Calling All Spendthrifts: Keep It Up!

by Katy on June 6, 2008 · 3 comments

As most of my readers know, I am a member of The Compact, a worldwide group that elects to only buy used. We do this for a number of reasons, but mostly because we choose to define ourselves by our actions, not our purchases. In doing so, we hope to bring awareness to how the current consumer lifestyle affects our lives, our finances and our planet.

I have two sons, ages 10 and 12. They are used to Mommy’s soapbox antics. It doesn’t faze them to wear secondhand clothes and receive secondhand gifts. The 12-year-old really gets it, and the 10-year-old is okay with it, as long as it he still gets toys. (He’s very stuff-motivated.)

The 12-year-old is growing like a weed, and is constantly needing new clothes. This time it was jeans. So I headed out to my trusty Goodwill thrift store yesterday on said mission. I quickly found a brand-new-looking pair of Gap “carpenter jeans” in just his size. They were $4.99, but had a purple tag, which meant they were an additional 50% off. Score!

When I got home I raced to scope out the Gap website. Had I gone to the mall, I would have had to fork over 35 bucks.

Ah hah! A perfect opportunity for a parental teaching moment.

“So who’s smarter?” I queried. “The person who paid $35 for the jeans, or the person who paid $2.50?”

My son turned his gaze upon me and replied with that look only a teenager can truly master. He’s precocious this way.

“Mom, if someone hadn’t paid $35, we wouldn’t have been able to pay the $2.50.”

Will there ever be so many people doing The Compact that there won’t be enough secondhand goods to go around? Based on the long line of of cars at Goodwill awaiting their turn to donate. I’d have to say a resounding no. But my son’s response gave me pause. Someone has to start the consumer cycle.

But who do you want to be? The person who spends $35 on a pair of kid’s jeans? Or the person who spends $2.50?

-Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah June 6, 2008 at 1:17 pm

don’t you just love smart kids..hehehe
mine would say something similiar..
keep on girl!


shinebrightly June 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm

You are inspiring me with your wonderful blog! I love getting your emails! Great suggestions!

Cool new blog header, too, by the way. Cheers!


Katie July 17, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Damn! Smart kid. 🙂


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