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How To Take Advantage of Hand-Me-Downs

January 3rd, 2013 Personal Finance

Chances are, you have a few friends who have children around the same age as yours. Even better is if they happen to be separated by two or three years. Given how quickly kids grow, you may find yourself heading out to buy them new clothing a lot more than you'd initially anticipated, which can cost quite a bit as time goes on. This is where your friends come into play! Instead of going to the store every year or two, why not suggest a clothing swap? It's an easy way to ensure that a few different households have the right clothes for their kids and can save a lot of money in the long run.

How much can you save? It really depends on the ages of your friends' children. If you're lucky, you know a few different parents who are interested in a clothing exchange. Ideally, you will all pay it forward - pass on your child's clothing and receive someone else's in return. It may not seem like much at the time, but after a few years the savings can definitely start to add up.

So, the next time you and your friends are together, suggest a clothing exchange and see how they respond. You may be surprised at just how amenable people are to the prospect. Once you start doing it, it'll become a normal pattern - simply bring a small bag full of clothes that your little one can no longer wear when you happen to be visiting, and trust that they'll do the same for you.