Do you have your eye on a new car or some expensive jewelry? Does shopping, and especially buying high ticket items define luxury for you? It’s not new news anymore that consumption and overconsumption is trashing the planet. If you enjoy treating yourself to luxury items in life regularly, it may be time to consider how you can still purchase what you love, while taking a moment to think before handing over your credit card. How can you buy luxury items responsibly?
Most people define luxury living as… expensive. These types of items can include anything from a fancy new house, a designer wardrobe, new electronics, or even taking the trip of your dreams. While they aren’t essentials that you need to have, people tend to think that they do make life more fun. The “finer things in life” have in the last half century become thought of as “the things most people can’t afford”. This isn’t actually true, in fact, it’s almost the opposite.
For most of humanity, luxury was defined more as the things that made life most pleasurable, but they didn’t necessarily come with a price tag. Or at least not one that needed justification. Luxury was defined more by the level of quality, the positive impact on your person or your life, and exclusivity. Handmade, one of a kind, vintage or antique, and a level of artistry were what defined luxury.
When the consumer based economy of ‘convenience’ exploded in the 50s, companies realized that people associated a high price with luxury, and luxury with high quality. And they have spent the last bunch of decades pushing the first part but skipping that last part in many situations. It is up to us as the consumer to be aware of when luxury actually IS luxury, and when it’s just being marketed as such.
There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a big-ticket item on occasion, but if you’re going to make it a habit then you need to learn how to shop responsibly… and sustainably.
Have A Purpose
Why do I want this item? This is a question you should always ask yourself before making any purchase, but especially larger ones. If the item you are considering isn’t going to serve a motive or bring you happiness, then it probably won’t be worth the price. Never buy an item just because it’s nice to look at, or because you think other people would want it. If it’s jewelry, make sure to wear it. If it’s a car, make sure to drive it. Getting use out of what you buy is just as important and valuable as the item itself.
If you are stuck in the mindset that you want to shop expensively to boost your self-esteem or impress your friends and family, then you should definitely reconsider how you spend. Purchasing without a purpose will only give you satisfaction for a short period of time. Eventually, you will forget about the item you bought if it doesn’t hold any real value to you. Keep in mind why you want something, and take a moment to think about it before any purchase.
Invest in Luxury Items
A great way to shop luxury is to only purchase items that hold their value for years to come. A great example of this is artwork. Famous paintings or sculptures will never lose their value, and over time, will actually be worth more than what you spend on them. This makes it an investment rather than simply an expenditure. On top of this being a smart purchase, finding artwork that you love can also bring you joy. A great piece to accent your home will allow you to adore it with every glance. As long as the art doesn’t fade into the background, making a purchase like this will be worth the money.
It’s important to find the real deal when it comes to investing in luxury for many reasons, including your own personal benefit, but it is also necessary to only be supporting brands that are legit since fake luxury forces their workers to produce items under terrible conditions. The fake items may be less expensive, but what they represent is something nobody should want to be associated with. Many fake products are made in places like South America and China from children who make close to nothing in order to produce mass amounts of merchandise.
Be In Control of Your Money
Shopping luxury items responsibly means being able to manage your money. Do you want to know the secret that the Haves know that the Have Nots do not know? It’s basic math. Make sure more is coming in than going out. Make what you have work for you, don’t throw it away. Money people understand how money works, they are taught at a young age how to grow it, hold on to it, and spend it wisely.
Having access to a large amount of cash without taking out costly loans is the opposite of what the general public is taught through most media and even through our education system. It is all too acceptable today to live off of credit, aka debt. Finding ways to decrease or eliminate debt is key.
Look into consolidation, elimination, or something like the concept of bankonyourself. This is a beneficial plan for many people because it utilizes your whole life insurance cash value. Since life insurance is something that most people choose to purchase anyway, this is a great way to make use of your money. The money can be used for any big purchases you would want to make, like cars, clothing, or even travel. When you use this method to access cash, you are essentially borrowing from yourself. This gives you full control over when you take out the money and how you use it.
Reuse and Recycle
Being conscious about your money and how you’re spending, may lead you to seek alternate ways to purchase what you want in a more sustainable fashion. There are great websites that resell used luxury items in great condition. Shops, such as The RealReal have experts to verify that everything they’re selling is legit. Realizing that you can still get what you love without having to buy everything new, can open your eyes to a more aware way of shopping.
Along the same lines, selling your used high fashion items can help you start fresh and realize what you actually care about. You will likely find that there are many items you didn’t even remember purchasing because you have had no use for it. Selling what you own could be a great way to open your mind up and feel less bogged down by stuff. Literally. Doing so will help you notice that the items that you no longer appreciate can make someone else happy to own them.
There are many ways to go about shopping for those luxury items that you want. If you find yourself tempted by a more expensive item, then consider some of these ways of how you can responsibly shop. We urge you to still have fun with the purchases you make, but think a little longer before spending money on something that won’t add value to your life.