The GUCCI Experiment: Can I Live With The Decision To Purchase $1,200 Handbag?

June 27, 2013  |  

This is the first in a three-part series of stories.

The Situation

I am a big fan of Instagram and the one thing I can count on seeing daily is people showing off their latest splurges on designer labels. As I scroll through my timeline and see pictures of Gucci, YSL, Louis Vuitton, Christian Loubutin, Chanel and Tom Ford purchased by non-celebrity types, my accounting education and finance professional experience only leads me to wonder whether these people can really afford the garments and haberdasheries they post online. Like, are their 401Ks being fully funded? Do they have an emergency fund? Are these purchases being made on credit? (I can be a pretty lame shopping partner.)

I am always on top of my personal finances, but I am not above having an insatiable desire for nice things. I have been working in my current job for a couple of years now and live comfortably on a two-person income with my husband. We have no children. There is a saying that I can’t quite recall, but the gist is “the more money you make, the more expensive your taste.”

Recently I have been in the market for an everyday purse and the one that caught my eye is the Vintage Gucci Web Boston Bag (pictured right). After laying eyes on it during a brief trip to the Gucci store in Vegas, I have not been able to shake the desire to buy this hunk of beauty. I pull this bag up on my computer about once a week just to look at it and imagine how great it will look on my arm, complementing my self-proclaimed fashionable wardrobe. However, it’s been over six months since I first saw the bag and although I have had the money, I have not been able to talk myself into making such a frivolous purchase.

I have discussed the issue with my husband so many times, he’s just about flat out told be to buy the bag or hush up about it already. The biggest issue that I have with this purchase is, as a fiduciary, or someone who is responsible for the finances of others, how will this impact my image? Will people start to believe I am superficial, knowing I have a $1,200 accessory on my arm that could be lost, stolen, or the victim of a soda spilling accident? Will people really want to allow someone who carries such a bag to be in charge of their finance?

The Motto

In my very own philosophy, I have a concept of FREE money. For a person that has a well designed budget, this is the money carved out to spend on whatever you like, after you have paid your bills and saved. This money is intended to be guilt FREE, hence FREE money and basically you should be able to spend this money on whatever you want without your spouse or significant other giving you the side eye or carrying the weight of any guilt because you have already handled you responsibilities.

The only problem is this Vintage Gucci Web Boston Bag is making it hard for me to follow my own advice.  I have saved up my FREE money and can afford to buy the bag but still haven’t pulled the trigger. I’d like to think I can suppress this desire to become a part of the fancy bag totting club, but my Coach and Dooney and Bourke bags just don’t seem to have the same luster as they did before I saw the V.G.W.B.B.

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