Spending habits, Student life
Caroline: "I'm allowed to buy all the Gucci bags I want"
Throwback to my trip to Paris in March 2016. With sweaty palms and a high pulse, I enter my four-digit credit card code. I’m inside the Gucci store, waiting to pay for my 1.500€ bag.
A few minutes later, I wipe off my sweaty palms on my jeans, grab the huge brown shopping bag that’s holding my dream bag, and I walk out the store.
I’ve looked forward to this day for a long time. The day I could finally reward myself for working hard and saving up money to buy the bag of my dreams. For me, from me. Yes, the bag is more than a material thing. It’s a reward for my work, and it's a symbol of my independence.
It wasn’t the usual swipe with the credit card
For me, spending 1.500€ on a handbag isn’t just the usual swipe with the credit card. I’m a student living on a monthly student grant, and besides studying, I work hard to make my own money. Because living a life with room for treating myself is important to me, I’ve decided to work and study at the same time.
This Gucci dream bag became the carrot on a stick that would motivate me to work hard and to save up. I came to realize that having a set goal made it easier to save up money. I saved a bit here and there, and suddenly, my account showed that it was a home run. I was ready to go to the Gucci store and finally do more than just window shopping!
Big purchases require big decisions
Although I had the money saved up, ready to support my Gucci purchase, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Regardless of how you put it, in my world, 1.500€ is a lot of money. Especially for a handbag.
Prior to the purchase decision, I had long talks with my friends and my boyfriend, going through every pro and con for the purchase. I had a bit of a guilty conscience because of spending that much money on something materialistic, and I was also afraid of regretting my purchase later on.
My boyfriend was my cheerleader. He said: “Go for it, you’ve earned it and you deserve it!” My rational and wise friend said that if I was going to regret the purchase later on, I could always sell it. Another friend said: “Frankly, I’ve heard so much about this handbag now. It has to stop, and I don’t think it will before you have it in your hands!”.
By all means, buying this handbag was a completely, one hundred percent thought through.
What?! Imagine spending that much money on… a bag!
As I got home from my trip to Paris, I proudly showed off my new handbag to my parents. My mom, who’s my eternal source of support, said it was beautiful. My fashionable brother who knows everything when it comes to fashion, jokingly told my dad: “Ask her how much it was!”.
“Oh no, here we go…”, I thought to myself. Instead of sending off a white lie as an answer, I told him the true price.
“What… Imagine spending that much money on… a bag!”, he said.
Damn… My happiness for purchasing the bag instantly faded in front of my eyes.
No high-interest loans for me
The following days I felt that my dad’s reaction made me feel bad. But then I turned the situation around. I don’t understand a lot of my dad’s and brother’s spending decisions. But how, why and what they spend their money is none of my business, right?
I decided to have an honest talk with my dad. I explained to him how I had felt very split about buying the Gucci bag because I knew it was a lot of money to spend, but that I actually ended up feeling proud for saving up and treating myself.
And so should he be! He should be happy that I am not in his pocket and that I don’t have a long list of high-interest loans to support my lifestyle. I am so much in control of my money and savings that I am actually able to spend that amount of money on a handbag. Luckily, he completely agreed.
A 1.500€ bag or two months of rent?
The honest talk with my dad was actually a good thing. I learned that I can shut down other people’s opinions about my expensive purchase. Besides my dad’s and brother’s reaction, I can’t count how many that have reacted the same way.
When I pitched this article idea for Spiir, one of my colleagues reacted by writing “Whaaaaaat! 1.500€?! That’s two months of rent!”. Then I remembered that the week before, this colleague had spent 1.200€ on a brand new iPhone. I wonder if he had gotten as many outraged opinions as I had encountered?
All those comments I encountered after disclosing the price of my purchase made me:
Wonder why other people stick their nose into how I choose to spend my money.
Think about why it is that some purchases are more justified than others. It seems that there is a general assumption that it not acceptable to spend money on handbags and shoes, but expensive cars, watches and electronics are completely different stories
Give no f*ck. It’s my money, my purchase, my decision, my life. And I don’t need to justify this to anyone but myself.
Spiir is about prioritizing - not just saving
As I am writing this post, I wonder what people will think when I click “publish”. Are they going to have a need to share their attitude towards how I spend my money?
Spiir helps to support a lifestyle that isn’t just about constantly saving up and living next to nothing. Instead, Spiir is about helping you become aware of how you actually spend your money. The end goal is to make you realize what you spend your money on so you can spend them on things that make you truly happy.
I know that I’m able to spend my money on what makes me happy. Whether that’s a handbag, a car, a new iPhone, a space rocket or a night out on the town. I don’t need to justify this decision to anyone.
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