I wanted to create a blog about frugal living that didn’t leave people feeling overwhelmed or less than when they walked away.
The main complaint I hear about saving money nowadays is that it is too darn overwhelming to know where to begin. If you have $20,000 in credit card debt, is clipping a few coupons realistically going to make much of an impact to your bottom line? If you are drowning in student loans and house payments, is living within your means even possible?
The answer to all of the above is yes. While the small things you do might not add up to financial freedom, they do make a big difference. Some of them will chip away at your debt or create more wiggle room in a tight budget. Some of them will simply give you more confidence and a self esteem boost, proving to yourself that you can save money!
So I am starting a Make a Change Monday series where I will simply give you one task to work on for the week. You might already be doing it…so you get to skip that week! If not though, try it out and see if it makes a difference! I’ll keep them small manageable changes that don’t require a lot of effort or learning the drugstore game .
This week’s Make A Change Task:
Before You Buy New, Make Sure Used Isn’t An Option
Okay, I’m just going to put this out there: I like new things.
I enjoy consignment shops as much as the next gal and great thrift store and garage sale finds make me giddy.
Honestly though? I love purchasing new stuff more. Now, give me some credit, I at least prefer to buy new AND deeply deeply discounted. My reluctance to ever pay full price is still in full force. Regardless, there are certain categories of purchases that make me cringe to consider going the “gently loved” route:
- Bedding or linens
- Certain toys for the children (specifically stuffed animals)
- Large furniture
- Products where safety is a huge concern (cribs, strollers, carseats, etc. For what it’s worth, every big deal organization that dabbles in child safety also recommends NOT using used cribs, strollers or carseats).
I think some of my hesitancy comes from my husband, he does NOT enjoy used items. He’d rather buy everything new (except cars, he’s totally reasonable about purchasing used vehicles!).
In some cases it’s a safety issue. I’d never want to use something that was used and than have to wonder “what if” I hadn’t gone the cheapskate route.
Often times though, it’s a bit of selfishness (a bit of ego too!). Or in some cases, it’s just a matter of not liking the exact style/color/feel of the used item (which is totally okay, I’m not saying you should take ugly stuff just because it’s there. Remember though, beggars can’t be choosers. If someone is being generous and you NEED it, accept is gracefully! If you don’t need it, decline politely.)
The truth is, a ton of money could be saved (not to mention resources) if more people shoved the shiny new penny feeling aside and instead went the practical route and instead researched used options before heading to the mall.
This week, hesitate before buying something new and consider if a used version would work. Get into the habit of researching used options before just assuming that buying new is your best option. In some cases, buying new might still be in your best interest. Often though, you’ll find going with the the gently loved option will give your money a bit more mileage.
Previous Make a Change Monday Tasks.