The psychology of thrifting: it's about more than saving money!


Charles Dickens wrote in Oliver Twist: "There is a passion for hunting something deeply implanted in the human breast." Whenever I can, I go hunting. I admire those who spend their leisure time walking in the woods, painting or gardening. I think of these as higher callings, but I get high treasure hunting.

Three seasons a year, at least on the weekends, I'm a yard sale addict. When winter closes the sales, I get the same surge from thrift shopping.

I admit it. I'm a thrift-shopaholic. For years, I practiced my passion with a certain degree of stealth. As a psychotherapist in private practice in a small town, being caught "thrifting" might suggest that I wasn't doing too well. Finally, I mentioned it to a colleague who laughed and said, "They'll think you're spending their money wisely."