Sometimes I surprise myself. A new blogpal, Hostess of the Humble Bungalow (and beautiful garden), asked for advice on a new purse, while lamenting that she could never afford the LV, Chanel, or Hermes of her dreams. In my response, I said something along the lines of: Instead of buying a nice second choice bag a year, why not frugalize your life a bit and buy the one you want? I pointed out that if she cut out $100.00-$200.00 a month from her budget, she could get her bag in a year or two. At least the Chanel or the LV. She could maybe buy a Hermes wallet.
I know it can be done, because I did it. Mr. FS fell in love with some artwork in a gallery back in grad student days (circa 1978). It was called "Stitched Metaphor" and was made of strips of handmade paper stitched together. It was $300.00. That was the monthly stipend. We decided to get it together for $30.00/month. That proved pretty easy to do. The gallery owner let us take it home after a few months. She knew we would keep our promise. Surprisingly, we still like it, but even if we didn't, it would have been worth it.
When my future mother-in-law saw the artwork, she said, I wish I could afford something like that. People always say things like that. If I tell them they can afford it, they disagree.
I'm not a purse girl, but if Ms. Hostess is, why not pick a bag and use it for the next 5-10 years. They never go on sale, so you know you won't be upset to see one for half price.
I skimmed through a post on Get Rich Slowly, which was on how to deal with your financial vices. The vices in question were not heroin addiction or the like, but things like martial arts lessons. Commenters rightly pointed out that these were not really vices. Defining some of the wonderful things we can do with our money "vices" reminds me of the oft-heard Oh, I was bad. I ate cheesecake. OR I was wicked. I bought some shoes.
Honestly, the whole point of frugality is to be able to get what you desire. If someone handed me a couple of thousand dollars and said Indulge yourself!, I wouldn't buy a Chanel bag. I would probably buy an armoire.
I read somewhere that iconic bags can be sold on the secondary market for about 80% of their original price. So honestly, it's a good investment, at least compared to my mutual funds.
I await further reports from the Hostess on this important issue.