Broke Moms Who Pawn Purses to Pay the Bills Inspire Us to Raid Our Closets

clothes hangerI wandered across a question on the web today that made me stop: "Would you pawn your handbag?" The fact that there are broke women who actually are brings up a better question, y'all. Is there really anything in your closet worth selling?

If you lost your job, and putting your favorite fashions up on eBay was the best way to pay the bills, would you be able to eat or getting evicted? I'll go first. Quick stock, and I'd be out on my American Eagle-clad you-know-what. It makes me kind of sad ... and not just because I couldn't feed the family off of what's in my closet.

Just taking a memory walk through my closet -- what, don't you know what's in yours? -- I realized I have never really splurged on myself. The "fanciest" it gets are a Coach bag, some Seven For All Mankind jeans, a pair of Cole Haan sunglasses, and a J.Crew dress. Not exactly haute couture. And just about all (save for the dress, which is brand new, and bought under duress) were bought on sale.

My sartorial spending has always been on the thrifty side. Where my husband is like a kid in a candy store when let loose on Fashion Avenue, I'm too busy calculating the costs and weighing them -- in my head -- against the mortgage to have any fun. I'm sure a bit of it also has to do with my lack of fashion sense. The fact that I had to actually Google the spelling of Cole Haan to reference my favorite pair of sunglasses above sums me up pretty well.

But I've got a craving for the perfect pair of blue jeans that fit me "just so" that could bankrupt me if I let it. And I haven't. The jeans I'm wearing right at this very moment cost me $6.99 at a thrift store. They have a "name" brand, but even new they probably wouldn't have broken $60.

You can call me financially savvy. I guess I am. But there's something to be said for treating yourself, even if it's just for ONE thing. We're not little kids. We don't cover our fronts in chocolate ice cream stains or wipe our snot on the sleeves. We can take care of clothes. And we wear them for a long time. We don't grow out of our shoes faster than we can actually tie them.

It might even be to our financial benefit to spend a little on certain things based on the length of time we'll wear it alone, and the quality it takes for a piece of clothing to stick around. And just imagine what a pair of jeans that fits you and only you can do for your self esteem ... Maybe having something potentially pawnable in the closet isn't such a bad idea, huh?

Do a quick mental run through your closet. What, if anything, could you sell to help pay the bills?


Image via deardavidyan/Flickr

denim, haute couture, clothes


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Stacey. Stacey.

Funny you would write this, literally 2 days ago I sold one of my couches and a small 12 inch TV on craigslist so I'd have gas money to get to work until I get paid. You do what you gotta do, I say.

Stacey. Stacey.

Also, I could never sell my clothes, as theyre nothing special. But I did also just sell old baby clothes, it was a good deal though 3 trash bags full for $10. Again, I just needed gas money, not trying to make a living LOL

BPayne09 BPayne09

I've sold many purses, shoes and clothes to pay bills or do things that need to be done. My expensive taste comes in handy when I'm needing to sell things for cash!

Em Chappell-Root

My entire wardrobe, summer, winter, spring, and fall, along with my fancy dresses (all bought at Ross for under $15 dollars) would fit into one large suitcase, and that include underwear, bras and shoes. I don't think my wardrobe or closet would save anything.


nonmember avatar Chris

If you are so financially unstable that you have to sell something to pay a bill you probably should not have anything designer name. That is what is wrong with our country, people think that they deserve that kind of stuff and charge up cards and then when they hit a financial crisis they have no cushion in their bank account to help them.

nonmember avatar Shannon

Nothing! 99.5% of it comes from Target or Old Navy.

annis... annismom10

I couldnt. Victorias secret is as highend as it gets for me. Even that I buy on clearance. My husband makes fair money, but we are a one income house. If we hit bumps, I pawn my wedding ring/ laptop & get them back when we can. I know a mom that let the lights go off in her house instead of pawning her ring for TWO days. She makes me sick.

Shannon Dee Bailey

I got not a single thing of value in my home that anyone would want.  Costume jewelry, thrift store clothes, dollar store decorations.  Yeah....I'd be in some serious doo doo if I had to depend on selling stuff to pay a bill :-)  No one but me would want the crap I have :-)

jagam... jagamama0710

I probably couldn't sell anything from my closet. lol I don't have to shop at the thrift store (although I would if I needed to) but I stick to places like Target, Old Navy, and Kohl's for clothes. I won't spend more than $30 on a bag - I don't get the allure of a $300 purse. I'll buy a purse and pretty much use it til it's got a hole in it and then buy another one. I don't spend more than $10-20 on a pair of sunglasses - I am forever losing them. 

I could maybe sell some of my military ball gowns if I needed to. Those are probably the most expensive things in my closet and even those were only around $150. I'm a cheapo. When we splurge we like to splurge on vacations. Memories and adventures are greater than shirts. :) 

Celia... Celiacelia

i dress mainly rockabilly/psychobilly/punk/pin up clothes from our little world cost some money but i operate a group on facebook where a bunch of ladies swap or sell their clothes/accesories and its helped me out a lot because ebay fees kinda suck

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