Saving to Splurge

by @kugzz author of No More Than 10 Bags

Living your life in frugality, saving every dollar, and blowing it all in one shot anyway. Touché! I know! So many of us do it – savings within our saving accounts, naming it “vacation” , “jewelry”, “bag”, “down payment” etc; Most women prefer to pay for their guilty pleasures, from their own pockets, myself included…oh, the taste of accomplishment – priceless! Shout out to all the super women, who are doing it all! No matter how much you earn, there is value to be had in spending your money and saving it for your long term goals. We all work pretty hard at our jobs, right? Wasting your paycheck is a lot like subtracting the time from your life that you spent slaving away to earn it. Jumping into impulsive purchases had never really worked out for me, ever.

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So explain, how are you so disciplined? Many of you are very interested to know. I lead a bon vivant lifestyle. Here is my equation to what it’s worth:

Waste of money = Time from my lifeline – Time I spent slaving away 

How many days am I willing to sacrifice to obtain something? Not many, if you have gone through my minimal lifestyle you might have suspected this (Read: No More Than 10 Bags). I have already knocked off the bags from my wishlist, and I am now working on adding a handful of classic jewelry pieces that will make my collection complete. Always remember that “cost” and “worth” are two different things, and the meaning will change from person to person.

One of many reasons I stick with the classics is that I never find myself feeling the urge to go out and buy new things. It’s a tried-and-true formula for many,  it just works, and ends up saving us so much money in the long run. Classic bags priced at 4 to 5 digits price tags, how does a working woman/man “the extraordinaire” save for it?

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Photo Credit: CPP-Luxury

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Lay Out a Strategy

Of the 10 million bits of information that our brains process each second, only about 50 bits are devoted to deliberate thought…yup, it comes down to 0.0005%. Our behavioral tendency is to go with the flow, and this reflects an ultimate truth about the way our brains are built. Are you making those runs to the mall just like the coffee runs you do every single day? Buying similar things non-stop in every color and size possible while being on autopilot?  That’s right, I used word autopilot – where our brain simply endorses our existing philosophies and fails to inform us of any new possibilities.

Have you had a chance to examine your everyday pattern of making an informed decision? Never underestimate the power of your own thoughts. Work out a strategy. If you are visiting that one store every week, you got a problem and who are you kidding, you know it too! It’s a red flag enough to get out of the autopilot mode. No one is immune from making a few financial mistakes in life, but many of these can be avoided if you just paid enough attention to your thoughts and spending habits.

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Create Motivation while living in Frugality

Train your brain to recognize the difference between motivations and temptations. To do this, create competing motivations, so when your brain craves something, you can evaluate against what you really want. Admiring vs Owning (Read: Color Snob) fits perfectly in this situation. Whenever you have a temptation/craving, don’t go into autopilot mode; wake your senses up instead.

Let’s do a case study so you could understand my gibberish better:
A few weeks ago, I went to the mall and randomly (I am feeling the eye rolls now) ended up at the new Van Cleef Arpels location. The SA pulled out a beautiful five motifs “chalcedony” bracelet, which I totally fell in love with (red flag: not on my wishlist) and apparently its the only piece available in Canada. We know that cravings tap into the part of our brain that wants immediate gratification. When this happens, your long-term goals go right out of the window. Ha! No tapping into this brain.  I have smartened up to the game of rarity and exclusivity. It doesn’t lure me into that sinking hole anymore. I said, “I will think about it” as I walked off. I never ever do impulse buys. I reached out to my group of friends, and the conclusion came out to a NO GO. An absolute case of craving, don’t you think?

The following week to help keep the rush of dopamine on a certain level, I decided to visit my “go-to” SA at the other VCA location. She knew about my chalcedony shenanigans. She had the bracelet transferred over, which she knew I would never get. We prioritized my list of items, I took pictures, made videos, and posted on my IG – that’s my motivation right there to stay on the right track! Figure out what yours is. Eyes on the prize at all times, the only thing that switches on my wishlist is the priority order.

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Balance

If you are struggling with low dopamine, you may currently be discouraged to accomplish any goals. Seems pointless, right? Ok, so you are new to this game. Let’s start by setting a very teeny tiny goal, saving for a smaller item, whatever that is for you. This will train you to embrace the hard work of picking between the “admiring vs owning” theory and eventually earning the reward. If you have a target in mind and are trying to save up a little extra, small expenses like coffee, lattes, 5 à 7 martinis, manis-pedis, lash extensions, facials add up very quickly. Coffee in the morning is my fuel, so if I ever decided to cut down that expense, I’d be miserable and nothing would be worth it. Only you know your own strengths and downfalls, so play responsibly here. This balance will determine the proximity to your goal. Make calculated cuts and always watch out for the blind spot. Yes, the blind spot also known as sales.  Many of us get caught up, “oh, it’s almost like I made money on it”, “how could I not buy it on this price” etc; I am positive this sounds very familiar to many of you. If you managed to score an item on sale that was on your wishlist, woo hoo! We are talking intellect here! If you had never paid attention to it before and bought it just because of how good of a deal it was, I hope you achieved your goal of “adding a very exceptional piece to your overflowing wardrobe.” Ouch, you certainly felt my sarcasm, sorry, but not sorry.

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Materialist values and consumer culture can drive some people into compulsive shopping. Be a tough cookie. Don’t go running to buy anything and everything you see on IG reveals, the runway, or the new collection that just hit the stores.  This remarkable lady I know who lives in Paris says, “Je ne suis pas facilement impressionné” meaning “I don’t get impressed by everything I see”.  Love this attitude!

We live busy lives, so it’s always a good idea to keep ourselves in check. We need to remember to play the main character in our own life stories. Is it just me or do you feel that certain IGers/Youtubers post way too many reveals of big tag items almost to a point that it feels unreal? It’s a good source if you are looking for reviews or feedback, but just don’t get derailed. You have absolutely no knowledge of the financial, emotional, and personal life of that “someone” you are watching/following. There is no need in secretly day dreaming about their lifestyle. Snap out of it, you almost gave someone the main lead in your life. Self-awareness is the master key to your thoughts and emotions.

Fun fact: An average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day. Buying aimlessly and hoarding was never fashionable, but intelligence is, and always will be. You know I keep it real by sharing what has worked for me.

I hope the hard working, clutter-free fashionistas out there find this somewhat helpful!

  • Jennifer McGee

    I love this article @kugzz. You certainly have some good ideas about saving and avoiding impulse buying. I’ve certainly been there myself. I have started getting annoyed at these IGers/Youtubers revealing new, very expensive designer bags on a weekly basis. Yes, it is not reality.

  • Lavish_Box

    I 🖤this. Great advice 👍🏼

  • Nicole Anstaett

    Awesome article, I guess I am lucky because I am one of those person that knows if she can’t afford it not to buy it.. I don’t follow fashion, I don’t want to be like others.. easy because I don’t fit into the mold 😉But also I can’t afford what I really want, so I admire and that’s it, because I am logical… so glad not to be a victim ✨👏💕