In the case of finances, that means being a little thrifty at home — for many reasons:
+ So we can be more generous with others outside of the home
+ So we can keep our focus on God and our family (not on the things we buy), and
+ So we can save to provide for our family’s future
One way I put those things into practice, practically, in my life is by buying second-hand. Nearly all of the furniture in our home is second-hand furniture we’ve found at garage sales, thrift shops and estate sales. And most of the clothes we buy are also second-hand.
That’s where ThredUp comes into play for me. It’s a place I’ve been able to go in the past couple of years to find some good deals, save money, and spend less. That link will give you $10 to use on your first purchase with them. It will also give me $10 of store credit if you buy something. If you’d rather I not get $10 if you buy something from ThredUp, you can use this link.
ThredUp sells clothes, handbags, and shoes for women and children. Most of the items are second-hand, but some of them are brand new — with tags still attached, some are in nearly-brand new condition, and some are gently worn.
The reason I’m telling you about ThredUp right now is because I’ve seen a lot lately from other bloggers about how they’re shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — posts about what they’re buying, the biggest deals, the best buys for Fall, etc.
I’ve enjoyed checking those posts out because I like to see what other bloggers are buying and what seems to be on trend for this season (lace-up shoes, apparently) or just how a designer is putting a new spin on something that’s classic — like a good pair of jeans, my fave (jean leggings are in right now!).
But I can’t help but feeling that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is just not enough of a sale for me to be buying much from it… and I know that I can’t be the only one!
Their sale prices, while legitimately okay deals & maybe 20-percentage off of their full-price name-brands, are still just too pricey for me.
So here’s how I shop the
Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:
I don’t. 😉
Just kidding. I will totally be buying one of these Antica Farmacista room diffusers because I loooove their scents (but they’re not non-toxic, so I’m not going overboard on buying a ton of ’em).
But here’s what I’m really doing:
I’m finding what I like at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and then I’m going on over to ThredUp.com and I’m finding something very similar for much less.
Here are some of my favorite match-up findings — on the left is an item from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and on the right is a similar item I found for sale on ThredUp over the weekend (in my sizes, no less!):
My husband can’t tell a difference between the items on the left and the items on the right, but he can tell a difference in price — and he really likes that! 😉
I know you may say there’s a difference of quality between the items you can find at Nordstrom and what you’ll find at ThredUp, but I haven’t found that to be entirely true. Sure, there are some items that are definitely going to last a lot longer when you buy them brand new, but there are also a handful of items that will not last long at all, and yet they still will cost you a pretty penny. I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely seen a lot of paper-thin, poor-quality products at high-end department stores lately…
The way I usually find things that will last a long time through ThredUp is by shopping my favorite brands — brands that I know will last long, and brands that tend to fit my body shape well. By doing that, I don’t end up having to return very many things at all, and it ends up being a good deal in the long-run for me.
I’ve also sold a lot of my clothes to ThredUp and earned back store credit (you can get cash in exchange for your clothes) which worked pretty well. I earned less doing this than I did when I sold item by item on ebay, but it was a huge time-saver — you just throw the clothes in a polka-dotted bag, and it comes with a pre-paid label to send it back.
The one drawback I see of shopping ThredUp is that many of their nicer items sell out quickly once they’re listed because there’s only one of each item. That’s why I can’t link to the ThredUp items above; once someone adds them to their cart, they disappear from the store unless the shopper deletes them from their cart. The up-side, though, aside from the steals you can find (and by that, I mean the good prices), is that they seem to be adding new stuff to the store daily.
Now back to how our faith brings me to shopping second-hand…
I was listening to a homily by Father Barron sometime a year ago or so, and he was talking about social justice in the Catholic Church. He talked about money and property, and his reflection reminded me of how much my idea of how we spend our money (and how we give away our money), has changed these past few years.
Father Barron mentioned this quote, by Pope Leo XIII. He said, “Once the demands of necessity and propriety have been met, the rest that one owns belongs to the poor.”
Father Barron mentioned St. Ambrose, too, who said if a man has two shirts in his closet, one belongs to him — the other belongs to the man who has no shirt.
Essentially, once we have what we need, the rest is something we should be giving to the people in need.
This is a beautiful message, but certainly something that’s hard to hear in today’s culture. This also is something my husband knew before I knew it (he’s always been a big giver!)… but now I know it well, and it’s something we’re continuously working on in our lives.
I’ve come around to see our money as something that doesn’t exist just to benefit our family, just the two of us. No. It’ something more than that; something to benefit others as well. And my husband and I? We are simply stewards of that money, like I mentioned earlier.
So by shopping second-hand and shopping at stores like ThredUp, I’m able to save us some more money so that we can be better stewards of it; better at giving it away to those who need it, and better at saving it for our own family.