For the most part buying things second hand is no big deal. I used to shop thrift stores and yard sales all the time anyway. I didn't buy second hand so I could decrease my ecological footprint, I did it because I was cheap! I truly used to think that being a good steward of my money meant spending as little as possible. I became really good at being cheap. I spent hours clipping coupons and looking over deals in circulars to plan my grocery shopping trip. If something wasn't on sale I didn't buy it unless I absolutely needed it. I've realized more recently that this is not the way to be a good steward. Sure, I am saving my money, but at whose expense? I could save $5 by buying the cheapest coffee, but what about the coffee farmers that receive an unfair wage for their labor? I could buy an $8 shirt from Walmart, but where was it made...a sweatshop perhaps? Is it worth for me to save a few bucks at the expense of those that already poor?
A couple times this week that cheap side of me tried to take away my better judgement. The other day I went to Staples to buy Turbo Tax. We decided that this would be a necessary purchase since we are truly are totally clueless when it comes to doing our taxes, especially since there are some crazy things because Brent is a pastor. The people at H&R Block were pretty stumped last year, so we figured we wouldn't do so well on our own. Anyway, there was a deal going that with the purchase of Turbo Tax you could get some other computer software for only $10. There was a photo software that I had really wanted to get last year but it was too expensive. Here it was for only $10! I was really tempted to just get it and not tell anyone. Very tempting, but I resisted.
A little while ago I could have gotten a baby carrier that normally costs anywhere from $40-$100 for only $15. The only problem was that it was new. I couldn't even get a carrier of this style second hand for that cheap. Ugh! That was really hard to pass up.
Today I got a coupon in the mail for $10 off a purchase of $10 at Fashion Bug. Now this one is sticky. Part of me really wants to justify using it...I could get something for free after all! For some reason though, it feels like using it would be going against the spirit of this year. Then again, I did get a free water ice at Rita's on Thursday! Maybe I'm contradicting myself. Sometimes it can be a little tricky navigating this year and we just kind of have to feel our way. What would you do?
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