For the past year or so, I’ve been listening to a lot of personal finance podcasts and reading personal finance blogs. Most of the information in those podcasts and blogs is great but I’ve noticed one trend/theme that I personally don’t like. There seems to be this notion that you cannot like or buy nice things and still be financially stable/secure. First of all, that’s not true at all. You can buy a nice handbag or a luxury car and still have a good credit score with your emergency fund untouched. I know it’s possible because I do it (minus the luxury car, I’m not there yet). But I am definitely the spender in my relationship and neither my bank account nor my credit score have suffered as a result. I do realize that these podcasters/bloggers have to be somewhat general in what they say and that there are exceptions to rules. I know that there are a lot of people who can’t control their shopping habits and I agree that if you can’t control it, then you don’t need to do it. So I take the “no shopping” advice with a grain of salt, because it doesn’t apply to me. HOWEVER…
The thing that really offends me is how certain podcasters/bloggers talk about people who shop and/or buy luxury things. I’ve heard some people say that people who buy luxury cars/designer handbags just want people to think they’re rich. I’ve heard that people who buy nice things are insecure, vain and shallow. THAT IS OFFENSIVE. I guess talking bad about people who make large purchases is supposed to guilt trip people into not shopping or buying nice things. But I think that’s the wrong way to go about giving any kind of advice. People are allowed to spend their money however they see fit. I don’t judge anyone for spending $500 in Whole Foods so no one needs to judge me for spending that same amount on a handbag. And everyone who drives a BMW or Mercedes or buys a Louis Vuitton bag isn’t doing it for the approval of others. Of course there probably are some people who need validation from other people based on the things that they own but I’m not one of them. Anyone who really thinks that is making a judgment about someone that they do not know. I personally don’t feel the need to neglect my wants all my life so that people will think I’m a decent person. If I want to buy something expensive and it’s not going to interfere with my bills then dammit I’m going to buy it. I don’t like the idea that someone who doesn’t shop is a better person than someone who does. That’s the tone of a lot of personal finance “gurus” and it’s 1) judgmental and, 2) incorrect.
Okay that’s my rant for the day. I wanted to post this because I’m going to start blogging about some of the purchases that I make and how/why I made them. But I wanted to issue this sort of disclaimer first. I care about and value money. I don’t touch my emergency fund, I don’t make late payments on my bills but I like to buy nice things from time to time. And I will continue to do that until I don’t want to do it anymore. K bye.