When we start families, we’re often tempted to cut corners on things like clothing and toys, thinking that our son or daughter will outgrow a garment before it’s worn out. That causes us to discount the value of durability and quality in clothing, and to almost view it as disposable.
We all understand that you get what you pay for, but that line of thinking is causing us to plan to “get” less. Instead of thinking of your children’s clothes as durable diapers, think of them as a longer-term investment.
How is that possible? You can’t make your child stay in the same size longer than he or she actually wears it! No, you can’t. But if you plan to have more kids yourself, or if you have friends or relatives who plan to have kids after you, it can be worthwhile to buy nicer things and not write them off once those gangly arms and legs render them unsuitable. Buying quality clothing, laundering it correctly, and storing it efficiently keeps your nicest items in good condition for other kids.
That may sound suspiciously like a roundabout way of saying, “Spend more money.” Don’t count on it. On top of all the old tricks–surfing the clearance racks, shopping at liquidation stores, redeeming loyalty points–you can also outfit your kids in nicer things for less money with some quality time spent online.
It doesn’t take long at all to zip through a search and find coupon codes for Hanna Andersson, a retailer of some really beautiful and unique clothing for people of all ages. With the savings you accumulate, you get that wonderful choice: Get the same items for less money than you originally thought, or get those items plus some other things for the same expenditure that you expected would get you much less. Call it the bargain shopper’s conundrum, and enjoy it.
And don’t forget each fall to prepare yourself to take advantage of the best Black Friday deals. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll avoid paying retail at every opportunity.
In the tearjerking stories of our grandparents, the younger siblings always bemoaned ending up with the hand-me-downs of the older ones, who had already worn out the garments before little sisters and brothers got them.
That has given a bad name to hand-me-downs, so let’s coin a term. Let’s call it “Sibling Garment Succession”. Or maybe instead of saying we’re handing it down, let’s say we’re saving it up.
Terminology aside, these truly aren’t your grandmother’s hand-me-downs. Grandma’s were washed in harsh soap with a hand wringer and dried in the beating down sun. Yours have a gentle cycle and a low-temp dryer.
That means that you’re not passing along the rags from kid to kid. You are spending your money wisely up front to make a purchase that will benefit all your children. Remember that when spending is really investing, there’s a benefit to reap that will repay you more than you think. Don’t hand them down, save them up!