The Power of Thrift Stores

 

Second hand shops, thrift stores, garage sales, craigslist, etc.!  Whatever you choose, there is great wealth building potential in buying things gently used.  The average family in the US spends over $2,000 a year on clothing.  If a family could shop for some clothes at a thrift store and cut that bill in half, they would be able to invest another $1,000/year, which could become $60,000 over the course of a career.  I am lumping all these various venues into one main category, buying things previously owned.  Vikings like used or previously owned things!  Here are some deals I have found over the years:

Dress shirts and clothes for $5 that would retail from $50-$90

Exercise equipment for $20 that would retail for $400

Small furniture for $20-$50 that would retail from $200-500

Here are 5 reasons buying used things is great:

1.  You save big money on something you need

If your strapped for cash to buy essentials like food and shelter, this gives you the opportunity to have other things you may need/want and still cover the basics.  Thrift stores, craigslist etc. are full of name brand items that people are unloading.  If the item is gently used and clean, no one will know where you bought it.

Even if you can afford it, many Thrift Stores have name brand items in great condition for a fraction of the cost of retail.

2.  This provides more cash to plow into investments that make more dollars

You could take saved money and invest it to create more money.  Remember most people that build large amounts of wealth do it in small amounts over time.  In an earlier post about home gyms I discussed the time I bought a spin exercise bike from a thrift store for $20.  It was around the holidays and I saw ads all over for this very expensive $2,000 bike with a screen attached and a $39/month subscription.  Quite a difference and I am still able to get my heart rate up just fine on the $20 bike with a few scratches.

3.  You worry less when that object gets a little more worn over time, reducing your stress

Did you ever get a scratch on your new car?  When something is shiny brand new there is a certain amount of stress to make sure it does not get messed up.  If you buy something used, then when the inevitable scratch or stain comes along, it may not be as frustrating.  This is especially important if you have kids, accidents happen.

4.  Better for the environment

Used things have already had their impact on environmental resources, therefore less pollution for you and your children’s children to clean up.  We can be resourceful as individuals and a society.

5.  May provide a social impact

Many thrift stores are a place that provide jobs for people recovering from personal challenges and illness.  Remember the store is receiving this item for free, therefore they can afford to sell at a deep discounted price.

Just imagine the cumulative effect to your wealth building over many years if you made it a habit to buy things previously owned.  I think this could easily add up to hundreds of thousands if the savings was prudently invested.  I’m talking furniture, clothes, housewares, books, electronics, etc.

A word of caution.  Over the years some thrift stores have become trendy, therefore the prices are really not a discount.  Also keep in mind life is not about who has more fancy stuff, in my opinion it’s about the way we treat others, take care of our family and the contribution we try to make.  A friend recently sent me a great quote that keeps things in perspective:  “No matter how big your house is, how new your car is or how big your bank account, our graves are the same size.”  Perhaps their are better uses for your precious resources than that shiny new object at the store?

One Reply to “The Power of Thrift Stores”

  1. It is amazing what can be found at thrift stores. Also, some stores have red tag or blue tag sales, where everything with a certain color tag is an even greater percentage off! Name brand items.

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