Financial Literacy 101 tip: Bargain Shop

April is almost here! And that means . . . Tax Day, which is Monday, April 18th this year.

April (undoubtedly because Tax Day makes everyone think about finances) is also Financial Literacy Month. “Financial literacy” means you have the skills to manage money in everyday life: you can prepare and follow a budget, manage a bank account, understand home or auto loan terms, and compare credit card interest rates.

One of the first things financially literate people learn is how to live within their budget, and that means finding bargains. These are the customers who come to our thrift shop! They know that they can find good-quality, hardly-worn women’s and men’s clothing at significantly lower prices than the mall. They know we always have a fantastic selection of children’s clothing and toys. They check out our linens, housewares, and glassware. They know that money they save shopping with ALI, is money they can use for something else in their lives!

There are lots of resources in the library or on the internet to help you improve your financial literacy, but start with that first step: make shopping at the ALI thrift store part of your financial plan!

Downtown Abbey returns to Assistance League of Irvine!

Alas, blog readers, the demise of “Downton Abbey” has left us with a gaping hole in our hearts, not to mention the gaping hole in our Sunday night TV schedule. You need something to remind you of Downton and the Crawleys. Something you can hold and touch while you reminisce about the past six seasons. Something – from the thrift shop!

Nothing was more symbolic of Downton than afternoon tea, and right now we have an absolutely wonderful collection of china teacups. One or two of these teacups and a pot of Twinings, and you’ll be transported to Yorkshire (at far less cost than air fare).

Our jewelry department features many, many vintage-inspired pieces that will make you feel like you’re back in the Roaring 20’s, watching Edith and Mary sparring at a dinner party.

Speaking of dinner parties, we have several sets of china place-card holders that would have been right at home in Downton Abbey. (Very handy for matchmaking or keeping frenemies at different ends of the table. If the romantic entanglements of your friends are anything like those at Downton, you need these things.)

We don’t have any pigs, but we DO have a pitcher and matching salt-and-pepper shakers in the shape of cows. They’re not Mr. Mason’s pigs, but they take a lot less work!

And since we all need something to do with that hour on Sunday night – try one of our books or DVDs.

Your writer personally believes that in about five years Julian Fellowes will relent and write a sequel, but in the meantime, we can all keep calm and carry on – with the help of our thrift shop mementos.