"Oh this is gorgeous! But how happy does this make you feel? And this?"
So exuded the shop assistant at a charity shop when I was purchasing a skirt. She was referring first to the expensive label and then to the price tag which read a happy £4.49.
There's a bountiful supply of books, blogs, TV programmes and weekly columns devoted to making our pennies go further with promises of 'Living Rich Even Though Poor.' Yes, it's a good thing to be in control of our money. Especially as we know well, how much our financial situation can affect our mood. But how can we feel "rich" even if "poor"?
Well, I feel strongly that it doesn't mean living ascetically or being mean. I for one adore the aesthetic and am all about being surrounded with beauty. I think India Knight explains it well in her Thrift Book: 'What we'd like is some authenticity, some individualism, some soul in our lives... some integrity.'
For example, homemade gifts and cards will almost always be more meaningful and heartfelt than shop bought ones.
Up-cycling old lamp-shades, chairs, wardrobes, side-units, (the list is endless actually) brings an inner satisfaction that the quick fix high of spending just can't compare with.
And what of charity shops? Well why spend £80 on a skirt when we can buy one for less than a fiver? I'm in shopping nirvana when in a charity shop. After I have calmed myself down, I set about rummaging in a very orderly, logistical manner. I don't want to miss a thing! You just never know what treasure you will find in a charity shop. I'd say about 75% of my wardrobe is made up of such treasures.
Thrifting can be a fun and creative way of starting on the path of living more frugally but feeling altogether more satisfied and happy. Last month saw the first ever Thrift Festival in Darlington, Yorkshire, thanks to Wayne Hemingway. I was desperate to go but it'd have cost me £100 for a day return! (What a shame our country's rail services don't help us get thrifty.) If you were able to go, please tell me about it or indeed, just share any of your nifty, thrifty ways.