Save. Spend. Splurge.

Are you really High Maintenance?

Everyone is always talking about how people who like to spend money on looking nice, are high maintenance.

I beg to differ.

Someone who is high maintenance to me, is someone who:

  • Always has to have everything.. NOW.
  • Is not financially independent to be able to fund all that they want
  • Is not thinking of the future or the big picture
  • Doesn’t care about what it costs

You will notice that I didn’t write in there: “Wears nice clothing and accessories, and likes to look stylish and shop.”

Because if that’s the case, then I’m super high maintenance!

I don’t necessarily buy or wear only designer items to look stylish, either.

Something like a $35 dress styled correctly, can look like it cost a whole lot more.

I have a few high-end pieces, but they are few and far between, and I try to only shop secondhand for them, because the original retail prices are just too rich for my blood. I’d rather try and be stylish but without breaking the bank.

It’s too easy to spend $1000 on an outfit each time to look fabulous — it’s much harder to find things on a budget where it costs $100 in total.

For instance, this dress from my mom’s wardrobe she had made about 30 years ago (she is a clotheshorse too). It doesn’t fit her any longer, so she gifted it to me, and I decided to make it fresh by wearing a contrasting $5 belt rather than the matching one that came with it:



Note: I wrote this post a while ago, the principles still stand but I no longer have belts from places like H&M, Zara, Mango and F21 because they were mostly made in China.

I do this a lot with what I own, and I try to find new ways to shop my own closet instead.

So really, women who like to shop and look stylish, are not necessarily all shopaholics who don’t save.

They may be exactly like me, someone who:

  • has maxed out her retirement funds
  • invests significant amounts of money outside of her retirement
  • makes a good income and works hard
  • saves 50% – 75% of her net income
  • ….just happens to like clothes over other things like having a car, eating out, or her nails done weekly

It’s all about priorities.

So are you high maintenance?



  • Tania

    I’ve always perceived high maintenance as one who expects others to provide nice things for them (versus purchasing themselves) and one who cares very much about status. I don’t think I’m high maintenance because I bought a necklace I loved but if I expected my boyfriend to purchase it for me, I would feel that was high maintenance. I don’t feel owning a good quality bag or home item that you love the design and material is high maintenance but being concerned on what others think that item is.

    I don’t really think about it in terms of appearance. I think everyone wants to look nice and our ideas of what we do to feel we look nice are just different. I did travel once with a co-worker who was so late we didn’t have time for breakfast because she couldn’t get her hair dryer to work so I’d say “adaptable” is also the key to not being a high maintenance chica.

    By the way I hate camping, polyester and fake food.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tania: Oh yes, that’s how I saw it too.

      As for hair drying, some girls get really frizzy hair and can’t deal with it being natural… I can understand that, but it also makes me say: It is just HAIR! πŸ™‚

      I too, hate camping, polyester and fake food. *high five*

  • MelD

    I would have defined high maintenance as very made-up, overly coiffed and “done up” – all the time. Not a good look, in my book, whether the result looks cheap or expensive. I hadn’t thought about it in terms of independence, but I suppose that kind of look usually goes with being an accessory to a man…

    I’m really seeing your soft indigo leather jacket over that dress… very French!

  • Debt and the Girl

    No, I am very minimal maintenance. I like it that way, though. People who seemed to always be dressed up all the time or want a lot of material things baffle me. Life is so much better when you can just be.

  • Cassie

    If β€œWears nice clothing and accessories, and likes to look stylish and shop.” is the definition of high maintenance, then I am high maintenance. If that is the definition, I am also not afraid to admit that. I pay my own way, and that includes buying my own clothes/makeup/hair care. I think the only time the term high maintenance should be used is when someone else is being expected to foot the bill to maintain your look. If you’re paying for it all yourself, who are they to look down on you for it?

  • AdinaJ

    I thought that being high maintenance meant that you spent an hour every day doing your hair πŸ˜‰

    By your definition, I am not high maintenance, but I’m sure plenty of people assume that I am. Unless it somehow had a detrimental impact on my work reputation, people’s assumptions don’t bother me. If I was considered a high maintenance co-worker, that would be a problem. If people think I spend too much money on clothes … meh.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @AdinaJ: HAHAH!

      And your nails. I knew a girl in high school who did her hair for an hour each morning, then another hour on her nails.

      I had no idea how she slept..

      Well your clothing is very beautiful and obviously high-end, but it’s all been thrifted which makes you the smartest of them all. Well-heeled on a budget!

  • Liquid

    Some men can be high maintenance too. Saw some guy before on Craigslist who says he’s looking for a sugar momma, lol. Don’t know if he was successful, or why I was even browsing through that part of the site. I wouldn’t say I overspend but compared to my aunt I would be considered quite a baller πŸ™‚ Hard to put a finger on the definition as it appears to be somewhat relative.

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    High maintenance people can be poorly dressed. Some of the most annoying, demanding, pressuring people I know are poorly dressed. People who have made their fortune by arguing over every penny and forcing people to give in to their demands just to get rid of them.

    I am poorly dressed but I am not very high maintenance.

  • Tammy R

    It really is all about priorities, Mochimac, and I love how you laid it out here. Who could argue that you have crossed all of your t’s and dotted all of your i’s? This is amazing. 50 – 60% in savings, maxed out retirement accounts? If that’s high maintenance, I want to be high maintenance. Thank you so much for sharing this as you are an inspiration!

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      @Tammy R: Oh goodness, what high (undeserving) praise! High maintenance saver perhaps.

      I can save a lot because I make a lot. Please don’t forget that. It is easy to save 50% – 60% when you make money that easily covers your basic living expenses and then some.

  • StackingCash

    Hard to draw the line here for myself. Even though we spend less than we earn, we still enjoy the luxuries in life a little bit too much. Eating out, going to shows, buying music, paying for TV, and owning smartphones are such a waste of money. Life used to be simple, but then getting the taste of the high life is quite addicting. Like I said before, I need to hang out with the poor people. Too bad the wife doesn’t get along with them so well.

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