Are There Any Luxuries Worth Buying?
Depends if you can afford it
Jay-Z once said, “...if you can’t buy it twice, you can’t afford it.” While I consider that to be sound financial advice, it does have its limitations.
You can’t really apply it towards housing (you can save a lot of money living in your parents’ basement or with roommates, but if the environment is toxic, getting-the-fuck-out would be worth more than the money). Also, just because you can afford it (because you could buy it twice) doesn’t mean you should.
This is especially true when it comes to luxury goods. You might be able to afford a Rolex Sky-Dweller in 18kt yellow gold (and buy it twice because you follow Jay-Z’s advice and you’re ballin’). But would you have to tap into your retirement savings or emergency funds in order to do so? And if someone were to rob you of that watch how hard will you cry?
However, some luxuries can improve your quality of life. Take good care of them and you may be able to pass down an heirloom worth keeping. But they are still luxuries and I think they require an addition to Jay-Z’s financial rule:
That if you can buy it twice, cover one month worth of expenses and a $5,000 emergency without dipping into your retirement fund, you could probably afford it.
Here’s a short list of luxury items I can think of and my take on each of them.
- Anything with a designer brand on it: I don’t care what it is. Most of your money is paying for the brand as opposed to the quality of the product. Now, sometimes high quality items come with a designer brand. If you’re in the market for something you can use or wear for decades, a designer brand might have it. Just, try not to do what I did. Though if I used the metric I devised above, I would have been able to afford it and save $10.00 (their New Years’ “sale” was pathetic).
- Perfumes: Cheap perfume smells like a teenager and lasts just as long. It could also ruin your clothes and give you and other people a headache. But if you want to put your money in perfume, I suggest taking the time to find your signature scent. When you do, test it for longevity and your own body chemistry, then either save up or wait for a sale.
- Make up: Personally, all you really need is skincare. But if you love makeup then you need to take the time to discover your signature look. Use other people’s services and products for this. When you do find the colours that look best on you, find a way to replicate it using the least amount of products. In my opinion, any signature look can be made using a maximum of 13 items:
Face, lip and eye primer (that should be 3 separate items)
2 go-to lipsticks
2 go-to eye shadow
Eye liner or mascara (one or the other)
Blush or bronzer (one or the other)
1 blender brush
1 eye shadow brush
Micellar water cleanser to wipe that shit off
Anything else is a waste of money, time and counterspace.
- Skincare: Who has the time for a designer 6+ step skincare routine? Heck, who has the time for anything past 3 steps? If you want a complete skincare routine, all you really need is a drugstore cleanser, toner, and moisturiser with sunscreen in it. Just make sure the products don’t excessively dry, oil or otherwise ruin your face. I suggest doing your research and checking to see if your desired products have the ingredients you’re looking for (ie, hyaluronic acid in your cleanser is a plus). All the other serums and special creams are a waste of time and money.
- Fine jewellery: Guys, gold just reached USD$1,846.00 per ounce and USD$59.35 per gram. Now think about how much the high end jewellery stores are charging for their solid gold pieces and how much they weigh. It’s highway robbery. But if fine jewellery is your thing, keep your eye out for sales and start making friends with independent designers and sterling silver.
- Latest tech: If it ain’t broke, why replace it? Just because Apple or Samsung comes out with a new thing doesn’t mean you need it. But if you do need a new gadget, what’s wrong with springing for an older model? You’re supposed to be using the product that best meets your needs and an empty wallet doesn’t help.
- New cars: I don’t care what people think about Teslas and new cars. If I need a car, I’m getting the kind that most people drive and I’m getting it used. That way my mechanic will most likely have the parts I need if things need fixing and I don’t have to cry about the 20% depreciation once I drive it off the lot.
- Fancy coffee: I love fancy coffee, but I also have a coffee machine at home and I use the Keurig at work. As a result I usually take my coffee black and cheap. But when I feel like having a treat, a fancy coffee at a nice, sit-down cafe is perfect. It’s a small luxury and it makes me feel special.
Though I consider the vast majority of luxury items to be a waste of time and money there is a time and place for them. It all boils down to personal preferences and personal values. As you can see, fancy coffees are my luxury treat and well made clothes. Lately, I’ve started exploring fine jewellery and perfumes as possible additions to my wardrobe but have yet to pull the trigger on each of them. If I follow my own advice, I know I can afford them.
But just because I can, should I?
Thanks for lingering.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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I have express a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. https://www.mycenturahealth.me/ I added it to my favorite’s blog site list and will be checking back soon...
So much informative 😍🔥
Great article... in general I completely agree ( after years of buying all that stuff though!).
This article is really amazing. Thanks for the sharing.
Thanks for sharing, loved the intro....we must be willing to question the things we know to become better versions of ourselves. Thanks for sharing
I've been trying to set a budget for myself on stuff I NEED and stuff I WANT. and for some people the line between the two is blurred.
There's primer for the eyes and lips? Mind blown! Once I became an entreprenuer the concept of getting things for pennies on the dollar started ruling my life. There are great bits of advice throughout your article.
I enjoyed your take on luxury. Our rule has been if we can't afford to pay for it (as in not on credit) we don't buy it. Obviously things like our home we finance but if we just want something we pay for it outright or we don't buy it. If we really want the luxury thing we find a way to pay for it. Maybe extra temporary work or selling things we aren't using. Or buying one used. It works for us. And the only debt we have is our home.
When I read the first line with the Jay Z quote, I instantly thought “yeah but that doesn’t apply to high cost necessities like housing” and then saw you’d said exactly that in the next line hahah - we’re on the same wavelength I think. I 100% agree with your points, although I admit I’m a sucker for good coffee. Everyone deserves a little treat sometimes though, right? 😂 Thanks for sharing, love your work!
Sound advice, basically don’t spend with what you don’t have
Good advice. I learned, when trying on bathing suits, just because I could didn't mean I should buy it! Congrats on the Top Story
Love hearing your thoughts on this topic and your writing style is great. I’m a spender when it comes to tech, but I aspire to earn enough to where I can comfortably afford my first luxury jewelry piece and some designer wear!
Enjoyed this musing, well done. Congratulations on top story!
Congratulations on this top story!!
Congratulations on top story!! I’ve actually been thinking about this story a lot today as I saw someone posting on instagram about how therapy is a luxury, that’s definitely a luxury worth spending on for me! Also fancy tea and boutique coffee! 😁
Well done! Congratulations on your top story. When reading about other financial articles, the parts about luxury items are left off. I love that you delve into this part of planning a budget. Also love the advice on skincare products. ❤️
Congratulations on your Top Story, Well deserved
You've hit a lot of good points with this article. I've never been one that needed brand names, but I do like what I like. Congratulations to Top Story, plus I've subscribed to you, too!
Congratulations on Top Story!!
Great article with some wonderful thoughts and advice :) Thank you so much for sharing! I have to admit that one of my weaknesses is on this list 😅
Interesting article! Good conversation topic. Subscribed.
I appreciated the read and getting your viewpoint on these things :) I hope you enjoy whatever you decide to get (or not get, lol). Nicely written and a very interesting change of pace :)
Awesomeeee! You do you! If you can afford it, why not? Never take shit from anyone! Loved all your tips here!