Thursday, May 15, 2014

Double Dipping

Many of you know that the Sheridan family made an important life decision recently. After examining our financial landscape, paying our taxes and observing the housing market, we decided that the time was right for us to sell our house. Our realtor suggested that we moved out so that we could get things repaired, painted, cleaned and landscaped to fetch the highest dollar. We followed his advice and rented a place across town that was $1100 cheaper than our mortgage. (And just last Friday, we did get an offer for the highest dollar we estimated we could get.)

During the moving process, I cleared out a good deal of our old Sheridan inventory. But there was one element of the cleansing process of de-cluttering that I just couldn't do, my clothes. Even though I went shopping for new clothes back in February and cleared out a few things, my summer wardrobe looked pretty bleak. Even though April and May were colder than January and February it seems, I still kept my eye on the horizon of summer time.

Back in February I also ran a segment on Fun Dollars about the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: The First Three Habits and how they relate to Fun Dollars. Keeping the lesson of "Begin with the End in Mind" I held onto the parts of my wardrobe that no longer served me as I prepared to move. I knew that after everything was settled into the new home, they would come in handy. Beginning With the End in Mind means having enough foresight to know what you want your outcome to be. My desired outcome was a whole new wardrobe for summer, and somehow, between these cast-off clothes and my Fun Dollars, I was going to make that happen.

Now that we were moved, and our house was put together, I could now invite people over. What better way to hang out with my girlfriends as well as get a whole new wardrobe than by hosting a clothing swap? Some of you might not be familiar with the concept of a clothing swap. Allow me to enlighten you:

Imagine going through your closet and picking out the stuff that you're no longer in love with; jeans that are too big, shoes that you bought ten years ago, a scarf that your grandma gave you, a skirt that needs a little stitching, a blouse that is missing one button that you never seem to have time to fix, a shirt that used to be your favorite but you've grown out of it... all of them prime candidates for a clothing swap. Now imagine your friends doing the exact same thing in their closets. And lastly, pretend you all get together to drink some wine, lay out your unwanted clothes and accessories, and then....poof! The magic happens!

You suddenly find yourself trying on that dress that your friend used to wear that you just loved, or walking around in a pair of heels you never knew you wanted. With your friends there to say, "Oh, that looks amazing on you!" or "You need to take that one home," you think, "Now this is shopping!" That's what a clothing swap is. You get to try clothes on that you would not normally buy in the store, let alone take into the dressing room. After swearing off shorts for almost a decade, I found myself prancing around in a pair of patchwork Gap shorts. I would never have bought them at the store no matter how on clearance they were. But because they were free, I figured, "why not try them out?"

Clothing swaps are such a great way to step out of your fashion box that you might find yourself trapped in. With new colors, cuts, textures, and sizes to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Yesterday as my girlfriends and I sat around sipping our vino and eating our fresh berries and cheesecake, we had a chance to just slow down and enjoy our "shopping" experience. Lily played with the three other children who came with their mamas, and no one had to worry about pushing a stroller around a mall with a crying and bored child. Everyone left with "new" things to call their own and to integrate into their own closets.

I spent $80.00Fun Dollars on refreshments ($40.00 of that was on a six-pack of wine at Safeway. If you buy 6 bottles of any alcohol, you get an extra 10% off. Some bottles were already 50% off and the discount compounded!) And for that $80.00 Fun Dollars I spent on wine, Fiji water and food, I received that new summer wardrobe I had been pining over. So, in a way, I made my Fun Dollars count for two things; I financed a girls' day out as well as new clothes for me. I in no way feel sad about dropping 4/5 of my Fun Dollars for this pay cycle on the clothing swap. What I got back in return was priceless.

6 bottles of wine, 2 six-packs of Fiji waters, a big box of raspberries and blueberries, and a multi-flavor cheesecake at Safeway- $80.00

Just to give you an idea of what else this $80.00 bought me: 3 skirts, one pair of shorts, 4 dresses, 5 nice shirts, 4 casual shirts, one pair of dress pants, 3 workout tops (like sports bras), one pair of nike workout capris, 2 jackets, 2 sweaters, one pool cover-up, one scarf and one hat. I don't think that $80.00 would have got me that much stuff even at Goodwill, and I certainly could not have drank wine while shopping ;)

A Special Thanks to Sarah of the Sedona Trolley and Allie of Allie Ollie for donating to this clothing swap. 

Balance this pay cycle- $20.00

Happy Spending!

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