Saturday, September 5, 2009

Second Hand and Hand-Me-Downs ... That's what tight budgets are made of.

(Jane Austin)

Tough times call for so much more than tough choices. Tough times call for reflection on ones opinions and way of being. Growing up, Bella really frowned upon wearing hand-me-downs. Would not have been seen dead in a thrift store. Not in a million years. If she had to go into one she would turn around, do a double take and make sure no one spotted her. Snobbery at it's best. Vanity at it's worst.

But when the chips are down and you have $4000 coming in each month and $3700 going out, stretching the remaining $300 into savings and miscellaneous spending, really does make a person ask, what are they prepared to do (and not do) to make the budget work.

Last month, one of Bella's clients handed her a large bag of clothes for the baby. She graciously accepted and thought nothing of it. She purchased clothes for the girls at a yard sale and thought nothing of it. Yard sales are after all a great American tradition. However, stepping into the thrift store for Bella has been a struggle. For a long time it symbolized the epitome of being "poor". Not being as well off as her relatives that talked about flat screen TVs and whose kids drooled over the latest i phones. Whom travelled three hours to buy clothes from a far away mall, so they wouldn't be seen wearing the same clothes as their friends (the horror!). Nope buying from a thrift store in Bella's mind would make her and her family less.

This week, Bella asked The Husband, "Would buying my children clothes from a thrift store be a bad thing? Will people look down on us?". "Only if you let it be.", he replied. With this in mind Bella placed her vanity to one side, took a deep breath and purchased her children second hand clothes. Every item she bought, looked brand new, and cost $1.99 a piece. She can now proudly show off her children in their new outfits, and no one will be able to tell which were the new, which were the hand-me-downs and which were the thrift store bargains.

Vanity defeated. Pride intact. Budget kept. That's what happy Bella's are made of!

Happy budgeting and freebie hunting ...


Camay said...

Loved this! Currently i am on the (never ending) path to better money far not so good. it really is hard!

Cheri said...

I like to say its the thrill of the hunt. I frequently browse a few second hand (thrift) shops in the Memorial area of Houston mostly for books but also kids toys & such. I have been on the hunt for a gently used kitchen playset for my toddler & her cousins to keep at Grandma's, so much to my joy, I found a 3 piece Pottery Barn Pro-Chef set (gently played with) that was only $79 out of my budget, so I called Grandma, she agreed to pay me back and I had it loaded up. After some easy online research, I am proud to say that one's tax deductible donation is now my daughter's favorite toy and if I were slightly crazy enough to purchase it new, it would have only cost me $899.00

Budget Bella said...

WOW Cheri!!

I guess I need to be more selective of the stores and which area. I have a small goodwill ... it is great for baskets and girls clothes ... toys, not so much.