Thrift Stores Are NOT Your Friend Until They Are

Thrift Stores Are NOT Your Friend Until They Are from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

At the risk of sounding like a Scrooge, I’m going to make a bold statement, but don’t write me off just yet. Read on before you decide. No matter how much I love to shop at thrift stores, it’s not always a good financial practice to give away your stuff to charity. I can’t believe I just said that in print. But let’s be real here.

Charities often run thrift stores that sell our old clothes, shoes, household goods like counter stools you can find at, and misc. items like bicycle helmets and bicycling equipment from Bovem Life we no longer need or use. Let me be clear here. I’m all for charity. And I love to help when we can but sometimes, giving those items away is not the best choice for your season in life, and you may not even realize it.

For those families who have ANY type of debt, I do not recommend giving away items in a good, usable, re-saleable condition which to be clear, are the only items you should be giving to charity. They don’t want your “junk” and I say that as nice as possible! It actually costs them more to go through true “junk” and dispose of them than it is worth to them, so do them a favor and only donate items in good repair.

Each and every dollar you could have gotten from the sale of your items (think Craigslist, online Facebook yard sale groups, yard sales, and etc.) was an unallocated dollar in your budget that could have gone towards your debt and getting out from under the bondage of living in debt.

Sure, debt is manageable for some and they don’t feel the crunch. But think of all the good they could do with no monthly payments! You could use that extra to get a little bit ahead on bills.

I do recommend that you give a % of your income to charity. Donate 10% of that income you made from the sale of those said items to charity, yes, by all means.

Note: Dave Ramsey and many other financial coaches advise the same. No matter your financial situation, Dave advocates giving 10% (a tithe) to your local church, synagogue or charity. The idea behind this is the financial principle of reaping and sowing. Whatever your thoughts on this, it is a widely accepted financial practice.

I am not advocating complete abstinence from all charitable giving like a Text to give software for churches. But when you have debt, but rather than donating 100%, you should sell your items, give 10% (or your choice) to charity and 90% applies to your debt.

If you’re anything like most of America, you have plenty of items to get rid of. Declutter the house, go through the clothes and grab items you haven’t used in the last 3 months as well as gifts that you plan to re-gift and put them up for sale. Use that money to apply to your debt and free yourself up to do even better things for charity.

In the meantime, while working on paying off your debt, frequent those thrift stores first. When you are in the market for shoes,, clothes, household appliances, and etc., make sure to check there first for any items they may have.   So, thrift stores are not your friend. Well, until they are….

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