How Do I Afford Luxury Items?
Psst, this is Part 2. Do check out Part 1, here.
There’s a million dollar question. I love fashion but I’m also cognisant of the fact that I am lusting after first world luxury earning third world wages. It’s also important that I disclose that I have no financial obligations – no home loans, no car loans, heck I don’t even have rent. My expenses are usually things I buy for myself, the odd grocery trip, buying clothes/toys for my baby boy and socialising.
Tip 1: Be Realistic
Every time I lust after a bag, I ask myself – how much do you earn? Does this fit in with your salary? Bags are also the last item on my list of priorities. I set aside the majority of my salary for my future – by way of investments in Mutual Funds and recurring deposits and so on. I only spend what is left over after saving. Since I save aggressively, there is no question of me being able to buy a designer bag ‘just like that’ because my bank account will never have that much money at a given point of time. And when your bank account cannot take care of the entire payment – DON’T BUY IT. Having a bag or a pair of shoes, no matter how well made, won’t change your life. Focus on living a good life instead of accumulating stuff.
Tip 2: Always Aim To Save Double
Another way to justify the purchase is to match the price of the bag in savings. I do this every time I plan a purchase. Whatever the price of the bag is, I aim to accumulate the same amount in investments, kind of like matching the price. This obviously means that it’s going to take a longer time for you to get to your dream bag, but there’s way less guilt. There’s a good chance that you’ll stop wanting it as well (happened to me!) but the great part is that you’ll have the extra money that you can spend on something else, like a holiday.
Tip 3: Track prices obsessively
Search for your dream piece across every luxury retailer. If I like something, I search for it in Saks, Nordstrom, Net-A-Porter, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s, Bluefly and every other retailer who could potentially stock it. I also watch out for sales, which are abundant during Thanksgiving/Christmas (now!). One other thing about tracking prices obsessively is that it helps you gauge your own feelings about the piece. Does constantly looking at it make you feel meh? Or does it deepen your love? If it’s the latter, you can actually go ahead and pay full price on it because you love it so. Another thing I do is stop looking at prices after I buy it cause that’s just masochism.
Tip 4: Consider Preloved Goods
A great way to cut down on costs is to consider preloved luxury goods. There is a great second hand market out there for luxury, especially for brands like Chanel that just jacks prices up every other year (Why, why?!!). There are a number of sites based out of the US, like Vestiaire Collective , Fashionphile and The Real Real that authenticate the goods before selling them (and have a money back policy!). In India, there is Confidential Couture and Luxepolis that offer money back guarantees in case you authenticate the product and it turns out that it’s fake. There are a number of other sellers but I would advise you don’t buy from them unless they offer a clear and written acceptance to refund your money in case the product is fake and/or accept returns. The second hand market is pretty murky and I would advise a lot of research before you dive in!
Those are my tips for money management for buying luxury items! Do you have any? Let me know in the comments!