How do you like my new (previously owned) table?
It is a sunny Saturday morning and I am sitting at the kitchen table at my cottage. What struck me on my morning’s bike ride around Winnipeg Beach was the number of garage sales that I came across and the number of people out and about shopping for a bargain.
We all know that Manitobans have always been very passionate about finding a bargain but things are somehow different. Following the loosening of the pandemic restrictions, I have noticed two things, people want to get out and reconnect with others and second, Thrifting has really become a thing.
With rising inflation, the cost of consumer goods and services have gone up exponentially: groceries, dinner out, gas and even a recent dental cleaning have all cost me a whole lot more.
When I think about the effort that I have put into long-term financial planning for my retirement and annual vacation, these price increases will meant that the dollars I’ve saved may not be enough. So, I have two choices: save more, spend less, or a third choice, both! I am motivated to hit retirement and my vacation goals.
When it comes to spending less, my twenty-something niece is a thrifting expert, so I turned to her for advice. She recommends that I access:
- Marketplace or Kijiji where people sell all sorts of gently used consumer goods at discount prices. She notes that if I want to purge unused items I could consider selling them on these or similar sites to make a bit of money too. Unintended Pro: we are contributing to a healthier world when we recycle, reuse and reduce.
- Thrift stores for clothes and consumer goods. Unintended Pro: many of these stores support services provided to disadvantaged individuals in our community.
- Grow your own veggies Unintended Pros: allows you to enjoy the great outdoors during our beautiful summer and nosh on pesticide free fresh produce all summer long.
- Garage Sales – bargain basement prices for many items. Unintended Pro: meet your neighbours and building community.
- Libraries for books, magazines, movies – why buy or pay for a streaming service when you can get these items for free from your local library. Unintended Pro: contribution to a great community hub.
- Check out Instagram for online thrift store sales or factory outlet sales. Unintended Pro: Support small local mom and pop shops while allowing them to keep their overhead low.
It’s summertime and so great to be out and about and reconnecting with our community. This fresh perspective gives us all a chance to reassess our habits and try new things.
We may not be able to control inflation, but maybe we can get ahead of its impact with some of these ideas. Financial planning for our goals is a journey – so why not take these steps with me this summer.
PS And as I sign off on this post, I note, that I have written this installment from the comfort of the kitchen table that I bought at a downtown thrift store many years ago.
Founder and Project Coordinator, MoneySmart Manitoba
Manager, Education & Communications, Manitoba Financial Services Agency