Now before we get started today, don’t get us wrong. There’s nothing more fun than receiving a gift card to one of our favorite stores, like J. Crew, Banana Republic or Anthropologie! It’s such a sweet, thoughtful gift and a super fun treat.
We love high-end, curated beautiful brands with quality-made clothes. What we don’t love is paying $98 for a sweater!
At the beginning of our marriage, we were living off of one teacher’s salary and living by the principles Dave Ramsey teaches in The Total Money Makeover, which meant we committed to pay our monthly living expenses, save for retirement and start our business without going into debt. We did everything we could to stay disciplined and educate ourselves about personal finance so that we could start living like no one else, so that later, we could live and give like no one else. Living like no one else meant being intentional about everything, even our shopping.
One of the books we read early on was The Millionaire Mind by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley, in which the author reveals the ways that America’s millionaires think, behave and live, based not on people’s assumptions, but on actual research of this country’s wealthiest, most successful individuals and their spending habits.
The most valuable takeaway we got from this book is the idea that:
The average millionaire doesn’t invest money in things that lose most of their value as soon as they’re purchased.
Items like clothing, shoes, furniture and even cars lose most of their value immediately, which is why so many millionaires buy used cars, get their shoes re-soled and shop consignment. And the way we see it, if it’s good enough for the millionaires, it’s good enough for us!
So here’s our secret. We shop like millionaires. Which means we LOVE shopping curated consignment.
We can remember going to one of our favorite local curated consignment shops (for you Arizona locals out there, My Sister’s Closet) and finding twelve amazing staple pieces from some of our favorite brands (including several awesome dresses and skirts to wear for shooting weddings!) including (wait for it!) J. Crew, Banana Republic and White House Black Market! And the total for all twelve items was $115! Which means we got TWELVE great pieces from high-end brands for less than the retail cost of ONE dress from Banana Republic! Shut the front door. It’s true!
The trick to making consignment worth our time is to look for curated high-end consignment. Instead of shopping at mass thrift stores like Savers or Goodwill, which will accept just about any kind of clothing from any kind of brand, we hunt for shops and online outlets who curate what gets sold. At My Sister’s Closet, they only accept cute brand-name clothing in great condition that would retail for $50 a piece or more, which is how Amy was able to score a $138 Banana Republic tailored dress for $14.99.
Another one of our favorite finds was a pair of brown COACH ankle booties that retail for $275. Amy paid $24 for them, which is less than a pair of ankle booties from TARGET! We got a Banana Republic top that retails for $68, and Amy got it for $9.99. So instead of paying $343 for those items, we paid $33.99. We’ve never claimed to like math, but, you guys, that’s TEN PERCENT! Math is getting pretty fun!
We could go on and on with the crazy savings, but just think. It only takes a few trips like that to the consignment shop, and pretty soon, you’ve saved yourself enough to GO ON A CRUISE! And look cute while doing it! Speaking of that, if you remember our cruise photos from last month, we got more comments on Amy’s bathing suit than anything, and, you guessed it, it was $150+ suit that she bought for $11.99.
Even though one of our favorite shops, My Sister’s Closet, is local to Arizona, there are curated high end consignment shops all over the nation. We were introduced to an online shop called Thred Up, with a similar business model, which we love. They even start you off with ten free dollars! We also hunt around the outlets from time to time, although it’s just hard for those outlet prices to compete with the high end consignment shops. There’s just something so fun about finding something you love at a steal of a deal!