If you are a bag aficionado and an avid collector like myself, you likely have a Holy Grail Bag on your wishlist.

So here’s how it all began: the more I studied the history behind the world’s top luxury brands, the more I came to appreciate the fine craftsmanship of luxury handbags. Yes, the prices for these bags are pretty high but why is there so much drama and judgment around luxury bags compared to expensive watches, cars and other luxury items that men carry? If you ask me, watches and cars seem like bigger liabilities than luxury bags, but that’s a story for another day. Not to mention, diamonds can be a depreciating asset so I’ll take a luxury bag over a bigger carat, thank you very much.

Anyway, you can’t talk about fine, top-of-the-line craftsmanship without including Hermès because they are the only luxury brand out there where one single artisan hand-makes each bag. It can take anywhere from 18-24 hours and sometimes up to 48 hours.

In fact, I love seeing videos of artisans making Hermès bags and truly appreciate all the work that goes into it.

I used to see it as something that was just so utterly inaccessible to most of us. Then, once I started to learn more, I realized there is more than one way to get your hands on the Birkin besides dealing with the whole boutique song and dance routine. In fact, the Hermès secondhand market is massive. I totally understand people who want that ultimate boutique experience, but as a super Type A person, I know what I want and I want to buy a bag that has all the details that I want exactly and not wait to be “offered” something else that I don’t exactly want. Don’t get me wrong, I still love going to the boutique and seeing all the eye candy and walking out with some goodies in that beautiful orange shopping bag.

HERMES Togo Kelly Retourne 28 Turquoise

I initially wanted to start my Hermès collection with a vintage Kelly bag, but I thought I might get more use out of the Birkin since it’s a tote and I can use it as a work bag.

Now, let’s be honest. It is not cheap. In fact, it is expensive…obscenely expensive in some cases, but good things never come easy now, do they! The cost and value are two different things, and there are ways to save up for what you want.

Here’s how I started my “Birkin Journey” and my top 3 tips to save up for your Holy Grail Bag (remember, it doesn’t have to be a Birkin. Your Holy Grail Bag is the bag that is at the top of your wishlist!):

TIP #1: Create A Dedicated Savings Account

Name it your “Hermès Birkin Fund” or “Luxury Fund” or “Insert name of your Holy Grail bag here Fund”

The very first thing to do is to get super serious about your goal and create your own savings account dedicated to The Birkin Fund, which is what I did. Since I planned on saving for little less than a year until I bought the bag, it didn’t make sense to put it in an investment account, but rather an easily accessible savings account.

First, do the research and see how much you need to save to buy your bag either via the boutique, personal shopper or via consignment stores. Next, figure out the timeline as to when you want to purchase it. Is it for a special occasion? Is it 12 months? 24 months? Or much longer? Then, you want to figure out your monthly budget and set up an automatic savings for the amount that you are able to deposit each month and see how long it will take for you to meet your goal.

HERMES Togo Birkin 35 Havane

TIP #2: Forget all other shopping trips for a long, long time

You have to make sacrifices for your Holy Grail Bag. That is simply the truth. How did I do it? I basically cut ALL other shopping expenses for several months to prioritize my spending and put everything in my Hermès Birkin Fund. It’s much harder than you would expect. It is especially hard when your lovely SA from Chanel sends you pictures of some amazing accessories and scarves you’ve been eying from the new collection. I always had to remind myself that not spending that $500 on the scarf would mean I would be one step closer to meeting my goal of buying the Birkin bag.

It is even harder when you want to celebrate special occasions such as your birthday, your promotion, wedding anniversary or whatever it may be. Rather than spending money on a small gift, put that money in your Birkin Fund. During my journey, I had my birthday, Mother’s Day, my husband and mine’s wedding anniversary and many special occasions to celebrate, and each time, I contributed to the Birkin Fund rather than buying or accepting other gifts.

Keep reminding yourself why cutting out these other shopping trips and expenses is important for you to achieve your big (luxury) goal!

TIP #3: Don’t forget your financial priorities.

Only do this if you have extra money to spare after all of your financial responsibilities are met.

Now this is quite important. DO NOT listen to tips #1 and #2 if you are in debt or if you have other priorities. Luxury is luxury, which means it is not a necessity and something you can technically live without in life. Buying a big item like this means you are left with extra money after you pay all your bills, put money towards your future (savings, investment accounts, emergency funds, kids’ college fund, etc) and take care of your family and all financial obligations. DO NOT go into debt saving for a designer bag. JUST DON’T. Get your priorities straight. If all you can save is $50/month, make sure to extend your timeline. These bags are not going anywhere. Even if it takes years, it will be that much more worth it because you budgeted and saved for it!

Hermès Togo Birkin 30

BONUS TIP: Ignore all the naysayers who tell you how to spend your money. Finance is very personal. Some choose to buy expensive cars or watches and others like myself choose to collect designer bags. You do you, and do not get down by others’ judgment or comments about how you should be spending money. Besides, these luxury bags do appreciate in value over the years so you are essentially buying appreciating assets if you stay in the Holy Trinity of bags category: Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Besides, by following these tips above, you are responsibly earning your way towards your Holy Grail Bag.

Hermes Birkin

She’s worth the wait!

This is my own experience and how I approached this. Hope these tips help you on your journey. Happy Shopping!

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Admin
5 months ago

Apologies for showing the wrong author on this article for a few days. This guest post was contributed by Angela Hwang. Thanks Angela!

lalarey
lalarey
5 months ago

I think it’s important for shoppers who are saving for their holy grail bad to ask “why”- and for some people, it may be related to insecurity, or this sense of “if I walk around carrying THIS bag, then I will x” whether that x is “I will be accepted by so-and-so” or “people will think I’m important” or “I will have access to something/ someplace new” How is that different from “If I carry this bag, I will feel FABULOUS” ? Maybe it is or isn’t. Feeling the need or desire to signal your material wealth (or $ saving savy) can be a slippery slope and get a lot of shoppers into emotional and financial trouble, and it’s sad when attaining something fun and beautiful is used as a security blanket. It definitely happens, many of us have been there at different points in our lives. And also, as we grown up a little, sometimes our motivations change. We learn to really appreciate the artistry, beauty, and history of these items and the brands. Maybe wearing and showing off a holy grail bag is a signal that “I appreciate and enjoy this” and is that really such a bad signal to be giving off? Isn’t it fun and exciting to geek out over cool and beautiful bags that we see in the wild? Or fun to get a compliment on the ones we carry? Let’s be gentle with each other here. Understanding other people’s motivations can sometimes help us understand our own.

Justice
Justice
5 months ago

When I purchased my first Birkin, I sold a few luxury bags I had sitting in my closet that I barely used. It felt great to declutter and it added several thousand dollars to my budget very quickly.

Gayle
Gayle
5 months ago

Very much relatable read for me. I did tip 1 and 2 and your bonus tip too. I can feel your excitement. Enjoy your birkin. I bought mine last march preloved but im very happy because i get to choose the color and im very particular about it. Took me around 2-3 years to save up for and thats because chanel got in the way. She will always be my first love and she knows my weakness (the rainbow bags haha) so had no choice but to give in to the temptation. No other shopping for me no more clothes from zara and i never considered buying any other brands. And yes ignore the naysayers. My mom dissuade me from purchasing the birkin even though she knew that i wanted it since college. To her only diamonds increase in value. Everyday she would comment about it but i never listened. Sorry had to follow my heart. And i understand the top 3 holy grails hermes chanel and lv. But im never an lv fan and i think those that increase in value over time r the limited edition pieces only.

Candee
Candee
5 months ago
Reply to  Gayle

Unlike many people, I purchased my 1st designer handbag, a Chanel classic, when I was 50. I had more important family and other obligations to take care of before splurging on a bag. Nonetheless, fifteen years after my Chanel purchase I now own a Birkin a Kelly and a few other brands. Sometimes, it takes a lifetime to purchase a bag so I’m going to enjoy mine! if it bothers anyone, that’s ok. I really don’t give a rat’s ass. ????

Gayle
Gayle
5 months ago
Reply to  Gayle

Did the account too although not in the bank had a dedicated piggy bank i tried to drop paper bills in weekly. My next holy grail bag to purchase now is the kelly. And after that the constance (but that is still a long long long journey). Now i have to do all those sacrifices all over again.

Gayle
Gayle
5 months ago
Reply to  Gayle

Would also like to add another tip: reevaluate the bags in your closet sell those styles dont work for you anymore. I sold 14 bags (vintage gucci givenchy ferragamo some coach ralph lauren dkny and kate spade bags) and i have 2 more in consignment right now (proceeds will go to my new kelly fund that im just starting). Made an extra $1000 so far and my closet has extra space now. I keep telling myself i will never be able to reach for them especially that my birkin is here now so might as well sell them rather than just them sitting in my closet occupying precious space. Sorry i wrote a novel i just got carried away with this topic. Really thought too that my holy grail bag was out of reach but its not impossible at all.

Elna
Elna
5 months ago

That artisan be making $200,000 a year if he/she got paid the price of the bag.

Justice
Justice
5 months ago
Reply to  Elna

I thing we all know that the value of an 11K bag is pretty much unrelated to the cost of materials (leather is cheap), the salary of the employees, or any other perfectly rational measurement. ?

Elna
Elna
5 months ago
Reply to  Justice

Exactly. I think it’s ridiculous to sing praises of artisans taking hours to create when the majority of what you’re paying is not even for the artisans. Plenty of stuff around that takes people days or even month to make by hand. A nice batik cloth that is unique (real one of a kind) is 500$ and takes a month to create and that is at least 90% cost of labor, so your money actually goes to the artisan.

No one ever say they are paying for the tribe/wealth signalling but really who are you kidding.

Aspen
Aspen
5 months ago

This is what I never understood. If the bag supposedly gets sent back to the artisan that made it for repair, and they’re supposedly made in France, then why are these bags being repaired in a country outside France? Doesn’t this video disprove that? Or am I missing something?

Jerri R
Jerri R
5 months ago

For some reason, I love the crumpled look of a Birkin. It looks very loved and enjoyed.

pinksky777
pinksky777
5 months ago

Can we just discuss that the “Holy trinity” needs to be upgraded?!… Who on earth once stated that the best bags in the world are only from Hermès, Chanel and *pause for laughter* Louis Vuitton!?! The most pretentious and tacky brands, (aside from Hermès because I get that it’s the most luxurious and expensive bags out there) THESE are supposed to knock our socks off and make us spend our savings??? ??? Travel to some of the chicest places on earth and I promise you, nobody there is wearing Chanel or Louis Vuitton. Bags covered in labels are only desirable to women who want to be seen carrying said bag, so they feel better about themselves and their “status” in life. You know, insecure women who need that outside admiration and respect because they can’t get it from within.

WF
WF
5 months ago
Reply to  pinksky777

A-effin-MEN to this!

Megs Mahoney Dusil
5 months ago
Reply to  pinksky777

Your “Holy trinity” may vary greatly from the next person and the next and so on. Majority of people who love designer bags hope to one day own one of these most recognizable, storied, and sought after bags. Why judge them for wanting that? It’s precisely how it started for me as well, and while to you it seems “tacky”, I think majority of bag lovers don’t feel that way.

Calling people insecure for liking specific designer bags is really judgmental and harsh. We all have different likes when it comes to every single aspect of our lives, from the clothes we wear, to the bags we carry, to the food we eat, to the cars we drive, to the schools our kids go to, to the entertainment we consume. I don’t think it’s kind to call something that someone else loves an item that deems them an insecure person.

pinksky777
pinksky777
5 months ago

I also forgot to mention that my mother is a psychologist so I know a lot about these kinds of issues. Sorry if it comes off rude, but I feel I’m just stating the obvious, or maybe I’ll wake someone up and push them to be more confident in what THEY like, no matter the label.

Amy
Amy
5 months ago
Reply to  pinksky777

Are you okay? This is a handbag blog, it’s not that serious! Lol everyone can like bags for various reasons, unless you are a psychologist yourself who has personally treated the OP, you’re not qualified to opine on people’s mental state or motivation for liking a bag. Plenty of people are confident in their taste, whether it’s logo, function, size, material, craftsmanship, heritage, these are all part of a bag. Who are you to say label is not a valid reason to like something? I myself don’t even like logo bags but your comment is just ignorant, rude and classless.

Lia
Lia
5 months ago
Reply to  Amy

Absolutely!

I’m a social worker/family counselor by profession and whoa.. knows something about psychology.
And love, love my LV when I was younger.
Lately I stick to Chanel and Hermes.

Pinky, this is an appreciation group, you are in the wrong site my dear.,

Megs Mahoney Dusil
5 months ago
Reply to  pinksky777

But you like designer bags too right? Do you think you liking them signifies you have an insecurity in needing a designer bag? After all, we could all get by just carrying a plastic bag leftover from our grocery store run to carry our items.

I think saying someone should like a certain bag not because of the label isn’t an easy thing to separate. Say you like a Bottega Bag, you could find another well made leather bag with a weave from a different brand for far less the price I am sure.

My point being, while plenty of people do love brands because of their recognizability and maybe sometimes this can be people wanting to fit in, I do think from a psychological perspective we all do this in many manners of life. I see majority of younger kids at gyms wearing Converse shoes now. It’s not because they are exclusive and elusive, but people typically inherently want to feel like they belong. That is group psychology at play.

So when it comes to designer bags, many people start with the same brands because they know the bag/shape/brand well and they also know that others do too. Not all of us want a brand new, little-known brand. Of course this is a far deeper conversation, but I think many people love designer bags because it does make them feel a bit more put together and that leads to confidence. We all put effort (varying degrees) into our appearance because if we feel good about ourselves, we are more confident.

Naomi
Naomi
5 months ago

People also have set goals and dreams re: their “dream job”, “husband”, “house”, “car”, “children” ? (sorry, mine were supposed to be perfect angels) etc. Everyone wants something in life and we strive to make that happen. Whether it be big or small everyone sets their sites on something and that also includes (for many here) certain bags. It’s not “signaling” because for me I don’t need to call attention to myself in any way; I like what I like, whatever the brand and I’ll carry what I love. If for some people this screams “insecurity” I have to laugh because have you met me? No! I am very self confident and there isn’t any material item, in the world, that can boost my confidence more.

pinksky777
pinksky777
5 months ago

Who I’m calling insecure are the people who like these specific bags or that specific car BECAUSE of the name brand. If you tore off that Chanel logo I bet most ppl wouldn’t find the bag that special or appealing, but because it’s Chanel or wtv, it seems attractive because of what social stance you’ll be apart of, or at least think you will. A lot of women (not all but most) buy designer bags with tones of logos slapped all over them mostly because at the end of the day they want ppl to notice the bag, they WANT to be noticed and seem relevant. Which to me screams insecurity because who rlly cares about what others think of your bag or car or whatever is is! You should just love it for the shape/craftsmanship etc.. and not because of the label. I stand by my statements.

Sam Alayo
Sam Alayo
5 months ago
Reply to  pinksky777

What a yucky comment.

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
5 months ago
Reply to  Sam Alayo

It’s actually a really stupid, ignorant comment in my opinion. I like a logo bag and think that they are cool with certain outfits. It has zero to do with being insecure. I like what I like. With that being said, I only own one canvas Louis Vuitton “bag” (Pouchette accessories). I’m not a fan of the LV logo. I don’t own a classic flap. While I like the double C’s, I think that the quilting makes it look like a bag that a little old lady would carry.

In the grand scheme of things, my non-logo Coach bags get more attention than my Balenciaga City, Chloe, and any other of my luxury bags. It’s just the environment where I work which is the case with most of America. There’s a small microcosm of people that even know what Hermes is. Hell, some don’t even know what Chanel is.

If there are women (and men) that want to be seen based on the bag that they carry, it’s not always based on feelings of insecurity. There are many messages that are sent via our appearances.

pinksky777
pinksky777
5 months ago
Reply to  Sam Alayo

You think it’s yucky because you don’t understand what I’m really saying, but that’s fine ?

Melodie
Melodie
5 months ago
Reply to  pinksky777

You need to check yourself because the more you write the more insecure, rude and judgmental you are being. Just because you say it doesn’t mean you are right or that it is true. Is anyone here saying that since you carry the Bottega Veneta Jolie (green), which is a VERY recognizable bag, that you are insecure? No, no-one is saying that. (I have a good memory).

Passerine
Passerine
5 months ago
Reply to  Melodie

Exactly. I’m not bothering to reply to pinksky directly because I don’t believe in feeding the trolls, but that aggressive, hostile attitude really doesn’t have a place here. And his/her mother’s profession is irrelevant (my father was a mining engineer but that doesn’t qualify me to grade coal quality). It’s perfectly possible for someone to share their own bag preferences without trashing what others like and without drawing wild and demeaning conclusions about the reasons others have for their choices.

Donnell Reid
Donnell Reid
5 months ago
Reply to  Sam Alayo

I agree so judgmental.

pinksky777
pinksky777
5 months ago
Reply to  Donnell Reid

I’m allowed to have an opinion thanks

Justice
Justice
5 months ago
Reply to  pinksky777

I agree with some of what you say here. But I would add that even brands like Hermès that don’t have obvious logos or labels are still a way for people to signal what tribe they belong to. Fashion is about how you present yourself to the world, always. No matter if you wear Zara or Loro Piana.

pinksky777
pinksky777
5 months ago
Reply to  Justice

Yes I was including, just not TOTALLY trashing Hermès because they do keep their stuff a bit more understated at least. In regard to your last statement, there’s a huge difference between fashion and style. Fashion can be taught, but style is innate.

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