Shoes or Stable Financial Future?

I spent my afternoon utterly engrossed by a fashion blog I'd never read before. I won't name any names, but I'll say this much: It was written by a high-maintenance Hong Kong girl who seems sweet and articulate and has a huge weakness for the finer things in life: high tea at posh restaurants, expensive makeup and skincare products, designer shoes and purses, Internet orders from Neiman Marcus. My disbelief grew as I kept reading. I thought, wow, there are people that live like this?!? How can she afford the constant influx of Fendi and Chanel in her closet?

Several pages of old blog posts later, the situation became a bit clearer. This girl was 27 and had been working full-time for a couple of years since she graduated, and she still lived with her parents. (There were asides about her parents seeing her packages come in the mail.) In a post about resisting the temptation of yet another designer item, she confessed to being 27 and not having anything to show for it except shoes and purses. If you read between the lines, it sounds as though she spends every single penny she earns. How can you be 27 and not have any savings, an RRSP, a GIC, or anything? At this rate she'll end up like Carrie Bradshaw - she will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!

I totally admit I'm the last person to judge, seeing as I'm a 23 year-old shopaholic with a full-time job and I still live with my parents rent-free. My previously harsh stance against expensive items has softened in the face of my weakness for pretty luxurious things. But even I have my limits as to how much I can bring myself to spend, and I don't think I could blow a whole paycheque on shopping without shuddering. Also, as much as I love shoes, I realize there are more important financial goals for myself beyond "investing" in my shoe collection. I'd like to move out for good and hopefully own my own home in several years. This is why at least half of every paycheque goes into my savings account, if not more. I hope that by the time I'm 27, I'll have more to show for it than accessories.


  1. This is such a great post--and I agree with you completely! I read some fashion blogs and my jaw literally drops at the price of the lifestyle these women are choosing. And even if they don't say it straight out, you can sense an underlying emptiness there--shoes and bags are fun, but there's so much more to life!!
    p.s. SO glad you're on blogger! Woo!

  2. I'm not sure I'll have (or even want!) a mortgage by 27, but I think it's important to know how to save. A house is good, but then so are amazing life experiences like a trip around the world, yet another degree (buwahaha), or even having children at an earlier age instead of opting to wait until we're greying but can (almost) afford that super cute $800 stroller. I think it all depends on one's priorities...

    I'm also a bit of a shopaholic with an ecological, Catholically guilt-ridden twist but I think it's okay, in moderation. As long as you pick a FEW really nice things and leave the rest, you probably save money from not buying all the crap that sorta works -- for one season -- but isn't quite right.

  3. Like shoes... ;-) This is my next purchase with my upcoming paycheque (ha):

    (I get 50% so the price isn't quite as ridiculous, fortunately).

  4. Hmm yeah. For me, I think it's a matter of saving money for bigger financial goals - not just owning my home someday, but also saving to enable me to keep my resolution of travelling to one new place at least once a year. I admit I make impulse purchases and I can't resist a bargain, but I tend to buy things I love regardless of what's trendy at the moment. If you buy things you really love instead of slavishly following the trends that come and go, well, that saves you money too.

    Those are fantastic shoes btw! I really like the ribbon running stitch accent.

  5. With house/condo prices what they are in Vancouver, renting / staying with your parents and saving for later / to move somewhere else & travelling might actually be more finacially sound / viable than buying a house. And we don't even have a build up of really bad subprime mortagaes that will cause tons fo foreclosures to deflate prices -- just people paying a HUGE chunk of their income towards their mortage.

    (I don't know why I am so bitter about housing prices in Van as it's unlikely I will ever buy a house/condo here, but it's totally crazy either way)


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