My daughter wiped her ketchup-covered hands all over her white shirt and rubbed it in.
In an effort to save it, I pulled the shirt off her tiny body right there at the dinner table and immediately started the stain-treating process.
Unfortunately, several rounds of bleach and Oxi-Clean yielded no results, and I was left with a white shirt with pink splotches. So I did what any other mom would do. I cut it up into dust rags and moved on with my day.
But I didn’t sweat it, even though my daughter only got to wear that particular shirt once. Why?
Because I paid .50 for it at a garage sale. That’s why.
For the Love of Used Stuff
There are so many reasons why used stuff is better than new. For starters, used stuff is usually far less expensive than used stuff. Those $100 jeans you bought at The Buckle, for example, could maybe sell for $20 on ebay. And the flat screen TV you bought at Best Buy for $699 over Labor Day weekend? Psshhhtt….. You might get $200 if you give the buyer sexy eyes. And if you’re hot.
Oh, and those adorable outfits you bought your newborn? Their resale value is approximately the same as used dental floss. Nada. How do I know? Because I’ve bought dozens of designer-brand baby and toddler outfits for a quarter or fifty cents over the years.
Buying all those little items used definitely adds up, but the big expenses can add up even more. New cars, for instance, can lose up to 20 percent of their value within the first year and 60 percent within five years. Imagine how much you could save if you always replaced your vehicle with reasonably-priced used car and drove it into the ground. Doing so might also help you avoid being car-poor, a sad situation indeed. There are also plenty of other reasons buying used is usually a good idea:
Do you know what happens when you leave a periwinkle Dodge Caravan unlocked with the keys in it? Nothing. Nobody tries to steal my car. Nobody even messes with it. Hell, I probably couldn’t pay someone to take it. (Check out The Caravan Club for ideas on theft prevention)
You Can Resell Used Stuff For What You Paid
I buy used stuff and resell it later all the time. In fact, I often resell it for the exact same price I paid or more. Buying a used baby outfit for .50 cents, using it through two kids, then reselling it for a dollar is something that never gets old, folks.
It’s Less Stressful
I absolutely hate shopping at retail stores, especially when it comes to buying clothes. I just think there are just far too many options. Every shirt, for instance, comes in ten different colors and patterns. And do you get a small or a medium? They both fit, but which looks better?
Then, all of a sudden, I find myself asking questions like, “Honey, how do my boobs look?”
That’s why I like shopping at garage sales. You either like what they have or you don’t.
When you don’t spend a lot of money on something, you don’t feel quite as obligated to enjoy it or get your money’s worth. My daughter ruining her shirt with ketchup is the perfect example of that. Same with my car. Birds shit on it. Old ladies hit it with their shopping cart. I couldn’t care less.
The bottom line is this: Used stuff is better than new for a ton of reasons. The most important one, however, is that buying used frees up money for the things that really matter in your life. It has allowed us to take awesome vacations, build a healthy emergency fund, save for our children’s futures, and dream big. I can’t think of anything more important than that.
Do you think used stuff is better than new? How much have you saved by buying used stuff?