Tough economy demands new habits

CORINTH – Flea markets, garage sales and yard sales have a new clientele.
All have gained new interest for people struggling to maintain their families during current economic uncertainties and often with less income, said Mary Linda Moore, Family Resource Management Area agent for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
“From listening and talking with people at my financial planning workshops, they are having garage sales to pay bills – not for extras, but to make ends meet,” she said. “People are definitely turning toward getting rid of extra things they’re not using in their own homes, as well as doing their own shopping at flea markets and yard sales.”
The old saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure is proving true.
“Even things people put out on the street, where before they might have been too proud, now they will stop and pick it up,” Moore said. “Something you have no use for, someone else will say, ‘I need that desperately.’”
One thing that Moore noticed hasn’t seemed to slow much is people going out to eat and buying alcohol.
“They’re looking for easy, inexpensive ways to make themselves feel better, so they’re continuing some of those habits that don’t cost a lot,” but also are not the habits you want to encourage for overall health, she said.

Yard Sale Quick Tips
Make a list of the items you know you want to look for. This will help you to remember to look for certain important items at each sale you go to.

Determine a fair price
n Before buying an item on your list (or any item for that matter), determine what a fair price would be for that item at a yard sale. A fair yard sale price is typically 25 percent to 40 percent of the price of a similar new item, depending on its condition. Write down the prices you would be willing to pay next to each item you have on your list.

Get some cash
n Plan to get some cash in small bills before you go out, especially when you go out early. If you get cash from an ATM machine ($10 and $20 bills), make sure that you break them before going to your yard sales. The reason for having small bills is that sometimes the person who is having the yard sale you visit will forget to have small bills for change on hand.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

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