Save. Spend. Splurge.

Was there ever an important or paradigm shifting purchase in your life?

I suspect the first time I bought anything truly designer, at retail (on sale, mind you).

It was when I bought my first Burberry trench coat because I finally allowed myself to acknowledge and be happy about the success I have achieved, and it was a symbol of having made it.

I also thankfully did not buy a whole bunch of substitute Burberry-like trench coats before getting it, so there’s that as well.

I still wear the coat, but after having Little Bun, I can’t do up the buttons without it feeling too tight around my body (my ribcage expanded a tiny bit after childbirth).

I still wear it open (my favourite way), and it looks spectacular. I have even had friends ask me just from touching it and not seeing the logo or anything, just the fabric and design, of where I got such an amazing coat…. and when they realized it was Burberry, they said: Oh that’s why it looks so good.

That purchase, shifted my perspective on what good classic clothes cost, and started to define what I think is my style now.


The entire series can be found here: Women in Clothes Style & Fashion Survey


  • Maggie

    My husband insisted that I get a proper well made purse and wallet. I had just been using tote bags and cute fashiony bags that looked and felt cheap. I’ve had this purse and wallet now for over a decade and both look as good or even better with wear. That purchase shifted my mindset to fewer but better things.

  • Manuela

    For me it was the Burberry trench as well! And a Burberry wool coat.. 🙂 Love them both to bits and feel like a million bucks every time I wear them. Too bad that I got them in the size I was at the time, 4 years ago, without accounting for possible weight fluctuations.. :P. So, I have to wear my trench opened too. xx

  • Sense

    With my first ever ‘real’ paycheck at 25, earned at my first 9-to-5 job after spending 20 years straight in school and working part-time jobs, I bought a pair of fabulous 7 for All Mankind jeans, which I had heard would transform my entire existence (and booty). Heady with the idea of disposable income for the first time ever, I spent 2 hours picking them out at a store I’d only ever heard of: Nordstrom. The jeans were about $175 and were all the rage in Southern California, where I had just moved. I had never ever ever spent that much on anything that wasn’t a car or school-related, especially not clothes–I was used to getting what I could scrounge up in a sale at Marshall’s or other discount stores, each item $20 or less–but I desperately wanted to FINALLY live the life I thought I deserved. The jeans were my ticket, my symbol that I was exiting my old poor life and entering the big time, where I was fabulous.

    No joke, they were great jeans, but the buyer’s remorse set in the second I got home. I was just learning how to budget at the time and when I ran the numbers with rent, food, car, student loan and credit card payments, and basic living expenses, I knew I had to send the jeans back. I had $11K worth of debt to pay off from student loans and using credit cards to make ends meet in grad school; I just plain couldn’t afford to waste $175 on one item of clothing. I returned the jeans and have never regretted it for a second. I made a huge and difficult decision that day to live in reality and not my dreams, at least when it came to my money.

    That decision set the stage for me to sort out my finances and taught me an amazing life lesson: labels don’t represent me as a person, and they certainly don’t guarantee a good life or even a good fit. I still don’t buy anything like that without weighing up all the pros and cons and thinking about how it will affect my bottom line, even though I’ve been out of debt for 10+ years and have built up 100K+ worth of assets (on an annual salary averaging about $35K per year).

    Happy ending: I now own several pairs of 7 jeans, bought at Marshall’s at a huge discount–they were maybe $30 each or less?!

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      That is such a ridiculously INSPIRING story. I need to hear more of these — that it is crazy for me to spend so much money on clothes when I can just live off my wardrobe for a year without changing (LOL)… and your story is amazing — $100K on $35K? AMAZING.

      Also I buy more secondhand now which means I buy nicer items for cheaper…. 😉

      • Sense

        Thanks!! You have the disposable income to shop for special pieces as you do, though–I would do the same and upgrade to more expensive hobbies if I had a similar income. I think you strike a great balance between spending on categories that are important to you, eschewing waste and nonsense spending, and saving. How you’ve moved up the ranks to become an in-demand, high-income freelancer with freedom to travel as you please, maintain a fantastic net worth, and own an apartment paid for in cash is all very inspiring!

        Thanks for the encouragement on the net worth front, too. I sometimes feel quite ashamed that it is so low at my age (nearing 40), but I have followed my passion for my career and it is naturally low-paying at my education level (Master’s degree). However, my salary should increase (at least double!) after I get my PhD in 2 years! 🙂

        • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Yes. That is true. I’m very spendy but this is ending this year, I have to rein it in, my new goal is $1M net worth so.. 🙂

          As long as you are happy, and you are reaching your goals, you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone. 🙂

      • Sense

        Also, second-hand and discount stores are the BEST!! You’re able to get better quality items for so much less…

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