Live Your Most Beautiful Life
I am a girl who loves shopping. Plop me in any mall and I can spend hours there and not really know where the time went. I am also the type of girl that can drive my man crazy in a shoe store as I waft through shoe aisles and try on countless shoes for the perfect heel. However, as I have grown older, I've become a lot more sensitive to being a savvy shopper and not necessarily assuming better quality out of an item simply because it has a high-end brand name. I find that it is easy to get caught up in packaging, branding, and marketing of a fashion item and not think about whether that $400 dollars to buy a new purse could be put to better use in a high-yield savings account.
I understand that as women living in a capitalist society, a common hobby is to shop, and a common interest is to wear clothes that are fashionable and up to date with the latest trends. However, I do believe that for many of us, we put our wardrobe ahead of our bank accounts. We sometimes celebrate the easy pull of a sparkling credit card out of our wallets without realizing that a love for spending can create a dismal outlook for one's financial future. It has been proven that a large population of self-made millionaires aren't obsessed with brand names, and are more interested in finding ways to save, invest, and allow their money to make money for them (as discussed in detail inThe Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley/William D. Danko). As such, they are not consumed by having the latest gadgets, a luxury car, or wearing the most expensive fashions. They instead choose to buy quality within a preferred price range while they slowly build their net wealth. They live well, have healthy credit ratings and are not as concerned about their financial futures as their spend-happy counterparts.
I have to admit: I really wish that the everyday self-made millionaire lifestyle was more celebrated than the lifestyles of the Kardashians or Hiltons where they spend all the time and others follow suit without the same sort of financial net. Saving isn't considered sexy. Who wants to watch a millionaire who lives a non-glamorous lifestyle? Well, I may be one of very few who will say that I would actually appreciate the celebration of an everyday person who doesn't care for glamour and shares wisdom about net worth building over time. As the TV ratings for celebrities like the Kardashians rise, I've become increasingly aware that many people would love to be millionaires but would rather spend as if they are millionaires than put in the effort and thought to build their net worth over time (a.k.a. "keeping up with the Joneses"). People like the Kardashians and Hiltons are extremely rare. The everyday millionaire could very well be your next door neighbor, and you would never know it based on appearances.
When it comes down buying a purse that will cost me $500 - $1,000 versus putting that money into an investment or an account that will triple the initial dollar amount, I am going to opt for the latter. High-end fashions may look cute, but a million-dollar net worth looks a lot cuter. ;)