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Show your children the excitement of a treasure hunt and the joys of thrifting

Show your children the excitement of a treasure hunt and the joys of thrifting

If you’re already a savvy thrift-shopper, one of the greatest gifts you can give others is to show them the joys and rewards firsthand.

And that starts with your kids. One important life lesson involves teaching them the three basic principles surrounding money — giving, saving and spending. While it’s important to explain these three principles, it’s also imperative to provide them concrete tools to practice them.

Goodwill Central Coast provides the perfect classroom for these lessons. You can model for them the importance of money, how to stay on budget, getting the most for their money, leaving a smaller environmental footprint and helping others with each purchase.

There are many other values they can pick up while shopping at Goodwill Central Coast:

Unleashing creativity

Thrift shopping sparks the inspiration to stretch creative thinking. Walking through the store, your kids may see an exciting array of items on shelves. But can they reimagine them in a new way? For example, they can repaint a wooden trunk and turn it into a spot for their books. Colorfully printed shirts can be converted into homemade pillowcases for their bed. An old jar becomes an artistic sculpture by adding colored dried beans, rocks, marbles or seashells.

The value of helping others

By choosing to shop at Goodwill, you teach your kids the value of giving back and helping others. Explain to your kids that shopping at and donating to Goodwill is a way to help people get jobs and take care of their families. Explain the power of employment and how some of your friends and neighbors overcome obstacles toward financial security.

Expressing individuality

Trends come and go, but someone’s uniqueness never goes out of style. It doesn’t cost much for your children to create their own look when they’re thrift shopping at Goodwill. Buying mass-produced, name-brand items does not enhance individuality. Explain that while there really is no problem with owning some name-brand clothing, filling an entire wardrobe with expensive new clothing is simply not necessary. Encourage them to try new styles and express their individuality with their clothing. They’re not likely to see that look on anyone else. And if they decide to change it up, they can donate those items right back to Goodwill!

Spending their own money

Thrifting is a valuable lesson that can help your kids save better and spend smarter throughout their lives. Give them an allowance and show them how to manage that sum on a budget. When your kids see you paying a fraction of retail costs on clothing, accessories, toys and other items by thrift shopping, they see firsthand the concept of managing money and making sound decisions.

Taking care of the planet

Parents should not shield their children from issues like global warming, pollution and waste. After all, they are inheriting many of our poor decisions.

It’s easy to illustrate how buying secondhand items saves something from ending up in a landfill and something new from being produced. Every time you shop in a thrift store, you teach your children the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling items to protect our planet. Your children will see that many used items look just as good as those brand new ones off the shelf!

Have fun along the way

Make it a family night out, ending with ice cream and a stroll through the park. Create a game, such as a scavenger hunt, or have them shop for each other. Draw names for holiday gifts and assign each child a budget. Head to the internet for thrifty, DIY ideas, shop for the items together and create a fun, family project.

The time together, and the lessons learned, will live in their hearts forever.