I love luxury goods. There I admitted it.
I love my Saint Laurent, Givenchy, and Goyard bags. I treasure my few pairs of Manolos and Christian Louboutins. And I don’t own cheap coats.
The difference here is that I only own just enough, nothing excessive.
What’s in my apartment?
There’s only so much I can buy that will fit in 565 square feet along with a husband and dog. So, I don’t feel guilty about what I’ve bought and I still consider myself a minimalist. I have a total of 5 designer handbags, but all the bags are very different from each other and serves different purposes. While it probably doesn’t exactly go for the same with shoes, I have small closet and as long as I can fit all pairs with enough space, then I’m good. I basically can’t buy more than my closet fits. The same goes for my coats.
Why, what’s the point in having this stuff?
It’s about work
While what I own may sound egotistical, I also think about the fact that I work in San Francisco. I have girls who wear Louboutins to work on a regular basis. I know that everyone keeps saying, Don’t keep up with the Jones when trying to retire early. At the same time, however, you don’t want to look like a poor dirt bag walking into the office where girls are wearing designer clothes and your boss looks down on you. There is a balance to keep in mind.
I do look for the items that I know I’ll take care of and treasure more because of how sought after they are and/or how expensive they are. For example, I used to buy a lot of heels from Nine West and I just never treated them well. I would walk through construction areas with them and never thought twice about how much damage I was doing. When I started to upgrade and purchased my first pair of Jimmy Choo’s, everything changed. I didn’t wear them much on the streets unless I know the sidewalk was completely flat. I would store them in the duster bag, carry them to work, and switch into them while in the office. Before leaving work, I would switch out of them. I’m always looking for places to ensure they’re dry and out of direct sunlight versus before, my Nine West would be thrown somewhere in the back of the closet hoping that it wouldn’t take me half an hour to find the pair.
It’s about perception
Also, a lot of things are about perception. I understand these things won’t matter when we retire and it’ll probably things I’ll leave in storage or sell. However, they still make a difference in your income while still working. People always say dress for the part you want and in those 10 years you’re working towards retirement, spending just a little more to make yourself look put together will increase your income. Every major media company from Fortune to Forbes talks about how you need to make sure you are presentable. While it doesn’t have to designer brands at all, you should strive to buy things that are a little more than what you would normally pay for so that you take care of it more.
It’s about minimalism
In a way, it goes back to minimalism. I may have some nice designer brands, but I only have one and they aren’t duplicates of each other. Because I care about them, I’ll take care of them more and know that they’ll last me so much longer.
I’ve always advocated to spend the extra money for something that you know you’ll truly love and will make you feel confident; otherwise, you’ll end up wasting money on upgrading consistently. Knowing that it’s so difficult to replace will help you get into the mindset of minimalism and appreciating the stuff you do own. It’s a contentious decision that you made and have thought it through before you bought it.
Don’t deprive yourself
We should not be depriving ourselves of some basic happiness. However, do ensure that you meet the basics of a food, water, sanitation, savings/retirement plan, and a warm place first. Once you have a plan in place with reoccurring investment strategies in place, then can you start to think about the extras in life.
The key here is always strive to buy the thing that you’ll appreciate the most.
Let’s say you’re contemplating about getting a wallet and it’s $200 for a Tory Burch, but you know eventually when you make more money, the eventual goal is to purchase a Louis Vuitton wallet. While it is $300 more, the minimalistic mindset will tell me that there’s no point in having 2 wallets. Just, spend the extra $300 and be happy with the fact that you’ll never have to buy a new wallet again. It’s actually a waste knowing you spent an extra $200, because you know you won’t keep the Tory Burch wallet, but you buy it anyways because you like it just enough to make enough for a Louis Vuitton one.
Don’t settle for the things you’re fine with, only settle when you love it even if that means waiting a few months because you think you love it right now, but 2 months from now will you still love it? If the answer is yes, then buy it. If you realized you can live without it, then you didn’t waste the money on something you’ll end up replacing. I know that’s hard, but the other way around it is to make sure you ask about their return policy. If the return policy is at least 30 days and refunded on the original form of payment, then buy it. You’ll have at least a month to figure if that was an impulse buy or something you truly wanted and if it was an impulse buy, then return it!
Bottom Line: Do yourself a favor. Buy what you truly love and part of that involves a lot of patience and working towards something rather than an impulse buy.