Be it a salesgirl, a friend, or even a person who is shopping on impulse, there is nothing that irks me more than someone saying:
But it’s an investment piece that will last for years in your wardrobe!
Perfect leather shoes you purchased to wear to work are not going to generate $20 bills every month beside them.
That lovely tweed blazer you paid a lot of money for, is not going to grow $50 bills in its lining every time you wear it.
Basically, if it doesn’t make you money in the long run, it is not an investment.
I SHOP A LOT, BUT I SURE DON’T CALL IT INVESTMENT SHOPPING
I’m not a saint in this area whatsoever. I shop, and I generally don’t buy cheap clothes for a few reasons:
- Trends are not my thing — I wait until trends stick as classics & work on me before buying
- Cheap clothing doesn’t last — It pills after a few washes, colour fades and/or looks old quickly
- Fast, trendy clothes may have a lot of toxic chemicals hidden in them, waiting to be absorbed
- Rather buy higher quality second-hand consigned clothing instead of new (recycle! reuse!)
I have less overall clothing, but I’ve been spending more than in the past.
I really get a great sense of satisfaction and joy out of wearing nice clothes with a good variety of colours, shapes and sizes.
What I don’t do, is call my love for shopping “investing in my wardrobe”.
YOU COULD MAKE A (WEAK) ARGUMENT THAT WORK CLOTHES ARE AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR CAREER
Work clothes are an ‘investment’ in your appearance so you can climb the corporate ladder, make more money with your nicer clothes, and save more overall.
Very nice in theory, rarely works out in real life, because we never just stop at buying a few lovely work pieces unless we have a budgeting discipline made out of steel.
In reality, how many ‘nice’ work clothes do you really need?
5 tops at the most, with 5 pants at the most. Then throw in the fact that you might need 2 pairs of shoes or so, and that about ends your ‘investment in your career shopping’.
(You probably need less than that, because you can mix and match).
Frankly, unless you need to buy at least one new suit because you’re next in line to take the corner office (what is that, $500 at a maximum?), you can’t call your shopping habit — ‘investment shopping’.
CARS ARE ALSO GENERALLY NOT INVESTMENTS
Another area this applies to, is purchasing cars and this is where it seems to hit guys more than the girls.
Cars depreciate. That’s what they do. You buy a new car, and every year you keep it, you lose about 15%-20% in depreciation costs alone.
This is great if you own a company, because you can write it off on your books and help lower your taxable income, but if you’re a regular working Jane, not so much.
The only time a car is ever an investment, is if you buy it secondhand, and you use it to REALLY generate more income, in addition to having purchased it for dirt cheap in cash.
Want an example? I did this when I started freelancing: My used car had an ROI of 16,315.79%, and I’m leaning towards doing it again.
IT IS PERFECTLY FINE TO SHOP AS LONG AS YOU CAN AFFORD IT
In debt? You can’t afford that want.
No, really, you can’t afford it.
I am not saying every single penny should absolutely go towards your debt with no room for entertainment, but if you are planning on blowing $300 on a pair of jeans you don’t really need, you can’t afford it.
You only ‘need’ those jeans, if you don’t have a single other pair of pants to wear. Nada. Zilch.
And even in that case, I’d encourage you to visit consignment or thrift stores for high quality pants for cheap (depreciation works even on clothing).
So STOP with the excuses, and STOP telling everyone that you’ll wear that [ insert expensive item here ] for years to come, the cost-per-use will be PENNIES, and you’re investing in your wardrobe.
Call it what it is, like I do — a shopping habit.