I’ve spoken a little bit about my upbringing before in my 3+ years writing and working at PurseBlog, but if you haven’t read my prior posts I’ll give you a quick refresher! I grew up on Long Island, just a 45 minute train ride from NYC. From a very young age I loved everything about fashion from my clothes and accessories to the handbags that I dreamt of carrying. While I know I got my love for a unique sense of style from my grandmother I honestly cannot pinpoint where or when my obsession with designer handbags began.
I took inspiration from everywhere as a kid—from the shows I watched on TV to my older cousin and the fashion magazines I begged my mom to buy me from the drugstore. My mother didn’t carry designer bags, yet somehow I became obsessed with owning them. As a kid it might have come off as cute or ‘meant to be’ as everyone in my family wondered where on earth I got my sense of style and my taste level from.
However once I reached my teen years I’m sure it became annoying. I begged and begged for bags I knew my parents would never buy me, which at this point I’m incredibly appreciative of. I learned very quickly that I had to work/save for whatever it was that I wanted. Additionally, along the way I learned a lot of lessons. Sometimes I went and splurged when I had no business doing so, other times I impulse bought bags I ended up not really loving all that much, and being that it was my hard earned cash, the blow hurt more than had it been gifted to me.
I can name quite a few times where I purchased bags on a whim that I simply could not afford. Though there was a slight ‘high’ so to speak, when the damage set in I immediately would feel a sense of guilt. I knew that I was digging myself a hole that would take a bit of time to crawl out of and that was when the guilt would often set in. I would spiral into that hole and mentally beat myself up.
The guilt I felt could be attributed to many different factors, but one of the main ones was that I simply knew that I was raised better. Additionally, each time I wracked up credit card debt I felt like I was letting down not only myself, but my parents. I come from a middle class family and my parents both worked incredibly hard to provide me with everything I needed to grow and thrive—including a college education. Though I was not handed a ‘safety-net’ when I graduated, I entered the adult world debt-free. They set me up to succeed financially and every time I overspent I felt like I was failing them.
I can’t say that I have completely changed my ways—when you love fashion and designer bags it can often be a very slippery slope, but I have become a lot better at not spending outside of my means. Additionally, as I am fast approaching my 30’s I can no longer blame my behavior on being young. One of my goals for this year was to take my growth one step further and get better about saving for the future, not just my next big bag buy.
Though a lot of my handbag-loving guilt comes from a financial perspective, the guilt can come in many forms. Sometimes I also feel a sense of guilt for my spending even when I can afford the item(s) as so many others struggle to simply get by. I try to remind myself that regardless of if I spend a lot or not, I cannot save the world. I simply don’t have that much control. Rather I do my best with what I can control. I try my best to be kind to others, to give when and where I can and to live everyday with pure intentions. I remind myself that this habit is not hurting anyone, and feeling my best, which is what personal style grants me, allows me to act my best.
Do you ever experience handbag-loving guilt and if so how do you talk yourself off the ledge?