Lezz Be Honest: Saving Money
by Anna T Fabulous
PLACES: My Savings Account
THINGS: Saving money vs my Celine Luggage Tote
Saving money. How many of you can agree that this concept is simply a concept, a concept that is non-existent in your life. Until recently, the term ‘saving money’ did not exist in my vocabulary. Actually, I take that back. Yes, it did exists, but in the form of a joke. Now let me tell you the tale of how I turned something I thought was absolutely impossible to something that became a reality. Lezz be (real) honest.
Let’s go back, shall we? My beloved Celine Luggage Tote. This item ‘must-have’ for any boy and girl. Or so we think. In November of 2011 at the age of 25, I made the decision: I NEED THIS BAG. I lived and believed that if I have this purse in my possession, my social status in the fashion industry would become validated. I would be the ‘it girl’ with my ‘it bag’. I was getting ready to head to my first ever New York Fashion Week (Feb 2012)…SOOOoooo…it was even more critical for me to own a piece of Celine, one of the most coveted fashion houses in the world.
At this point of my life, saving cashola was absolutely impossible for me. Over and over I would give into the temptation that is everyday life, from that extra cup of Starbucks coffee to walking by H&M on the way home from work, only to ‘pop-in-for-a-peek-and-a-swipe-of-my-credit-card’. Try as I might, the balance was always zero in my bank savings account (sound familiar?). HOW in the hell was I going to save $2300 for this bag?
[Insert a-ha moment here]
To save for the bag, I came up with the itdea to run a funny series on my pre-The Social Life blog titled the Celine Bag Savings Account. The ‘Savings Account’ included a goal, a thermometer and regular updates about reaching my $2300 target. My thought behind the series was this: if I enrolled my readers into my ability to save money, then I would HAVE to save for the bag. The commitment would be voice and I would have to keep my word. Right? So off I went. The complete goal was to have the cash saved by February 2012, just in time to buy the bag during New York Fashion Week. Three months, let’s go.
During the first month, I kicked ass at saving: $1000 towards the bag in just three weeks. I even went as far as to change my walking route home so I DIDN’T walk past H&M. But then….dun dun dun…then the harsh reality of bills plopped into the mail box (or inbox). The one thing I hated more than saving money was being late on a bill (thank god). I was not about to indulge in a late payment, not even for Celine.
Bills got paid, but how? Out of The Celine Bank Savings Account, that’s how. The savings dropped down to $700, but according to the thermometer on the blog, I still had $1000 saved for my bag. In the effort to ‘look good’ for my readers, I maintained the fake dollar amount on the site. I did not have the heart (or strength) to reveal my true saving weakness.
Unfortunately I did not save enough to get the bag during NYFW. Not even close. The virtual saving account stated I was at a fierce $1800. The reality? $600. After I returned from NYC, it was even less. A glorious pair of Givenchy pumps were on sale at Bergdorfs and I just couldn’t say no. Celine would understand. Read: BIG TIME FAIL.
Celine walking away….via celine.com
Instead of admitting to my readers of my inauthentic money saving ways, I maintained looking good and raise the thermometer from $1800 up to a ballsy $2100. Go figure.
I could not stop saving then spending, saving then spending. Readers started to push, which bag are you going to get?? How was I going to redeem myself?
Tax Return Time. A ha! HERE we go. My return ended up being $2400…which just happened to be…the price of the bag!! OMG I DID IT! I COULD GET THE BAG! In one swift swoop my shitty money saving ways were suddenly completely validated. Instead of being responsible for five-months and saving properly, my tax return saved me. And the first people to know about my sudden influx of cash were the lovely ladies at the Celine boutique in New York City. They were pretty happy about my new found funds, too.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was and still am incredibly happy about my purchase. Celine is my baby. However, I couldn’t help but feel slightly like a sham since my Celine Bag Savings Account on my blog was complete bullshit. Why did I do it? For validation from my readers, from my peers, from the crew at the Celine boutique and from myself.
So dear, reader, Celine and I apologize for lying to you. It took me over a year to accept, and understand, that in my current personal economic situation, I am not in the category of purchasing Celine…yet. This does not mean that I don’t deserve Celine nor does it mean I will never own Celine; it just means that I should really be careful when purchasing leather goods that are double my rent at this exact stage in life. I can live without Celine, but I cannot live without a roof over my head. Lezz Be Honest.
Me n Celine in San Francisco
So what did I get out of this whole situation? I actually learnt the value (literally) of saving money!! No joke. In fact, my skill of saving money developed so much last year, I was able to quit my job of almost 10 years to start seriously working on creating my dream job of being a full-time editor-in-chief of an online magazine and creative director of my own clothing line. Every time I look at my Celine, she is simply a reminder that if I want to get her a sister, I’m going to have to (authentically) work for it.
If I stay focused on my goals, my dream of purchasing a new Celine Luggage Tote or Trapeze each season will quickly become a reality (and that’ll be WITH dollars in the savings account). That is something absolutely worth waiting a few more seasons for.
So the next time you have that I MUST HAVE THIS NOW feeling, slow down and ask yourself, would it kill you to wait? Can you actually afford it? Does impulse mean more than responsibility? As boring as it may seem at the time, in the long run, waiting might absolutely be worth it. You WILL have the opportunity to buy something again. And if you legitimately can afford that Proenza Schouler PS1 and still have saving in your bank account, then what’s stopping you? Go for it!
March 7, 2013 San Francisco