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In his first speech since Election Day, President-elect Obama warned yesterday that purse strings would be tight at the start of his term for the nation and its people.
But before Obama begins, Inauguration Day celebrations are causing those in DC to consider whether last year's purse strings are suitable attire for the upcoming balls and celebrations.

A Washington Times article this morning stated that fiscally forward-thinking fashionistas are looking to Goodwill and thrift stores for their inaugural gowns. And why not? Gowns can cost hundreds of dollars and are usually only worn once or twice. I personally picked out a lovely number from my favorite Georgia Avenue Thrift Store for a grand total of $9.95.
A new year means a new start. In a year that is forecasted to be financially tough, shifting spending habits in creative ways can help fun still be affordable. For us young think tank staff already operating on modest budgets, 'Cheap is the new Black' can be an especially appealing message. And for an administration that campaigned on change, we can take the mantra seriously by starting at home and saving some change ourselves.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.