I have a confession to make: When I meet someone who is as hung up on bags as I am, I wonder two *very* important things. No. 1: What bags and/or designers is this person into and why? No. 2. How does she (or he!) fund each and every purchase? Impulse shopper, long-term saver, or someone with a very generous parent, spouse, or partner—no judgement. I’m just curious.
I think talking about money is supremely important, and the more we do it, the better chance we have at pushing society forward when it comes to higher wages and pay equality. I also think we need to reduce the stigma around how we spend our money, too. That’s why I’m a huge supporter of PurseBlog’s Closet Confessionals, as well as Refinery 29’s Money Diaries. I know there may be a discrepancy with some of the authors’ documentation of how they earn and spend their money, but overall, I find these columns helpful and unbelievably fascinating.
When it comes to purchasing a new bag, we all have our own way of doing things and that’s OK. While some of us may browse Saks Fifth Avenue on a Wednesday afternoon and return home with a brand-new Fendi Peekaboo, others may spend months or even years saving for a Chanel or a Birkin. Then, of course, there’s a group who are lucky (?) enough to have someone in their life purchase bags on their behalf. (Side note: While this sounds like a Cinderella fantasy, I’m a major proponent of paying for bags myself. More on that later.)
Personally, I have something called a Bag Fund. Ever heard of it? Allow me to explain…
I consider myself pretty financially responsible. I pay my bills on time, I contribute to a Roth/401K, and I make sure I put as much as I can into savings (within reason… a girl’s gotta live, right?). Then there’s my bag fund, which I meticulously stash money into every few weeks in hopes of having enough saved to purchase a couple of bags each year. There’s no formula to how much I put in there. It depends on the month and what other expenses I have going on. Sometimes it’s only a couple hundred dollars, while other months it may be much more.
All I know is, if I’m lusting after the new Prada Sidonie ($3,100) or the Chanel Camera Case ($4,100), but only have $2,500 saved, then no bag for me (unless and until I have enough in that specific account).
If this sounds like torture, sometimes it is. Well, not actual torture. But it is frustrating to know I have the funds somewhere else (i.e. in my long-term savings account), yet I still refuse to allow myself to use that money. Think of it this way: We can all remember a time where we begged our parents for a shiny new toy, but no matter what we said or how we phrased it, they said no. Basically, I’m the parent and the kid in this situation. With bags being as expensive as they are (and only going up. sigh.), it’s important to maintain perspective and not go broke in the interim.
I’m all for rewarding myself. That’s actually why bags are my thing. I’ll spare you the details on why they mean so much to me, but knowing I’ve worked hard enough (and saved right) to afford one is immensely gratifying. I also get a kick out of researching and thinking about what my next purchase will be—and my bag fund allows me that time. As I put more and more money into it, it gives me a better idea of what’s really worth it to ultimately take my hard-earned cash out of the account.
Do you have a bag fund? Would you consider making one? Or do you fancy yourself as an impulse shopper? There’s definitely no right or wrong way…this just works for me (and maybe it will for you too, if you give it a chance).