Tuesday, January 12, 2010

When to Splurge, D&OC style

My friend contacted me the other day because she wanted me to "talk her down" from the ledge before purchasing these boots. You know the ledge I'm talking about. We've all been there, when we REALLY want something and we don't know if it's worth the leap. It got me thinking about splurges and when and if it's ok to indulge and when to know if you're ready. Regardless of your budget, I think a splurge every once in a while is ok and can be a great thing but i think being prepared and fully conscious of your splurging decisions is what makes or breaks a quality purchase.
Here are some questions I came up with to help myself decide when to throw down the money and when to refrain.
1. What's your debt looking like right now? Will this purchase add to your debt or are you able to pay cash? It's all about priorities.
2. Is the item you're looking to purchase worth the investment? Is it a trendier piece that could be found at a cheaper price? Is it timeless?
3. Are you willing to be patient to see if there's a sale? Is this a limited design or will it be around next year? Can you save for it?
4. Will you use it? I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "oh this is such a great sale, it's marked down from $500 to $250, I just don't know if I like it." If you're not SUPER excited about a potential purchase, you're probably not going to use it. Don't waste your money on something that doesn't make you jump up and down. Seriously.
5. When was your last splurge? If you find yourself splurging A LOT then you're probably not being as discerning as you should be. Can you set yourself up on a splurge schedule (i.e. one time a year, twice a year)? Living within your means takes a lot of thought so don't kid yourself.
6. What will your financial situation look like in the next couple of months? Are you traveling soon? Is your car up for maintenance? Are your pets healthy? If you are expecting an increase in your normal bills, now might not be the time to splurge.

This is only the beginning of the questions I normally ask myself and more often than not, I end up walking away, BUT when I do splurge, it feels oh so good because I don't feel guilty after.
Everyone splurges, including a frugal person like myself. Here are some items that I will splurge on one day, when the time is right.
It'll be years before I'm able to buy myself a Burberry Trench coat, but it's classic and will last a lifetime.
Burberry Washed Double Breasted Twill Raglan Trench Coat $995

via here

Dwell Studio bedding would be perfect in our bedroom and this particular style is masculine enough to appease B as well.
Dwell Studio Chinois Blue Draper Stripe Duvet Collection $29.70 - $286

via here

I know I haven't mentioned much in the way of wedding plans because we're taking it slow, but I do know that I want an awesome set of engagement photos. This Atlanta based photographer does amazing work, I'm just to chicken to ask about the price!

via W. Scott Chester
In case you're wondering, I didn't talk my friend away from the ledge. In fact, I told her to buy them. She works incredibly hard for her money (harder than anyone I know) and deserves a treat, plus the boots are freaking gorgeous.
So I'm curious, what questions do you ask yourself before splurging?


Teresa @ good-grace said...

FanTAStic post!!

(and your friends' boots - heck yes, it certainly does sound like she deserves them! And a beautiful pair of boots are classic.)

Ginger said...

"Can I buy this and still afford food and rent?" Seriously; usually there's not much extra left over;)

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

i will follow your questions whenever i decide to splurge and buy myself something nice, I usually do it once maximum twice a year, and the piece has to be something worth it and classic, that I will enjoy for years to come!
No wonder she bought the boots, sooo cute!

Unknown said...

I splurge on classic, timeless pieces that will never go out of style, like a Burberry trench {or ask for them as gifts ;)} either way works ...but one is far less expensive, lol

Felicia|DaLipstickBandit said...

Great questions! Some people just splurge just to splurge like every week. that trench is devine.

Oh and I want to do the makeup for your wedding! :)

stephchows said...

I totally ask myself all the things you wrote up there... except not as eloquently ;) Great post!

drollgirl said...

GAH! who wouldn't love a burberry trench?!?! i can't afford it. then again, all the little things i buy sure start to add up after a while!

i am out of debt, and i tend to treat myself a lot lately! hahaha. then i pay the bill off before any interest accrues. it is fab, but then again sometimes i feel guilty when i think how much i could have saved. but it is all a balancing act -- working hard, treating oneself, and prioritizing wants vs. needs.

Angie said...

oh boy- The problem is I NEVER asked myself any questions! It was never a problem untill 2009- THE UGLIEST year ever!! Anyhow- it's safe to say i've learned my lesson and will have a check list before I splurge in the future! As for Ruche- with those kinds of prices!?!? ;)

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh, your splurge items are on my list too, along with a pendleton blanket that I've been eyeing! Maybe you could trade with this photographer--ad space, a nice feature? Not sure about other talents you have, but I trade for luxe hair appointments all the time and it really helps my budget!

p.s. Thanks for stopping by my business of style series and tweeting about it! It's going to get meatier very soon so hope you'll come by again!


Giovanna said...

i'm going to reference this list next time i need to be talked off the ledge. those boots are gorgeous, but i can't be buying them until i pay off my credit card debt!

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

Okay, I know I'm still playing catch-up here, but did I miss the fact that you and B are engaged? Do tell!

When I shop online, I leave items in my 'shopping cart' for at least 24 hours before purchasing. Then I normally revisit and realize that I didn't need it or really do not like it.

LenoreNeverM♡re said...

I want those birds to sleep with me each night! my...I really-really do need a bf huh?!

A Perfect Peach said...

I saw those boots at a boutique here in Portland - my friend and I were totally drooling all over them - they're awesome!! Your tips are great and completely work for the Fryes - they're a classic and las forever!

Claire Kiefer said...

you know that's who Kate and Andy used for their wedding, right? Andy is working for Scott now and they've all become really good friends . . . so if you are too chicken, you should just ask Kate! Cause that's a little less scary. :)

Anonymous said...

These are such great rules... and pretty close to what I follow as well... I don't really use credit cards for clothes EVER because if its not cash I can't afford it and what is coming up soon (ie. wedding and honeymoon this year) have a HUGE impact. I did splurge on a dress for our wedding rehearsal this fall... but I figured the savings on a dress in the fall versus this coming summer might be worth it :)

Anonymous said...

Oh and I am glad you shared your friend's decision! :)

Kalee said...

Great tips! We have all been in that situation and your advice is perfect!

Callie Grayson said...

so glad your friend got those boots! Those are the boots I have been looking for.... i found them at a store by my house, went home to think about them and then went back and they were gone!!

so want them. But I need to buy my iphone this weekend first then wait abit then the boots (if they are still around, so love them!!!!)


Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese said...

Fantastic advice! You definitely should pay for the good photographer, for both engagement and wedding photos. We decided to forgo a pro photographer at our wedding because it was so tiny, we thought it would have felt like an imposition to have a stranger there. Bad decision. My sister-in-law is a good photographer, but she used my SLR film camera (it used to take fantastic pictures), and the camera decided to crap out at that very time, and all of our black and whites are grainy and awful. :(

I'm a fairly practical girl so I rarely splurge on big-ticket items, and when I do, it's things like an iphone or macbook pro (which I can justify because they are kind of "needs"). The one thing I do splurge on is eating out at lots of good restaurants while on vacation. One day I'll splurge on fabulous clothes...one day...

Joie de Viv said...

Great post! I'm with Angie, 2009 was tough b/c I tend to splurge a lot but it was not a problem.
Wll, I'm glad I tend to splurge on classic items I'll wear forever. Almost anything from BUrberry, good sheets, and incredible boots are all splurge-worthy!
I am TRYING to be good and follow your checklist! In fact - I'm stopping myself from heading to NM right now by reading all my fave blogs!


Joie de Viv said...

Oh! AND you definitely should splurge on your e-pics/wedding pics! I LOVE my epics and my wedding pics were a compromise (and results are met with the same feeling). You won't get to re-do that day so make sure you're happy with your pics.

candacemorris said...

Thanks for this totally relevant post.

Yeah, splurges...so relative to the person. Only you can know if you are really splurging or if overspending is a way of life. It can be so hard to be self-aware in this area because purchases are rarely JUST a purchase...but mean so much more...carry such more emotional weight. I am one of those lucky women whose husband will ALWAYS encourage me to spend money on myself and often requests money to spend on ME for his bday presents (i've mentioned he's a saint, right?), so it's totally on my shoulders to decide.

If I am in the store, I tell myself to revisit the idea in three days. At that point, I can then tell if I really want it.

But most of the time, if the price is exorbitant, it's enough of a deterrent for me...knowing I could find something better for exactly what I have in my wallet. Something vintage, reused, etc. Also, one thing that really helps with overspending is not having any money. :)

(sorry for the novel)

candacemorris said...

OH! I forgot.

I've been married for seven years and STILL when ppl ask for wedding advise, I say spend the most of the budget on PHOTOGRAPHS! It's the only part of the day that lasts...

except the marriage, of course.

You'll never regret a beautiful photo.

Iva Messy said...

this is a FABULOUS post!! great advice!!

generally I am very common sense about money. But if something seems like I MUST have it, but its going to be out of the range then I would normally go for, I make myself sleep on it for the night....if I wake up still itching to have it...then I go back to the store and get it...if I'm kinda 'oh well' on it...then clearly I'm fine without it ;)

Joie de Viv said...

Love your blog! Just wanted to let you know I've added you to my blogroll!


Magchunk said...

I love these questions to ask from the ledge. We should all have them printed up on little business card sized reminders to keep in our wallets (taped to the credit card!)

We're on a not-so-optional spending hiatus so that helps curb the splurging but I'm still drawn to buy the cheapo crap just to get that rush of treating myself. Luckily been able to curb that so far, and I am clinging tight to a few xmas gift cards for spring! Will definitely use your tips to weigh my purchases then.

Skinny Dip said...

This is a really great list of questions! I'm a firm believer in #4. If you don't absolutely love it, don't buy it. Too many times in the past I've bought things on sale because they were a good deal only to have them sit in my closet un-used.

I agree on the Burberry trench--totally classic and beautiful!

Courtney said...

Eek... when to save and when to splurge... this is a toughie.

I use the rule of thumb you've mentioned here: is it a classic style? does it fit with the rest of my wardrobe? will I wear it a lot?

A burberry trench is on my wish list (after my camera) as is a good bag. My usual splurge is on jeans because I wear them every day.

Awesome post, Christina.

Padgett Hoke said...

that is so funny you post this, it was like you were talking to me - literally. I just bought a pair of Frye's and needed some reassurance... you gave it to me, I read through and felt really good about my answers! And, the final thought I would add is that I thought about them for over 2 weeks and couldn't get them out of my mind and had to get them. So, thats another tip - walk away and think about it for awhile (the more expensive the item the longer you should let yourself think!)

lauren said...

oh heck i find totally amazing london fog classic khaki trenches and stock them in my shop regularly, about to shoot one today! a fraction of the cost with the same look!

inkWELL Press said...

I so want to do my engagement photos all over again in a style like this... can't wait to see what you'll pick!

Aline said...

i have almost the same thought process! if it is clothing, it has to be timeless...the same goes with decor!

Jessica said...

This is so true: "Don't waste your money on something that doesn't make you jump up and down. Seriously."

I exercised that at TJMaxx today. I found the perfect bag: soft leather, cross body strap, roomy... but it was a cobalt blue with contrasting stitching that I wasn't crazy about. And I kept holding it and I was almost trying to talk myself INTO it. I finally shook my head and thought "If I have to talk myself into a purchase, it's not worth it" and I walked away.

Diana said...

I always ask if I have room for it. It may look great, but where will i hang it (decor wise, too) and do i have another color of it? i have a section of mustard-colored everything in my closet. Do i really need another dress that looks the same as my others but with a couple ruffles? another thing to think about to is i'd rather have one good thing than a bunch of cheap stuff. i'm so bad at that. my mom somehow manages to work with classic wardrobe for every ten years and can fit it all in one suitcase and looks like she never wears the same outfit. *sigh*

sorry for the long comment but i like this topic and reading the other comments!

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