Sunday 8 December 2013

To Splurge or Not To Splurge

If you've been reading VV Boutique Style for a while, you've probably heard me talking about Splurge Sorority.  This is a group of 12 women who contribute $40 monthly then take turns collecting the pot and shopping for something special.  Whoever shops hosts the next gathering to show off her splurge for a fun girls' night out!  Last spring, our little group even hit the Edmonton Sun fashion Friday pages so now we are all uber famous.  This is our second round of Splurge Sorority and our only rules are:
  1. The splurge has to be something for you.  (Sorry, you can't use your splurge money on your kids, but if you want to buy a top of the line iron for YOU, go for it.)
  2. The splurge has to be a splurge!!  Something you wouldn't normally spend $480 on all at once!
This group has been so much fun!  I love everything about it!  I love getting together with all my friends and I especially love seeing what everyone splurged on!  In our second round, the ladies got very creative.  One friend used her splurge towards very meaningful and stunning custom-designed tattoos.  One friend is on holiday as I type using her splurge money for a luxurious spa day with all the extras!  One friend amazed us all with her grace and strength with her splurge item!! 
Splurge Sorority Cirque de Soleil artist

After months of waiting, I finally had my turn to splurge.  Awesome, right?  Well, I was as shocked by my response to shopping regular retail as I was by my friend's incredible strength above!  It stressed me out.  So much.  I have been shopping second-hand for so long that I built up regular retail as this epic mountain to be tackled and conquered.  I was constantly weighing what I should use my splurge money for, trying to find time to shop amidst solo parenting and blizzards...  all in all, I was not enjoying myself.  Weird, but like I've said before, thrifting changes you.  I simply could not deny the "wanting" that my splurge turn brought out in me, and I didn't really care for it.  All the pleasurable things I enjoy about thrifting - the thrill of the hunt, the unexpected treasures, the inevitable not finding what you'd hoped for but being open to wherever thrifting leads - were lost in regular retail.  Everything I was considering - fancy boots, designer bags, perfect jeans - I have found at VV Boutique.  I tried buying a pair of gorgeous boots, and ended up returning them almost immediately.  I'm not sharing this to make everyone around me feel bad about their shopping!!  I'm just sharing my splurge process because I learned a few things!
  • We live in a culture of want (most of the time anyway)  and that is the nature of a splurge.  It's not a need, and that's okay.  It's not supposed to be! 
  • If you try to sneak a need into your splurge, some of the magic is lost.  I'd rather save my other money for needs and reserve splurge money for true splurges.  That means, if I need a new pair of winter boots and can't find any when I need them second hand, it's okay if I fulfill that need via regular retail with non-splurge money.  If you need new clothes for work, that is not a splurge, though gorgeous ECCO ankle boots are a definite want and a worthy splurge!
  • Almost everything you could need or want you can find second-hand, and for me, reaching first for regular retail is cheating.  If I buy gray tall boots, then what fun is it to shop around and wait patiently for that perfect pair to cross my path at VV?!!  I was so close to buying a cardi today because it was an amazing deal BUT I knew that doing so would steal some of the joy from my next visit to VV.  For me, it's not just about the bottom line, it's the process.  This narrowed what I was willing to splurge on to things that I wouldn't likely find second-hand.
  • That being said, some things are worth splurging on IMHO because they result in great cost per wear.  Some of the things I have splurged on in the past that were worth every penny include my J Brand denim and my black Miz Mooz boots, both of which I bought before starting my second-hand shopping adventure.  Nowadays, I would look first at VV.  Case in point is my brown Kenneth Cole boots.  I wanted new brown boots and expected to use splurge money for them but then found them at VV. 
  • There are some things you rarely if ever find while thrifting.  For example, I had been searching for some Ice Breaker Merino wool pieces and finally caved and bought during their best on line sale.  Though I didn't use my designated splurge funds for these pieces, I still consider them a worthy splurge.
  • If you're not in a club like me, you gotta consider budget when splurging.  If you can't afford it, the splurge will be bittersweet at best.  Better to save up a bit and splurge with a free heart!  Or start your own Splurge Sorority! 
  • Splurge is relative.  For me, in regular retail, spending $100 on shoes is a splurge; a colleague of mine would consider $100 shoes inexpensive.  It's not just relative to your income; it's relative to your sensibilities and style. 
Is that enough rambling?  Want to see what I finally decided to splurge on?!!!  Here's the before:
 Had this comforter for the past 4 1/2 years...

Here's the after:

Now now, you can get bedding at VV Boutique but I have never seen Anthro bedding there.  Once I finally decided to use my splurge money on bedding, I couldn't sleep (the irony) because I knew as soon as I found bedding I would want to paint my room (shocking news: beige does not suit me) and my hubby was gone and did I mention I was quite sick?  I finally decided that if I found something I liked I would take that as encouragement to go full monty... so, with a little a lot of help from my friends, I managed to paint the room and get everything ready to surprise my hubby upon his return. 

I love love love this bedding and my new teal walls!  If I keep this comforter for the next 4 1/2 years, the bedding works out to somewhere around 30 cents per useCOME ON!!!  That is the best cost per wear yet!!

To simplify, here are my splurge-decision-making guidelines:
  1. It is a want or a need?  If it's a need, it's not a splurge.
  2. Can you find your want second-hand?  If not, it's a splurge.
  3. Waiting makes the heart grow fonder for splurges.  Save up or wait your turn to splurge.
That's it.  I will enjoy this splurge until my next turn!

Special thanks to Beth and Chantel for their help!

So, what do YOU consider a splurge?  What would you spend splurge money on?!!


  1. how perfect!
    i LOVE the bedding--super gorg--and the teal paint is spectacular
    i agree 110% about thrifting....not too much beats it for me either.
    great post

  2. SOOOOO Awesome!!! I can't believe I wasn't asked to help you paint!? I don't know if you know this about me but I secretly kinda love painting, and doing jobs together is always so much more fun:) -mmm


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