In Money

What’s so wrong with a little shopping?

I admittedly love to shop.

In the start, when I tried to get out of $60,000 of student debt, I  tried to refashion myself into some austere super-frugal person who only liked experiences (traveling), and being content with nothing, but that lasted for about a week because I’m weak like that.

Very weak.

Then I thought about it some more: What’s so wrong with a little shopping budget if I am going beyond all of my other money goals?

See, I enjoy shopping a lot.

I also know that other people enjoy going out to eat and going to spas, which I tend to avoid because I don’t get any lasting satisfaction out of it.

Whereas with a new dress to wear, I am happy as a clam every time I wear it! <3

 I don’t do any of the following

  • Get into debt for any kind of consumption or lifestyle upgrade
  • Eat out regularly, like twice a week without a purpose
  • Even when I go out, Chipotle is considered a treat for me!
  • Spend money on owning a car, when I can take the roundtrip bus for $5.20 instead
  • Buy a house I can’t afford or even want
  • Go to spas and pedicures, manicures every week, let alone on a routine
  • Dye my hair, perm it, or get it blowdried (blown out) for $60 a week
  • Try not to spend more than $100 (tip & taxes included) on a haircut every 6 months
  • Waste money on upgrading cars
  • Don’t go to bars or drink — I only drink at home and usually only for special occasions like getting a new job
  • Buy 15 pairs of jeans and leave the tags on, never to wear them again

 What I do even though I enjoy shopping VERY much

  • Save more than 50% of my NET income (goal: 75%)
  • Maxed out all my retirement and savings plans
  • Have investments above and beyond my own tax-sheltered plans
  • Have a healthy $50,000 emergency fund
  • Donate about 10% of my net income each year to charity
  • Work hard so that I keep making money!!
  • Make sure I earn like a princess
  • Negotiate every single penny of my salary
  • Never carry a credit card balance
  • Refuse to pay fees and interest on anything
  • Cook at home to eat better and save money
  • I have a list of things I want, and another pair of jeans are NOT on it

 So what’s so wrong with a little shopping budget then?

I dare say I am far better off for my age group and even my income than most people. I am on the track to becoming wealthy.

I do spend quite a bit on my wardrobe each year, and I know the money could go into savings instead, but why can’t I enjoy it now?

What’s the point of having millions of dollars in the bank when you die? ENJOY IT (within reason)!!!!


My weakness is obviously dresses, because I have more in that category than in any other, but I only own 2 pairs of jeans rather than multiples (skinny and bootcut).

 Clothes are my souvenirs, or my memories

In case you think that it’s just a “thing” and it’s an item that gives me happiness ONCE but never again, I would like to point out that every time I wear an accessory or a piece of clothing, I can tell you exactly where I bought it, why and how I felt at the time.

That navy blue dress with pockets? Toronto, 2012 @ Jason Wu for Target.

Stood in line for 3 hours, paid $35 and I can belt it in multiple different ways, and it has POCKETS!

Got complimented on it by others already on the first day wearing it, and BF thinks it’s a VERY cute dress on me, which is a huge plus.

Wardrobe-Brown_Satchel-Leather-Isabel-Marant-Husband-Lookalike

That satchel purse? Paris, 2011.

I took the year off to travel, and found it in a little shop where I snagged it out from under the paws of a very chic Parisian who also wanted it.

Someone told me in a shop that she thought it was by Isabel Marant’s husband, and it looked far more expensive than the 50 EUR I paid for it. Like in the hundreds! 🙂 It’s also perfect because it’s zippered, and not just a flap.

I get a ton of compliments on it.

Wardrobe-Etsy-Sunshine-Gold-Necklace-Stones

That sunny gold stone necklace? Etsy, around 2010 I believe.

I loved how it made it look like it was sunshine around my neck, and I love the weight of the stones and how it makes any outfit look that much better.

Wardrobe-Woven-Blue-andYellow-Ballet-Flats

Those pair of blue and yellow ballet flats? Singapore, 2011. Also took the year off the travel, saw them in the shop, had never seen anything like it, and loved how bright they are.

 Do I have more than I can reasonably wear as a girl?

Yes. But it’s my collection of wearable memories and in some cases, art.

I like my clothes and I don’t see the point in having to apologize for it if I am already financially secure and on the track to becoming wealthy.

I’m not a hoarder of money by any means, but I am also far more adult and reasonable than I was before I got out of debt.

Check out my books and my budgeting tool 🙂

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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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16 Comments

  1. Tania

    I buy things on vacation too and I prefer souvenirs that are useful rather than just a kitchy display piece so I 100% get it. I have jewelry that I can specifically tell you the trip I was on, why I was there, who I was with and how I fondly remember that trip each time I wear that piece.

    I love that satchel by the way, it’s timeless.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I do the same thing. I have 2 scarves I bought in Paris and will not forget about, that satchel was also a great find!!

      Reply
  2. guest

    There’s nothing wrong with shopping. If a person has savings, avoids debt or pays off their card at the end of the month, saves for emergencies and retirement then how can I judge them? 

    You’re spending responsibly. Experiences are nice but I also get enjoyment from stuff. I like wearing nice clothes, I like using my kindle fire, and I love my computer. There’s nothing wrong with this. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying stuff and spending responsibly. Enjoy your money.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Trying too!

      But then I think for some things: GAH what a waste I shouldn’t have bought that (in hindsight)

      Reply
      1. guest

        Just think about it this way. There will always be something nice to shop for. We live in a society where you can constantly upgrade your stuff no matter what your income is. Materialistically there will always be something nicer and shinier.

        Some people drive themselves crazy, and then go into debt having the best of everything. Try not to beat yourself up. What you’re experiencing is common and human. 🙂

        Reply
        1. Mochi & Macarons

          Good points 🙂 just hard to reconcile when I know what other people have to live on

          Reply
  3. B. (Below Her Means)

    In love with your fashion sense, that dress is gorgeous.

    Reply
  4. Fabulouslyfrugirl

    I love this post! 🙂

    I agree that we should spend our money on what makes us happy and gives us value in life, while making sure to plan for a rainy day (and retirement, of course).

    Now, I don’t feel so bad about my purchases 😀

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Yeah I know you and I are on the same page when it comes to spending 😉

      We’re partners in crime for that.

      Reply
  5. Vanessa

    First of all. I love that dress.

    I have the hardest time with shopping. I give myself a shopping budget and almost every month it’s 0/100$. I have an awkward shape and it’s too cold to wear dresses most of the time so I stick to my boring sweaters, tanks and jeans from 2010. So sad.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      This is why I’m moving to a warmer climate 😉

      Reply
  6. Ms. S

    I don’t see the harm, seeing your complete financial picture.  Now for people that have $20,000 in cc debt and an overtheirhead car payment, they probably need to focus every cent they can elsewhere (i.e debt).  But being financially responsible allows you the stress free privelage of shopping within your means.  Clearly, this is within your means.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Just hard to ‘let it go’, if you know what I mean 🙂

      Reply
  7. tinysarah

    I love this post so hard. 

    So. hard. 
    xx

    Reply
  8. BrokeElizabeth

    I think this is a great mental place to be in… if you like the clothes and have the money, why not spend it on things that you love? 

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      True. But after lugging it around I think I might want to downsize again. I just can’t lift those suitcases!

      Reply

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