Sunday, March 13, 2011

Revelation #3: Cheapskate Until the End.

Recently I realized that no matter how much money I make in my future (which I hope will be plenty) I will, deep in my heart, always be a cheapskate.

It probably has to do with my sincere hatred towards capitalism—especially current neoliberal capitalism with all it’s privatizations and products built to break.

But it also comes from being trained to find a good bargain and knowing that name brands or even “new” isn’t necessary.

The other night as I was walking to the bar I realized that almost all of my clothes were either from a thrift store/garage sale or from a clothing exchange. Everything but my boots. My coat, my bag, my shirt, my jeans, the total of this outfit was $1. You read that right, $1.

It’s so much more exciting to me to be able to look good as cheaply as possible, and this doesn’t mean looking cheap, I had on Abercrombie and Levis not a skirt from the Half-Price store.

Coming to the realization that I barely have to buy anything new is really life-altering. If companies stopped making clothes, we could probably exchange them and last in them the rest of our lives and possibly even the next generation. Mainly because there is so much out there, at one Target alone I noticed two-three shelves covered with gloves. What’s going to happen to those gloves? They’re either going to go back to the inventory, they’re going to be donated, or they’re going to be thrown away. Why make so many to begin with? What a waste.

I don’t even want to get started on dumpster diving; the things people throw away, they should be ashamed. I have a really nice desk: dumpster. Board games, wine glasses, end tables, lamps, clothes, canvases, Dvds, tons of notebooks etc. all dumpster. I even found a big bag of not-yet-expired teas. It’s a crazy world out there.

I guess I’m like the scavenger. Cleaning up the loose ends. I don’t mind. It feels good to be more a part of the solution than the problem (though of course I’m not perfect and we all create our own “footprint”)

All I know is being cheap is fun. (On that note, being cheap doesn't mean not tipping, if you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to go out.)

Want some tips on being Cheap?

1) Try thrift stores on Mondays/Tuesdays as they usually get bigger donations on the weekends. (And often times the stuff is half off)

2) If you live in a college town or a city, check when semesters end, especially end of the year, college kids are disgustingly wasteful.

3) Also if you’re super cheap and your town is having a garage sale day go towards the end, people will sell things to you at next to nothing. Or wait until it’s over and see what they throw away.

4) Ryan says if you think long and hard enough about something you want, it will show up. This happened with my desk, we came back from winter break, we were going to go to Resource (also an awesome place for cheap things) to either find one or get the stuff to build one. But, right when we were getting ready to leave someone had just thrown one out.

5) Have a clothing exchange instead of just donating or throwing out clothes you don’t want. This is a great way to freshen up a wardrobe, plus it’s fun!

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