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20 Amazing Benefits of Thrift Shopping You Probably Never Expected

20 Amazing Benefits of Thrift Shopping You Probably Never Expected

You may remember checking thrift shops for cheap furniture to outfit your first apartment, or you may be someone who checks thrift stores around Halloween to assemble the perfect costume. However, thrift and consignment shops have a lot of benefits that extend far beyond that once or twice-yearly opportunistic trip to the local Goodwill.

Read on to learn about some of the benefits of thrift shopping that you may not have considered. Hopefully at least a few of those benefits will encourage you to forego your trip to a big department store and check out a secondhand shop instead.

1. You may discover designer products at a fraction of the price.

Blogger Angie Tarantino writes that her first great experience thrift shopping as a teenager was finding a designer dress that would normally sell for about $80 for only $5 at a local thrift store. I’ve bought several J. Crew shirts—which would normally retail between $50-$90—for about $0.50 at a pay-by-the-pound thrift store. If you dig through the racks, you might be surprised by the quality brands you can purchase at a steep discount.

2. You’ll develop a unique wardrobe.

Purchase new summer looks from Macy’s or Nordstrom and you’re bound to run into other people wearing the same outfits. Thrift shops have a much more diverse assortment of clothing, meaning you’re less likely to find yourself wearing the same top or sweater as a friend or co-worker.

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3. Thrift shops have a constantly changing selection.

Because thrift stores receive donations, you can expect to see completely different products at your local thrift store from one week to the next.

4. You’ll get to take a trip down memory lane.

Remember when the Backstreet Boys released their music videos on VHS, or when Care Bears were all the rage? When you visit a thrift store, you’ll find all kinds of pop culture mementos to bring back fond memories.

5. You can instill good spending habits in your kids.

If you have children, taking them to a thrift store is a good way to teach them how to find good products while saving money.

6. The clothes are already broken in.

Sure, you’ll want to avoid those shirts with stretched out necklines and the unraveling sweaters, but in many cases, buying clothes secondhand is advantageous because items are prewashed and preshrunk. That means if something fits in the store, you don’t have to worry about losing that fit when you throw it in the laundry.

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7. Thrift shopping is like going on a (slightly competitive) treasure hunt.

If you get bored shopping for clothes at department stores or boutiques where items are neatly laid out and clearly labeled, you may be a natural thrift shopper. Shopping secondhand lets you dig through the racks for your own personal treasures, and a little friendly competition with other serious thrifters adds to the excitement.

8. Thrift stores let you explore diverse styles.

You may not like every item of clothing or piece of furniture you find at your local thrift store, but you can at least have fun looking at ostentatious, retro, or just plain bizarre merchandise.

9. You can find genuine vintage items.

Fashion is cyclical, and designers often try to mimic the looks of different decades. When you shop at thrift stores, you can often find clothing that was actually made in the decade that’s coming back into style.

10. You may find something that pays off when Antiques Roadshow comes to town.

Every now and then, you’ll hear about a thrift shopper who stumbled across a true treasure, such as this North Carolina woman who spent $10 on an abstract painting that is valued at $15,000-$20,000.

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11. You can furnish your first home on a tight budget.

When you first graduate from college or move out of your parent’s home, you may not have a huge budget to buy all the basic furniture, kitchenware, and appliances you need. Most thrift stores have a sizeable furniture section with steep discounts on secondhand items, allowing you to outfit your first home without getting into financial trouble.

12. Thrift shopping sets you up for some great DIY projects.

Whether you want to transform T-shirts into tank tops, re-cover a dining room chair, or anything in between, you can find the basic materials for your DIY projects at a local thrift store.

13. Thrift stores allow you to save money on kids’ clothes.

Kids grow quickly, so why would you want to spend $25 on a new shirt or $40 on a new pair of jeans when your son or daughter is going to outgrow them in a year or less?

14. You can find items that are no longer made.

Whether you’re looking for an out-of-print book or an iconic T-shirt that was only made in the 80s, thrift shops are often your best bet to find items that are no longer in production.

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15. You can find unique gifts.

If you have friends or family members who appreciate unique, quirky thrift store finds, you can roam your local thrift shop in search of a great holiday or white elephant gift.

16. Thrift stores are great for intergenerational shopping trips.

Your parents might not be too enthused about being dragged to Anthropologie, and your kids might not want to go on that furniture shopping trip to IKEA, but when you go to a thrift store, there’s something for every generation.

17. You don’t have to face the mall.

Sure, there are some people who genuinely enjoy going to the mall, but many others dread the crowds, high prices, and sterile environment. If you’re in the latter group, you should consider doing the bulk of your shopping at thrift stores.

18. Thrift shopping is environmentally friendly.

Thrift shopping is a great way to recycle; you can donate clothes you no longer wear and buy more clothes, eliminating waste in the process.

19. Your purchases may go towards a charity.

Many thrift stores are non-profits that partner with local charities, and when you make a purchase, part of what you spend goes to a good cause.

20. You can turn thrifting into a business.

If you’re someone with an eye for good deals, you can purchase high-quality items at a thrift or consignment shop and sell them for a higher price using an online marketplace. Plenty of online shoppers are interested in purchasing vintage clothes or unique décor items that a savvy buyer has sourced from a thrift shop.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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