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Kelsey

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Can we discuss the Duggars propensity for black and white thinking?

 

Forgive me for any typos- I'm rushing to get to work!

 

Anyways, there are two examples that really bother me and show what I'm talking about.

 

1. Buy used and save the difference! I am cheap, cheap, cheap when it comes to buying clothes. I don't like to spend $$ on them but I like to look decent. Also, I do not like Goodwill for ethical reasons and I don't have the patience to deal with thrift shopping. However, I spend very little to clothe my family. I only wear capris (not for religious reasons, I just think they look better). I buy these brand new for $3-5 just waiting for them to go on clearance (Kohl's brand) and I really like the Rock and Republic jeans (both pants and capris), I normally buy them for $10-12. I buy my husband shorts for $3-5 at Kohl's and Macy's (even Ralph Lauren and such). Shirts are usually around $5ish. Kids clothes are much cheaper! I can buy 10 outfits (top and bottom) for $50 for my 5 year old. These prices are often less that what I see at our local Goodwill and it's for brand new well fitting clothes. The thing I splurge on bras from Victoria's Secret. They fit me well and aren't frumpy looking (I'm big chested and that's hard to find).

 

I do spend much more on shoes (which I would never buy used). But even still, I buy walking shoes (Fila) at Kohl's for $23. I have bought at least 6 pairs of these (work well for me) for exercise. My running shoes are much more because they come from a local running store and are specially fitted (proper shoes to reduce risk of injury). Kids shoes are can be found much cheaper ($5-6) new at Rack Room. So, why the insistence on buying used shoes?

 

I realize everyone doesn't have a lot of store options (especially living rural) but the Duggars do since they travel often. They can also buy in bulk and buy at the end of the season for the next year.

 

2. Debt- Two instances come to mind.

 

A. In my town, rent for a 2/2 apartment will run you about $950/month in a decent part of town. You can buy a town home for about $650/month including taxes, insurance, and PMI. IMO, it makes sense to take on the mortgage and either save the extra $300/month for home repairs or just pay it extra on the mortgage to shorten the time. If you chose to rent, you'd have to pay the $950 and then try to save for a house on top of that. It would take forever....especially because if you make $10 an hour here- you have a GOOD job (which honestly, I don't see how people can make it with two people making $10 full time). Now, I realize that things aren't the same in every area but JB makes it appear like taking debt is ALWAYS bad. In some (many now with low real estate prices and low interest) cases, it's the smartest thing to do. Why act like there's always a blanket rule for what's best?

 

B. JB grilling Derick about the blown engine. Does he not realize that Derick may not have a blanket answer for that question. For example, we try to avoid debt (do have a mortgage because of the reasons above). We have no CC debt.

 

Now, we have two cars (one new 2013 and one 1995). We both work. If we blew an engine and didn't have $ in savings to fix it immediately, we would just drop one another off at work until we could pay cash to fix said car. However, we both have short commutes (my job is about 4.5 miles from our house, his is 3) so we could walk/ride bikes if we were really in a bind. Also, we have flexible work schedules so it wouldn't be much of an inconvenience. If we had only one car, I would probably put it on a CC- unless it was winter (we live in FL if you walked to work in the summer- you'd be disgusting by the time you got there!). If we had one car and children and blew an engine, I would definitely put it on a CC (or more likely borrow from family). But JB wants the blanket, NOPE I would never consider putting a car repair on CC. I can't imagine having a car with a blown engine and having a couple of kids (more likely to get sick/injured and need medical attention), having the means to get the car fixed, and choosing not to do so. Especially in a rural area- I mean here- I could walk a mile and buy groceries at a local grocery store and carry them home. Inconvenient, yes but possible. Where could Jill walk one mile and buy groceries to feed her family? I mean Jill would obviously be able to get a ride with one of the family members- but what if it happened to Anna in DC? There's no family around and probably not public transportation out where they live....how would Josh get to work if they only had one car and it blew an engine? I'm assuming he's at least 30 miles from his job so he can't walk.....what would they do?

 

I think JB and M need to start thinking their "rules" through.

 

**Sorry for the wall of text. I have to get to work and wanted to get my thoughts out.**

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Debt is part of business life. It's not realistic to think no business should avoid debt, sometimes it is the only or it is the best way to obtain capital in order to grow the business.

Also, mortgage. This is such a big deal in FundieWorld especially for young men to marry and already own a house debt-free.

In my state, your insurance cost is driven by your credit score. No debt means a bad score, so you will end up paying more insurance premium. Good luck getting a job at a bank with a bad credit score.

It's a rather shortsighted principle, but better than encouraging people to foolishly go into debt, which can include cars and houses and I am meaning to take loans on more than you can truly afford.

But... there is no doubt in my mind that if JB feels the circumstances warrant it, he is going to break his own rules. This is what irritates me most about fundie thought and I see it over and over.

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There is good debt and then there's senseless debt. We have mortgage debt as we live in a very pricey region of the country, but guess what, the interest deduction for that debt has helped us keep more of our own money via the tax system.

Where I live, unless someone gifted you a home, if you waited until you save up enough to buy with cash, most would likely never own a home- especially if at the same time, one person was not earning income and family size was growing each and every year.

The Duggars- have never used cloth diapers? Right there, the "buy used and save the difference" goes out the window. Think of all the money they could have save by using cloth and line drying instead of buying disposables, wipes and paying to dispose of them.

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JimBob's proclaiming how cheap he is really irks me. I have never seen him in clothes that looked worn-out or out of style. I understand that kids outgrow clothes quickly and buying brand new all the time would be very expensive. But to me- buying dress clothes and dress shoes second hand makes sense because people only wear them a few times. They will get enough wear out of everyday attire to justify buying new. How many times have we seen the Duggars performing "repairs" on kids shoes? Just go to WalMart and buy the kid a new pair of tennis shoes!

It really bothers me to see kids running around in raggedy everyday clothes and shoes. I am not talking about play clothes that are meant to get grubby, but at the grocery store, doctors office, etc. You can easily find deals on good quality items that will last.

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Well, Kelsey, my Goodwill experience has been pretty good. I have found brand new items with tags still on from places like Target, Kohl's, Sears, and so on. I've found shoes and purses, too, in the same condition. It's been a lifesaver for my daughter. Fashion changes so rapidly, and she can afford to change her wardrobe as often as she likes.

Of course, we wash or dry clean what we get from there... and we clean and sometimes polish the shoes or purses. But I have never seen prices at Kohl's less than at Goodwill or Saver's, unless it's on the ultra clearance rack and it's a T shirt. With four kids in private school, you bet I found uniform items like suit coats, khaki pants, and oxford shirts at the Goodwill for pennies. It really helped us stretch the dollars, so I don't mind them going to thrift stores. I think they don't buy the really ugly used and beat up ones.. perhaps the nicer cleaner "only worn once' ones. And if you go to a bin store, you can get items by the pound or for less than a dollar apiece. (89 cent goodwill, Harrisburg, PA, on Cameron St., anyone? or the one in Shillington, near Reading?) If you're willing to dig through stuff, you can find beautiful things.

Some of the things I've gotten at Goodwills: COACH leather purse, ($25) Eddie Bauer diaper bag, complete with changing pad, (.89, DH uses it for his laptop bag, it's tan) leather jacket, ($10) kitchen island on wheels, three shelves, towel and spice rack, butcher block top, ($50, looked it up, it cost over $150 new) sewing machines, Longaberger baskets, antique jewelry... the list goes on and on. You can find so many nice things there at a pittance!

ETA: It is entirely possible that some of Jim Bob's wardrobe comes from thrift shops. Men's clothing comes in two categories: worn out or practically brand new... but when you can get a brand new pair of Dickies pants for your working guy for $3, you do the happy dance! My theory is that people either give away things they got and don't like, or got that didn't fit, or wore almost out... just have to look carefully at each piece. But I have found new and nearly new fashionable things for my gang quite often.

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There is good debt and then there's senseless debt. We have mortgage debt as we live in a very pricey region of the country, but guess what, the interest deduction for that debt has helped us keep more of our own money via the tax system.

Where I live, unless someone gifted you a home, if you waited until you save up enough to buy with cash, most would likely never own a home- especially if at the same time, one person was not earning income and family size was growing each and every year.

The Duggars- have never used cloth diapers? Right there, the "buy used and save the difference" goes out the window. Think of all the money they could have save by using cloth and line drying instead of buying disposables, wipes and paying to dispose of them.

This is the thing, and also what Brownie Mama said. A certain kind of debt is the way the world works,and NOT having it is detrimental to credit ratings. It also, like Sassy Pants said, makes sense to have it for certain things like a mortgage when it means you end up paying much less for the house in the long run.

Their obsession with debt is part of their fanaticism in their lives in general and they proselytize it. When all these people say "oh but they are such a nice, sweet family so lay off!" they seem to think that people critical of their philosophy just don't approve, but it is really about how the black and white thinking invades every single aspect of their lives, every bit, and it's extraordinarily destructive, to the point of making their kids think that to vary at all is wrong. I've seen so many of us try to explain this on comment areas of articles but don't know if it I ever get through to people - what they believe really comes in second to it being black or white, which is just brutal.

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I shop clearance too and thrift stores. Have gotten brand new items tags attached from Goodwill. I like good quality stuff cheap, classic styling. Would rather have a handful of good quality stuff that I can wear for a long time then a bunch of cheap stuff that looks bad on me. A sale is not a sale to me until we are talking 75-80 off. If you know somebody who works at a store you like, if willing..they can purchase stuff for you on sale plus employee discount and you end up paying maybe 5-15 percent of the total cost. Yes, I am thrifty. I don't chintz on shoes or eyeglasses. I like New Balance and Naot...last forever and don't screw up your feet. My glasses usually run about 250. but so worth it. I will also try and get stores to reduce prices on clothing for little imperfections,etc. Most do it. I am a widow, kids, single income and pay 8k per year for health insurance plus 2500. Deductible. No credit card debt, own my car but have a mortgage. Budget is tight due to health insurance(which I need/use) and I do not qualify for any Obama care (financial) help with premiums.

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JB is lying through his teeth about having no debt and buying used. Maybe in the early days they did, but at the same time they received donations from the public.

Edited to remove silly rambling.

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I like to think Derick was just paying lip service to Boob and Mullet during those sessions so they didn't call the wedding off and now they're married, they can do what they want.

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Mostly it's just weird to me because they present things in such extremes. You either buy your clothes at thrift stores and wear used shoes OR you spend hundreds of dollars on clothes. You save your first kiss for marriage OR you've given away all the pieces of your heart. Parents either keep their children isolated and slaving until they get married OR kick them out the second the kid turns 18. There's never any middle ground.

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Mostly it's just weird to me because they present things in such extremes. You either buy your clothes at thrift stores and wear used shoes OR you spend hundreds of dollars on clothes. You save your first kiss for marriage OR you've given away all the pieces of your heart. Parents either keep their children isolated and slaving until they get married OR kick them out the second the kid turns 18. There's never any middle ground.

I'll agree with that.. they do have a very either/or kind of talking. We all know there are gradations of everything, and it is a little frightening to think that an entire group of other people can not see that life is not all this or that.

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Personally, I've not had very good luck at thrift stores. Oh, a few good buys - like an oak bookcase for $50, a new with tags dress for a granddaughter. But for the most part, buying off the clearance rack at Kohl's, using my 30% coupon is where I get the best deals.

Last winter I got an outfit for me - a plus sized outfit. (Capris - originally $48, blouse - $42) that was on clearance for 90% off - so $9. I had a 30% coupon. With tax, it came to $7.17. Beat that at your thrift store!

I also buy the granddaughters snow suits or winter jackets on clearance at JC Penney's in January. Especially when I can get a $10 off coupon for spending $25 or more.

As for shoes, I have back and knee issues. I need good shoes that have not been worn in someone else's wear pattern. So yes, I spend about $100 on a pair of Merrell's - but they can last me years.

Also, your car insurance rates also is calculated using your credit score.

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When shopping in second hand stores I'm always mindful of where it originally came from and what it would cost there. No sense in paying 6.99 for something used that I can buy brand new for for 8.99. Now I have bought tons of high end clothing, Ann Taylor Michael Kors etc all like new. Purses at my Goodwill are 2.99. I have a closet full of Kate Spade, Relic, Fossil, Fendi, etc and have about $100 in all. I also like second hand stores because I really like altered couture and can't buy new stuff to tear up.

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Regarding cheap clothing I use to sell on EBay. If you use Kohls cash & coupons they mail out and look at their clearance racks you can get some really nice stuff for 10-20% of the original cost! My local Goodwill isn't that great even though I live in an affluent town.

Old Navy clearance rack in the back was always a steal too.

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Regarding cheap clothing I use to sell on EBay. If you use Kohls cash & coupons they mail out and look at their clearance racks you can get some really nice stuff for 10-20% of the original cost! My local Goodwill isn't that great even though I live in an affluent town.

Old Navy clearance rack in the back was always a steal too.

I really think Goodwill moves their stuff around to different stores. The one I shop at is connected with some other stores. Trust me when I say NO ONE in our area can afford to buy and donate some of the stuff I've purchased. I know some women who could buy Ann Taylor's slacks on sale but they would then wear them until they fell apart not donate them while they still looked brand new or with tags still on.

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Mostly it's just weird to me because they present things in such extremes. You either buy your clothes at thrift stores and wear used shoes OR you spend hundreds of dollars on clothes. You save your first kiss for marriage OR you've given away all the pieces of your heart. Parents either keep their children isolated and slaving until they get married OR kick them out the second the kid turns 18. There's never any middle ground.

That's the thing that I find the most baffling as well. It's always one extreme or the other, and that is just so strange to me.

Then again, to really understand that life is not black or white, you need to develop critical thinking. And we all know that Duggars and most fundies in general don't encourage their kid to develop that part of their brain. Why? Because in order to broaden your horizon, you need to start questioning things. That's what I'm trying to do with my students, I'm asking them questions about the past, about certain historical documents and then they realize things often aren't what they seem.

But it's a slippery slope for the Duggars, because if your child starts wondering about the nature of things, how can they control him/her? For me this is where it all lies. A simple mindset is easier to control.

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Thrift store clothes are much easier to find for girls, in my experience, which could explain some of the Duggar clothes not looking like they bought used. I have some shirts to pass down to my youngest son, but pants almost never make it to thrift store or hand me down stage. Giant holes in the knees happen long before the pants are outgrown.

I can find nice used clothes for my girls, although one of them is just as hard on knees as my boys, so once they enter her room, they don't make it back to the secondhand store.

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