August 27, 2007
My dear friend Julie of Almost Girl sent me a link to this New York Times article last night when we were chatting online. Basically, the author discusses all of the fashion items that one could go without in order to save up for long-term goals such as an apartment in Queens or a "decent" retirement. The lead, in fact, reads:
"Saving isn’t as much fun as spending, true. But once you get into the habit, what you might blow on your closet could end up netting a much prettier penny down the line."
This feature is interesting and reminds me a lot of the service articles that appear in women's magazines that discuss, for example, how going without your daily Starbucks could actually lead to hundreds of dollars in savings per year. But there are some points that I thought of immediately that discounts this seemingly sage advice immediately:
1. In order to actually save any of the amounts suggested, one would have to MAKE that much in the first place! How many of us (or NY Times readers) are even raking in $6657 a month anyway?
2. These are luxury items, and it's silly to assume that everyone is buying a fur coat each month. The reason that most people feel justified in spending that much on a fashion garment in the first place is that it will (theoretically) last a lifetime because of the superior construction, etc.
3. What if the small, monthly purchases cumulatively bring you as much joy as that kitchen renovation? Would they be worth it then?
Anyway, just some food for thought. The whole saving money versus splurging on fashion items debate is sadly quite prominent in my life currently - because I work in an industry that cares what I wear, I sometimes justify the disproportionately (to my income) extravagant purchases that I make by saying that it's an investment in my career.
Am I being silly?
What do you do?