Wednesday, October 12

Bloggers & Budgets

I follow a ton of blogs.  I don't know how many exactly, but it's a lot.  I would say 200+ minimum.  I notice trends that go in and out, but one that never seems to go away is designer duds.  Chanel handbags, DVF dresses, Louboutin heels, Birkin bags.  They're everywhere.  I have to ask myself: how do these girls (and guys) afford all of these luxuries?

Chanel Ad featuring Lily Allen
Granted, some bloggers are professional and make a pretty sweet salary.  Some bloggers are blessed with a trust fund or family wealth.  Some are lawyers, doctors, etc. and make good money.  Some just married into money.  So what about the rest of us?

How can the average blogger afford $350 rings, $800 heels, and $1000+ handbags in excess?  Is it all charged?  It is on loan?  This is a rarely discussed issue that I am very curious about, because I would love to know the secret.  There are a few rare bloggers that have admitted to having credit card debt due to shopping, but most don't mention anything about their spending habits.

Jimmy Choo Ad
Is their lifestyle just a facade?  Is it too taboo or embarrassing to discuss?  I, for one, want to put my spending budget out there.  I get paid bi-weekly.  One paycheck basically goes to bills, groceries, utilities, and rent.  The other paycheck is basically for whatever.  I could spend that entire paycheck on things I would love: Rick Owens leather jacket, Celine mini-luggage, a fur coat.  However, I am saving for a wedding.  I have major student loan debt.  And mostly, I want to save and plan for my future.

Lanvin Ad
At some point, I will be a wife and hopefully a mother.  I want my future kiddies to be taken care of and not have them see their parents stress over money.  Now, I get that this is a lifestyle choice and not everyone will go down this road.  My concern is that there is no safety net for these people spending their entire paychecks.  What if they become hospitalized and get behind on payments?  I'm sad to say, but that YSL artsy ring will not pay your phone bill.

Gucci Ad
I guess my overall concern is that in the blogging world, spending and shopping are considered a norm.  Everyone likes to show "What's New" or "New In" or even their hauls on Youtube.  (Granted I have done this, please note that I rarely buy things full price.  I usually only shop at discount stores.)  There is a very strong "Keeping up with the Jones" vibe within blogging and it's a constant rat race to see who can amass the best stash.  Considering the current economic environment, I just wonder how sustainable the shop shop shop lifestyle really is.  They may be able to pay for the merchandise, but can they afford the lifestyle?

What are your thoughts? I'm sincerely very curious about how people maintain this lifestyle.


  1. I am older, have worked seriously hard and have a bigger resultant budget - i still only spend what i have and can afford - nothing is worth ruining the rest of your life for - how younger people have the money i have no idea i didnt and most people i know didnt although some did inherit - not so sure how lucky they were in some ways although i thought so at the time x

  2. I agree! For me, blogging has done the opposite, though; It challenges me to work with what I have!

  3. Great post! I'm with you on spending within my means. Thrifting and discount stores are great and affordable ways to score quality for less.

  4. This is a great post, very thought-provoking as I have often wondered the same! I usually shop thrift stores and sales for my items.

    Thank you for your lovely comments, I just started reading your blog and I love it! I am now a follower =]

  5. the chanel ad looks awesome with lily! and loveee the jimmy choo one I want those shoes lol

  6. I am not a blogger who can afford the luxury items. I recently came to the conclusion that even if I could, I wouldn't want to spend it on those luxury items. I don't want to be a blogger that encourages more and more luxury item purchases. I love looking at it and talking about the artistic concepts contained in it but really, the challenge for me, is all about figuring out how to recreate elements those pieces have that I love, using what I have, with thrifted items, or "real" shops which the average person can truly shop at. Like my outfit today is a blend of retro inspired spreads I saw in a magazine that I loved, Madmen, and the pearls from Karl Lagerfeld in the Chanel collection. I do worry that this perspective makes me the odd person out and that I won't find a lot of people who enjoy my blog and that I can connect with. :(

  7. Lucky for me I have a job that pays well with great benefits. But I also don't own a credit card to rack up payments. Besides saving money by bringing my breakfast and lunch to work I also keep a tight budget to make sure I know where every penny goes. I don't buy the expensive duds because I work within my range besides the fact that those things don't appeal to me. Not only do those things not fit my budget but they don't fit my personality.

  8. Great post and very thought provoking. I have to always keep my budget foremost on my mind in order not to spend more than I normally would with blogging - since I'm constantly seeing what everyone bought and has. It takes a ton of willpower and it's not easy..

    In terms of affording luxury items - I have tried to stay away from a personal budget post for my own privacy reasons but you make a good point in the interest of full disclosure...I also don't want people to think that I did acquire any items through debt, and that it is ok to do so..

    Very thought provoking Lindsay! I may have to write a post on this in the future :)

  9. This is a great self-reflective post. For me, blogging about fashion is a form of self-expression. I love sharing my shopping and fashion thoughts and feel just as excited when finding a vintage treasure for $10 as I am about spending more for luxury goods.

    Please check out my blog when you get a chance!
    the personal style and fashion musings of a LA Asian fashion lawyer living life in the fab lane

  10. Great post. I was just talking to my husband about this. Before I started reading blogs and blogging myself I would never think to spend $500 on shoes, now it seems more normalized and less crazy. And while I still haven't done it, the thought that it's not so crazy anymore scares me a bit. Could I technically afford it? Yes. But my husband and I have over $250k in student loands to pay back and a house we just bought that needs major remodeling...

  11. Great post. It really made me think. I for one don't buy luxury, anything that I own that's considered "luxury" was a gift so I wear it lol.
    Bargains make me happy and so do clothes and accessories with "stories". I love thrifting for the thrills and more than anything I love supporting local designers, while the price tags aren't always cheap I still feel like my dollars are really supporting someone.

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  13. This is very true and I ask myself this over and over again. Those are some lucky girls that either get a bunch of free stuff (FashionToast), have rich parents (the Man Repeller), and also get discounts because they know the designers. But there are some great bloggers that sport the best trends from places like H&M and Zara, which are much more affordable and equally fashionable. I think anyone can have great style no matter what their budget is, because in the end it's all about how you put it all together.
    As for me, I get A LOT of my stuff on sale, and I spend hours and hours looking for the best deals on line and in stores... but when there's that one thing I can't resist (or two or three), I save up and get it. I also benefit from working for my parents while also living at home, so I don't have to pay for a lot of those expenses! That will change soon though, and saving is now a must. :)

  14. personal style is more important than price tags. there are so many great pieces that can be put together creatively.
    and as for more high $$$ pieces, i use cost per wear theory. the more you use it, the less it costs per use. and you will see some of those pieces over and over on my blog.

  15. Haha I have always asked this question.. I own designer stuff (not a lot) but I am 23 and have worked for every single thing or sometimes get things as gifts.. ON the other hand you see people who are 18, 19 or even below 18 wearing nothing but designer and you know mommy and daddy are paying for all that! Weird no??

  16. this post is great and so well written!
    as an unemployed and former student, I obviously can't afford luxury though I do lust. I'm also a big fan of you get what you pay for. If I could I'd wear J brand or Diesel jeans, knowing that the high quality cotton will last longer than my blended $9 jeans from forever 21.
    However, I believe luxuries are good for staples; something timeless that you can wear as long as they're good for. Like black or nude Christian Louboutin pumps or a quality leather handbag.

    Someday, maybe, I can afford a few quality staples.

    xo Sahra

  17. this is a very true and very honest post
    i totally see what you mean...
    a lot of people are able to purchase endless and endless of items from designers
    but, i also know that a lot of people get given items of clothing/accessories by designers
    same with celebrities - designers provide them with their red carpet dresses to get their name out there and to show that they dress a particular person, which is also pretty similar with the way websites provide clothing for fashion bloggers
    this post was really thought-provoking, although i do have to admit i will buy designer things, but as the person (efforlesscool) has said above me, it would be a staple piece that i could wear for years
    you have an amazing blog!


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