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Thrift shopping can help you slash expenses by thousands of dollars a year. Vintage clothing, cell phones, furniture, computers, kitchen appliances – just about everything you can name can be purchased second hand on sites such as Craigslist, eBay and Etsy. There are probably second-hand stores near where you live as well as thrift stores run by nonprofit organizations like ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) and Goodwill. Before you turn up your nose at the idea of shopping in a thrift store, go check one out. You might be surprised at the items you find and their prices. Sometimes people just need to get rid of stuff that’s in good shape because they’re downsizing, no longer have room for it and choose to donate it. We know of one young man that essentially furnished his living room out of a Goodwill Store and the furniture was in such good shape you’d never know where it came from.
Another area where you should definitely buy used is an automobile. You may have heard that a new car loses a chunk of its value the minute you drive it off the dealer’s lot and it’s true. In fact, the website Trusted Choice estimates that it drops 11% in value. This means if you buy a new car for $31,252 it’s worth only $27,814 the minute you get home. One year later, thanks to depreciation, it will be worth $23,523 and two years later that $31,22 car will be worth just $16,867. Now, for the good news. If you were to buy that car when it’s two years old and pay just $16,867, you’ll have saved $14,385 and will be driving a really great car that once sold for more than $31,000! To put this another way, that other guy’s loss is now your gain.
Buying used cars makes even more sense today thanks to leasing. You’ve undoubtedly seen those ads where new cars can be leased for $225 a month or even less. Where do you suppose those cars go when their leases are up? They go to auto auctions where used car dealers buy and resell them. If you shop carefully, you should be able to pick up one of these cars at a real bargain and drive home with one that’s only a couple of years old and is fully loaded.