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Ask Sherry: How much disposable income I want each month

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

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So, how many handbags/purses/bags does a woman really need?

All of them. In all the colours.

Just kidding…Sort of.

I’d say at a minimum, I would personally need 3 to survive, but the only one you need is the following:

#1 Bag you will ever need forever — A Lightweight Shoulder Bag

This lightweight bag should be seriously light yet large enough to stuff everything in there and zip up.

The best one I own in this category is my Longchamp Neo Pliage, with the regular Pliages here. Reader Tania of Maui Shop Girl, recommended the Neo version to me and she’s right, they’re sturdier by far and double-lined.

The handles are also phenomenal as they don’t have a stiff plastic inside, but is all thick, super pliable yet strong leather, stitched beautifully.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGzzWH8vTG_/


I would never give it up and even though I had it stolen TWICE, I have replaced it both times, because it was that versatile.

It is an all-purpose rockstar and it wears WELL unlike other cheap nylon bags.

It also doubles (bonus!) as my travel bag because it has zippers and counts as a personal purse, and triples as a family bag (it used to carry Baby Bun’s diapers and things too).

Not only that, it folds up flat as an extra tote that you can use shopping & for whatever.

You can see how much I stuffed in it here:

#2 Bag I’d love – Work Bag (that can carry a laptop sturdily)

Right now the best option in my bag wardrobe is the Dagne Dover Charlie Tote, and it looks stylish, yet is very comfortable and sturdy. Full review of the Dagne Dover line was here.

https://www.savespendsplurge.com/review-giveaway-dagne-dover-classic-tote-13-and-15-midi-tote-charlie-tote-lola-pouch/

Okay OKAY… Yes I could technically use the Pliage for work but it isn’t very sturdy and work-friendly for cushioning laptops and being super organized with compartments.

Look, If you are TRULY trying to pare down on bags though, then skip the work bag, buy the Pliage and buy a Pliage insert organizer.

I haven’t used it yet, as I am still hoping to sell it (holla at me, $300 USD + shipping anywhere in the world), but now that I have work, I may just end up keeping it.

#3 Bag I’d love – Crossbody Clutch / Bag

The last one is just because I’m a mother, but you could just use the regular Pliages for everything even this.

I like going to the park and I like having my hands free sometimes, and not having to bother with shoulder handles. I also like the look and feel of a clutch and yet do not want JUST a clutch as it is so one-dimensional.

I carry a clutch on occasion (sans toddler, mind you), so the best option I have found thus far is this Foley & Corinna Clutch bag which I love to death:

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=600525554&pid=uid1104-32002848-44

It is large, roomy, stylish, has a cross-body strap AND I can stuff at least a change of pants and underwear for a toddler in there along with my things.

Plus it looks great.

What are your ‘bag basics’ recommendations in terms of what you need to own and what you will use it for.

See above.

Please note that I own way more than what I am noting. I am only stating that at a minimum, you need to leave me with three purses, but I own a lot more than just what I am showing above. Like.. a lot more.

How much discretionary income do you like to have per month?

 

Okay so if we look at what I think is a budget for me that would be comfortable it is:

  • $1000 = Home, Home Insurance, Utilities, Taxes
  • $700 = Groceries
  • $250 = Transportation (Car, Public transportation, Parking)
  • $500 = Household
  • $200 = Baby Bun
  • $200 = Eating Out/Treats
  • $100 = Medical/Health-related
  • $200 = Clothing/Beauty/Skincare
  • $100 = Other
  • = $3250 / month

Just because I enjoy making sure that I would stay under this, let’s say $3500, as we are also not including vacations, gifts, trips I pay for, unexpected expenses or emergencies and the like.

$3500 x 12 = $42,000 a year

Discretionary / Disposable would be about $1000 in that $3500 budget, because I don’t NEED to buy as much for the household, or medical things, or treats, or splurge on Baby Bun, but I would like that…

Do I need all of it?

No. I could live well under $2000 a month as a bare bones budget. I wouldn’t love it, but I could do it.

Would I like it, however?

Yes. I’m very spendy. VERY spendy, indeed and I always need a little reality smack budgeting-wise.

Will you encourage your child to follow a certain career path or a lucrative career path?

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to do this and I am actively trying NOT to influence him.

Every parent wants their child to follow a lucrative career path that makes them independent, fulfilled, successful and happy.

I would not like him to work in a dead-end job, struggle, feel disillusioned and upset about life and its lemons.

I’d definitely push him into careers that pay, but if he has an inclination and aptitude for something less lucrative, I’d encourage it, probably as a hobby or side job, and if he wants to do it full-time, I’d support him no matter what he chooses just as long as he understands what it means.

Being a starving artist means you actually starve and if you don’t want to starve, you better choose something else that pays a living wage for you, and keep the other passion as a hobby.

Preferably, his passion would be his career the way mine is (I love what I do), but a parent can only hope.

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question anonymously using the form here, and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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2 Comments

  1. amy

    Sherry, just as a clarification, is the monthly budget above expressed in Canadian dollars? Thanks.

    Reply

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