In Robert T. Kiyosaki’s famous book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” he mentions that his “Poor Dad” would say, “We can’t afford it.” and his “Rich Dad” would not allow that phrase in the house. Instead, they would say, “How can we afford it?”
Mr. Kiyosaki’s “Poor Dad” was his biological Dad and his “Rich Dad” was a wealthy neighbor who took Robert under his wing at a early age and shared his wealth building secrets with him. If you haven’t read any of his books, they are gold. Pun intended.
Last Fall and into the winter, I was feeling a bit frustrated with my wardrobe and the lack of space in my closet. There were too many miscellaneous pieces that didn’t match, and they took up too much space. So, when a lady from the Lupus Foundation called to see if we could donate some items to their truck I quickly agreed to donate.
Then I hung up the phone and raced up to my bedroom and began throwing all the stuff out of my closet that I have been hanging onto even if it was a bit too big, or slightly stained or needed to be hemmed or didn’t match a damn thing in the closet, but I had kept them because well . . . I had nothing else to wear.
Do you remember that saying in the movie “Field of Dreams” that goes, “If you build it. They will come”? Well, throwing out the old clothes was similar to that. I thought, “If I make space for the new clothes. New ones would come.” Even thou, truth be known, I didn’t have a budget for new clothes. But with a strong conviction I thought that some how, some way, it would work out.
If you don’t know me, I kind of have that crazy faith like optimism going on in my life. It has come through for me time and time again, especially say for “Rock Star” parking spaces and living in areas I would never in a million years be able to afford.
Anyway, where was I?
Oh yes, the stuff was gone. Long gone. I went through a good couple weeks wearing just a few things, feeling very Mother Teresa like. Greg was impressed with how little items were needing to be washed. For my part, it felt a bit monastic, very freeing mind you, but after three days of the same outfit, it got old, real quick. What’s a girl to do?
Well my first reaction was to go to the nearest thrift store and pick up some more stuff for cheap, but then I thought why do that when it usually isn’t exactly what I need anyway and usually doesn’t match a blasted thing. Plus, I noticed something interesting about my thrift store purchases: I don’t appreciate, nor take care of them the way I do when I buy the items new. Hmm, why is that?
Duplicate Pots and Pans
What my wardrobe desperately needed was the basics. So one evening I did some big, positive thinking and went to my favorite store, Eileen Fisher. There is a new store in the Galleria. Some amazing ladies helped me with coordinating several outfits totaling a small fortune. Wait, it isn’t spending right, it is investing.
Now, don’t you worry. I prudently left my Visa card at home. I put the items on hold and then a bit disappointed but determined drove all the way home thinking, “Eeek! How can I afford this?”
Well, the creative juices were going full throttle. Finally, I knew what I wanted, now it was just getting it that was the problem. What I came up with was yet another round of household purging. This time not for the sake of decluttering, but for the sake of selling stuff for a new wardrobe.
Okay, are you sitting down? Would you believe within a month’s time I sold almost $500 worth of stuff? No big ticket items, just trinkets, old toys, odds and ends, and things that where just taking up space and not being used.
Then with money in hand, and doing some price checking, coupons and online sales, I got nearly everything I wanted at Eileen Fisher, minus one piece that I am still waiting for the price to drop!
My favorite Craigslist sale during this time was to an amazing lady who ran for a Republican seat in the Senate for the last election. I’m not kidding you! She was so awesome!
We chatted a bit about what she is doing now. She rocks. Too bad she didn’t win. How cool is that – she buys things on Craigslist. Damn, we SO need her in our government. Anyway, she wanted a high chair because she is a new Grandma and was hosting Thanksgiving at her house as her daughter needed a high chair for the new baby.
Wait, hold on a second, before you start asking me why I’m giving away my high chair, first we still want another kid. Second, I got the chair free and truth be known, I get sick of things easily and got it free on the side of the road in Linden Hills. And well, sold it for $25. Is that shameless? No, it is industrious. I already gave to my political party, thank you very much.
Royal Velvet Towel Set
Back to the high chair. When the time comes and we have another baby (God willing) then I’ll start thinking about high chairs again, and perhaps I’ll find another on the side of the road because you can get some amazing stuff on the boulevards at this end of town (like a wooden train table and grill).
Oh, another funny Craigslist story. Did I ever tell you about the time we bought a practically new Mission Style entertainment cabinet (for the television we never watch) for a fourth of the price you would buy new?
Then when Greg went to go pick it up, he forgot to bring blankets to protect our van seats from scratches. So the nice guy at the house put an unwanted wool rug down on our seats for us. When Greg got home he showed me the beautiful cabinet and the rug which didn’t match a darn thing in our house (sorry deleted the photo). So, guess what I did? I sold it on Craigslist for $50.
Then there was the time that our dear friend, Chris, who is single and renting an apartment needed a place to put his kayak. We agreed to put it in our basement as we live just blocks from Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. Well, after three years of having it in our basement, we decided to finish the basement and needed it gone. So, I asked him if he could pick it up.
A Lot of Little People
He said that he wanted to sell it. I said, “Well, I could do that for you for a small fee.” Long story short, he paid about $800 for the kayak five years ago including paddles, life vests, car mount and some extras. I sold the kayak last summer for him for a whopping $675. Not too shabby if I don’t say so myself.
Now many people don’t have the time or interest in doing something like this. Some people turn their noses up on even the thought of something used and I understand that too. I would love to do ALL my shopping at Eileen Fisher, Pottery Barn, Gabberts and Nordstroms. But, then there are budgets and mouths to feed.
If you have the money. God bless you. To each his own, but at this time we have to be a bit conservative and creative with making ends meet. So it is nice to take old stuff and turn it into cash. Remember, think, “How can we afford this?” not, “We can’t afford this.” It will turn on your creative thinking flowing and who knows what will happen next.