I started thrifting regularly several years ago in the context of a complete financial overhaul, and it really has changed my life for the better. Yes, it’s time consuming and the stores are often unglamorous. But in my estimation, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. There are many reasons to thrift, but I’ve outlined five important reasons below.
Number 1: Let’s start with the obvious: You will save money.
In the past three years, I’ve saved thousands of dollars by largely avoiding the mall and instead shopping thrift or resale stores. In fact, most of my clothes are from Goodwill or Salvation Army, places with rock bottom prices. I’ve used the extra money to pay off debt, save, and travel.
Number 2: Your outfits will be more unique and creative.
Thrifting lends itself to piece-by-piece buying. You will begin to let your own sense of style emerge as you piece together one-of-a-kind outfits that are creatively all yours! I love knowing that my outfits are unique to me and that no one else is donning the same ensemble. (Who else is walking around in lime ball earrings and an old school Christopher and Banks blouse that could have made a beautiful doily)? It’s also more fun to get dressed in the morning!
3. You are lessening consumerism and increasing recycling.
In today’s society, we tend to lose interest in our possessions quickly, eager to keep pace with the latest trends and styles. Thrift stores reduce consumption and provide a way for clothes to be “recycled’ to new owners instead of being dumped into a landfill prematurely.
4. You will develop more self-discipline.
Charles Duhigg, in his fascinating book titled “The Power of Habit,” coins the term “keystone” habits. According to Duhigg, keystone habits don’t create a direct cause-and-effect relationship, but they can spark “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.” (For instance, those who exercise are more likely to start eating healthier).
From a personal perspective, thrifting was a keystone habit. Once I became a habitual thrifter, I started becoming aware of other wasteful habits I’d developed. I subsequently quit going to Starbucks for overpriced lattes, stopped eating out so pervasively, and instituted savings goals. In short, I began to understand the value of money and the need to spend, save, and invest wisely. (Oh, and the book was a thrift store find, too). 🙂
5. You will become more content.
At the end of the day, you will find that happiness doesn’t hinge upon the things you own. When you untangle youself from society’s adoration of excess and expense, you will prioritize relationships with others, meaningful purpose, and new experiences–all things that spark true joy.