Do you really need your own step ladder? What about brand-new clothes for your child who just had yet another growth spurt? Before heading out to the store, see if your friends have items lying around that they're not using. Since you don't want to be the friend that's only asking to borrow things, see if you can coordinate with a few folks to form a swap group. You might need to borrow a friend's ladder this week, and next week she might need to borrow your electric sander.
Make it fun by organizing a swap party to trade baby clothes, housewares, and other unwanteds. The host can donate anything that's left over to the thrift store. Not only do you come away with some things that you need, you can de-clutter your space at the same time.
If you don't think your friends would be into swapping or sharing, you can look into some online swap sites instead. Websites like ThredUp, which focuses on swapping children's clothing, make it easy to list what you have up for grabs and trade with fellow swappers with just a few clicks.
Even on a tight budget, it's important to treat yourself once in a while. Learn why on the next page.