Retail: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

I am always looking to save money, especially with my horrible shopping obsessions. So, I am a regular Plato’s Closet recycler. It’s such a smart way to make money AND save money. If you haven’t ever been to Plato’s Closet, they are a retail store that recycles fashion for both guys and girls! Meaning, they buy your old clothes and accessories off of you for instant cash! They then sell these clothes for low prices that are affordable for any budget. So, here’s how you get started:

Step 1: Go through your closet and pick out anything you haven’t worn in the past 6 months to 1 year. Make sure everything is in decent quality and has no stains.

Step 2: Go through your accessories and pick out anything you haven’t used in the past 6 months to 1 year. This means all jewelry (earrings must be on its original hang tag) belts, scarves, purses, and shoes.

Step 3: Fold everything neatly in a large tote bag or shopping bag.

Step 4: Take to your nearest Plato’s Closet and get cash for your clothes and accessories on the spot!

I’ve found that they’re a little picky when it comes to shoes and dresses. However, I typically get around $20-$30 whenever I go there. I also frequently go there for quick events, like holidays, to pick up a quick dress for under $10 instead of spending $30 at the mall for something I’ll only wear once! And usually, they’ll buy it back after you’ve gotten your use out of it!

Plato’s Closet is also a great place to go shopping for quick trends you know won’t be in style for long or for anything in general! They carry tons of Forever 21, Hollister, American Eagle, Abercrombie, Juicy Couture, Charlotte Russe, and brands from Urban Outfitters. Dresses and skirts typically run $6-$10 dollars and shirts and tank tops $6-$12 depending on brand and style. Shoes are around $10-$20, same with jeans, leggings, and sweaters/blazers/sweatshirts. It’s a place that anyone can bargain shop and I promise you’ll find some great steals! If you haven’t been there yet, I definitely recommend you try it out!

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Motivational Money

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As a college grad, you’re going to be faced with hideous loan payments about 6 months after graduation (unless you’re blessed and have wonderful parents who can pay for your college). So if you’re like me and can’t resist shopping and buying Starbucks AND need to pay for school, you might need some reminding that loans are approaching. Hence, the money jar. I’m a firm believer in “Out of sight, out of mind.” I need something visual to stimulate and motivate me. So, I made a quick trip to Joann Fabrics and bought materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Mason jar (3$)
2. 1 piece of scrapbook paper (1$)
3. Letter stickers (1$)
4. Scissors
5. Tape

Now the rest is simple! Cut a strip of scrapbook paper, about 3-4 inches tall. Feel free to use decorative scissors to make a funky edge! Place your message using your stickers BEFORE applying it to the jar. This way, the stickers won’t come out crooked. Add cute details like ribbons, rhinestones, and studs! This is a the fun part, so go all out! Next, simply wrap the strip around the jar and secure it with tape. Finally, remove the inner top of the mason jar, leaving it open. Now, place it in an area you walk by everyday, and every time you find spare change or have a couple extra dollars, drop it into the jar! Try saving a specific amount from each weekly paycheck and promise yourself that whatever amount is in that jar, it CANNOT be touched.

What’s great about this simple and affordable DIY, is that you don’t have to use it for just loans. Need motivation for weight loss? Label the jar “new wardrobe” for when you reach your goal! Want to splurge on new fall boots? Tape a picture of them onto the jar! It seems silly, but seeing something that will remind you to save daily will truly help in the long run. And remember, every penny counts!