If you’re reading FrugalBeautiful.com, you’re probably also on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & read a ton of other fashion & beauty blogs- am I right? If you’re anything like me, cultivating beauty and style is a serious hobby or a passion and you gravitate towards accumulating pretty “stuff” just like I do.
Sometimes though, being enthusiastic for fashion and beauty in the blogosphere can inspire a “keeping up with the Joneses” response and feeling that everyone has better stuff, and more of it. With loads and loads of pictures, tweets & feeds coming in full of glossy & gorgeous stuff the realm of “needs” and “wants,” becomes a bit blurred and overspending sometimes feels normal if left unchecked.
Debt seems all too common and even comfortably accepted by many young women I speak with. The scale of what we’re “entitled to,” or what we “need to survive” keeps sliding, and credit cards seem the easy catch-all for whatever our heart desires on impulse.
Seeing pictures, posts and tweets detailing shopping hauls and makeup stashes is a lot of fun, but is it necessary? I find that the more blogs I read, the more and more I spend on clothes, makeup, skin care and other girly stuff. I love the fact that I get inspired daily by savvy bloggers and friends on Twitter who know a product and can tell me it’s worth buying before I commit- but how much is too much?
Look up “makeup stash” or “fashion haul” on Google and you’ll see the kind of excess I’m talking about if you’ve been previously unaware. Beyond simply being excessive or wasteful- you have to wonder where it leaves some bloggers financially. Can they really afford to supply daily outfit posts or high-end $15 lipstick simply to be seen blogging about it first?
As much as I love to shop- consumerism and debt concern me. I go on binges where it seems I spend a LOT of money all at once and then have to stop myself. Luckily though, I have a reserve fund set up for slip ups and make “paying myself first” a priority before I go shopping. I pay off my credit card each month (thank the Lord!) but I still sometimes worry that I spend too much and accumulate too much stuff.
Not only does it become difficult to both appreciate what you have, and manage the stuff you buy, but it seems that excessive shopping creates an unsatisfiable void. The more you have, the more you want. The more you put on a credit card, the less you have to think about.
I would love to think that everyone that blogs about fashion or beauty is just loaded. Maybe they have a rocking career and beauty or fashion blogging is their main hobby. Dumping $50+ a week on a hobby isn’t too bad if you have cash to spare and you blog for fun, but I often wonder how many women are going into debt over their blogs?
One of my favorite bloggers is Sally from Already Pretty. She incorporates many pieces more than once, shops on sale and from thrift. Her style is innovative but sustainable. Without being exorbitant or flashy, she cultivates a love of style (with links if you feel like copy-shopping, I sometimes do!) by focusing on the art & intuitiveness of fashion- not the consumerism.
Beyond debt, it’s additionally troubling that women aren’t saving….According to several finance sites I’ve read, it’s estimated that…
Not only is debt a huge concern, but a lack of sustainable savings is a blaring red flag for most women. What’s awful about fashion, makeup & designer duds is that they’re not actual assets. Sure, you can sell a designer purse for (maybe) about half of what you paid for it, but a $200 order of high-end makeup has no resale value to help you out in a pinch.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I’m really tempted to over shop. But how much is enough? I’m constantly redefining what “excess” truly is as my tastes get richer by my income doesn’t! As much as I love fashion, makeup and feeling pretty- my first commitment is to financial freedom.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about buying a pair of Christian LouBoutin shoes– an extravagant purchase of $600+. Excessive? Sure… but I also saved for nearly two years for it and the purchase was savored. Do I worry about making it a habit or going overboard? Sure. I have to constantly assess where I’m at with my money and with my life -we all do. I make mistakes, I evaluate, I move on.
In addition to saving for major purchases- I put away 15% of my income away into a savings account each week through Impulse Save and I have a ROTH IRA. I only go shopping AFTER I see the numbers of what’s left over after what I call my “mandatory saves.” I realize I’m influenced by others- be it marketing gurus or stylish bloggers, so I’ve set up a safety net of saving and monitor my bills to keep it under (somewhat) control.