Advice needed!


Oct 19, 2005
I need some advice dealing with a sensitive topic, money, that I wouldn't talk about with anyone I know personally, so I was wondering whether you guys could help me out.

I come from a pretty well off family that is VERY cheap. As a consequence, I have always been really cheap too. I have never bought a pair of jeans that cost more than $50, always buy brand name drug store products, get most of my clothes (especially going out clothes) at places like Forever 21 and Old Navy, and selectively pick nicer pieces like coats and fancy dresses.

I also work a lot. Over the past few years I have accumulated about $6,000, half of which I plan to invest soon. So I'll have $3,000 available cash. This represents almost all of my savings. I'm currently 20 years old and in college, and I do have a job on campus, although it doesn't pay a ton.

Problem: I have recently fallen in LOVE with a Marc Jacobs bag that costs $800.

(in petrol blue)

I'm tearing myself up over what to do. I really want to get it, and technically I have the money, but I'd feel ridiculous spending that much money on a bag. Should I do it? I know that I'd wear it for years. How do all you ladies decide to spend real money on bags? I've never bought one that was more than $300 before, and that felt like an exorbitant amount to me.

Help! Tell me what to do! I'm an inexperienced designer newbie!

Thank you all! :biggrin:
You're quite young, I think if you just spend $1000 of the available $3000, you're fine. But I would definitely save the other $2000. A few years from now that will really come in handy for graduate school, a wedding, or a downpayment on a home.
Being in your position, I would only get it if I could justify using it for years to come. If you feel like you may get the urge for another bag soon, don't get it. Because then you may feel remorse for buying the first one.

May i suggest that you look at stores like Off Fifth and neiman Marcus last call (these are outlet stores) They have deisgner bags that are on sale. You may find something similar there for less money.

Also make friends with the salesladies at major department sotres where you shop. They will keep you informed of special promotions and sales. That could really make a difference when you are on a budget
If you like it, go for it! You deserve it. Especially since you said you were already gonna invest the other half of your money and you'd still have some extra cash if you decide to get the purse.
Pietonne-- First of all, welcome to the forum!! We are glad to have you here.

About the bag- I tell many ladies this and I will tell you it. Number 1- what is your gut reaction? Do you look at the bag and just NEED to have it. Possibly most important, number 2- if you bought the bag would you beat yourself up over it later? I know sometimes I buy something and then worry about it for so long afterwards- so would you do that? If so, it is not worth it! Number 3- with all the saving you have done, do you think this takes too big of a part away? And lastly- can you see yourself ALWAYS wanting to wear this bag and not want a new one. My mom never really liked to spend much on bags, so when she does- it is a practical bag. A color like black or beige which can be used for almost any outfit for years- it is not a trend. Do you find this bag trendy like it may go out of style, or the color you want too trendy?

I know that is a lot to think about, but that always helps me! Give it some thought- but if you are still dying to have it, then it's your gut instinct and go for it!!
I was a "poor" student, never bought designer stuffs myself then(accept receiving presents but still never $1000 bag). I only started when I started working and that was satisfying. Now I am married and not working (yet), there are other priorities in life than a designer bag. My point is, as someone said above, do you really need the bag? You do need to treat yourself sometimes, but is the bag the answer? You are still young, there are plenty of time to indulge yourself in designer stuffs. It's good to have money aside and invest some. And you might need more than $3000 for investment. Graduate school is a great investment! There are difference phases in life which have different priorities. If you think you will be satisfied and can justify it, then go ahead. Otherwise, there are plenty of time for that later. Plus, it's an addiction, it will not stop here, you will get another one and then another, this is just the start...:embarasse
kk1668 said:
Plus, it's an addiction, it will not stop here, you will get another one and then another, this is just the start...:embarasse

That is very true! You have to be careful that this doesn't start a spending spree. But since you've spent the last few years conserving cash, you probably have very good will power.

I do second the suggestions to check out Off Saks for cheaper designer bags. If you have a good outlet mall near you, I would head on down there and see if something sparks your interest. If you are willing to get a bag that is a couple seasons old, it will come much cheaper. If you want a high end bag from Fendi, Gucci, Prada, Marc Jacobs, and more, I would definitely check out And you can get an extra 20% all their bags if you use the link from my blog.
i'm college,and I have an everage job too, But if your taking the time to decide if it's a good purchase or not, I would personally say no. FOr you to doubt the importance of this purse, just shows that your thoughts aren't all pointing to "buy it!" If there a way to buy a purse more practicial in color, and size? Go to SAKS, Nieman Marcus, ect. And see if there isn't a purse for 300-450. That gives you the same feeling! Who knows, you might find something ina few months for 400, that you ccan't live without! Then you can purchase it for 300-450, and be around 800, total for the two, instead of that one! But if your in college, I know I would save most of it for car&home future payments. BUT thats just me! GOOD LUCK!
I'm agreeing with everyone-- why not try to find a bargain bag or a bag off ebay. After saving all that money, it might be kinda a bummer to spend such a huge chunk of it on a bag- especially since styles and seasons change so much!
Its a game but it helps me when I have to talk myself out of a purchase. Find something in the bag that isn't practical or as ideal as it could be -- the size, color, placement of pockets -- anything. Then play that up in your mind. It makes the pain of not buying a bit easier to take. I was looking at a fringed evening bag yesterday that I LOVED (the Toos that Megs featured before....). I wanted it, I wanted it, I wanted it. But I knew it wasn't a good idea. Then I noted that the ends of the fringes were just cut so they would be a little soft and frayed at the tips. I convinced myself that they would continue to fray and eventually be a mess. Who wants a bag that is a mess?! I think about that when I think about the bag. Its all psychological.
I agree with everyone...buyer's remorse is horrible. There are so many things I could better spend $800 on than a handbag... these days you could get a pretty decent computer for that price.

I know I'm on a board where we talk about several-hundred-dollar designer bags, but I rarely buy an expensive bag. I'm a lot like you were saying in your first post. A $24.99 shirt at Fashion Bug is a splurge for me.

Also remember that depending on where u buy the bag from you usually have 30 days or so to return it. maybe you could buy it and hold onto it for a week or so and see how you feel after spending the money and having bag in hand. (just don't carry or use it)

Sometimes I'll buy something that I'm not so sure of and keep it in the bag at my house just to think about it for a few days. i might try it on with several outfits and see how I still feel. If i change my mind I can always bring it back. :idea:

That works really well for me. Sometimes its better to take it home and see how you feel rather than not to buy it and regret it later (ESPECIALLY if it sells out)

Just try and pay with a credit or debit card. Some stores have a strict policy about check writing and may not give you your cash right away. :biggrin:
Here is some advice from a notorious spendthrift: once you start buying pricey bags, it is hard to stop. After I bought my first Fendi it was all downhill. And once you upgrade to better quality, downgrading is tough. So I say find a cheaper bag that you love (there are so many nice bags that are still in the $300-500 range!). Wait until you are done with school and then treat yourself to a really great bag. BEcause it's a slippery slope. Take it from someone who has spent WAY too much on bags and now wishes she had been a bit more thrifty.