My Most Expensive - How I Think When It Comes To Buying Luxury Items

When a friend asked me to post an article on the most expensive things I own, I didn't like the idea of it. I believe this topic has been trending since last year where celebs, bloggers and influencers talk about the most expensive items they own. I hate discussing these things because:

A. I hate sharing anything personal.

B. I find it very down market and vernacularly middle class to brag about personal possessions. 

However, she finally convinced me to share it as a shopping experience about my regrets or things that I proudly own and feel happy about them. So here I go, trying my best to put my thoughts together on how I make purchase-decisions with a hope that it will help you avoid overspending on luxury items.

  1. First and foremost, unless you are super-rich, buying luxury items on EMI or outside your means and going bankrupt is stupid. 
  2. Everything I buy, I consider it as an 'investment'.  I don't consider shopping as therapeutic nor does it give me any happiness.
  3. I don't believe in the disposable fashion culture and I buy classic pieces that I can possess for a long-long time. You don't have to be an MBA in Finance like me to take such practical decisions. 
  4. I also measure everything on the scale of 'need' versus 'wish' and try to stick to the 'need' list. 
  5. Quality, durability and usability is important to me. Brands don't matter. 
  6. I like to maintain brand-balance i.e. I avoid buying multiple items belonging to the same brand and I try to limit everything to 10 and below. 
  7. It is not about how much money you have or don't have. Its about avoiding wastage. Therefore, I always think that I have zero money, as a result I do not waste money.

That being said, my most expensive purchase is the waterfront condo I live in. But that's an asset and a necessity, so I wouldn't want to mention it on this list. So. let's move on to the next most expensive item, i.e the cara depreciating asset. I had bought (yes, the same car that I broke last month) with my very first salary in the US. I always wanted a fast speed, red convertible - something that I could never drive one in Mumbai because of the city's infrastructure, road condition, and speed limit. Before buying this car, I had thoroughly worked out the maintenance expenses such as mileage, insurance premium, gas price, cost of repairs, financing options, resale value, etc.  I don't think I am going to buy any car in the future because many other wiser alternatives available like Uber, Lyft, Zip Car, and rentals. 

One thing I want to say here is- A lot of people have the mindset that when a woman owns something, it is either inherited from the family or gifted by their significant others. But that may or may not be true. So, I want to make this point very clear that women can buy luxury items with our own hard-earned money!

Second, on the list will be all the handbags that I own. I have a thing for luxury handbags and I have one from each country that I have visited till date. However, I would like to particularly mention this because it is my first luxury bag which I bought about 17 years ago with my first salary in Mumbai. Back then this was one of the classic and iconic luxury brands in the world. Over time I also realized that I don't want flashy logos or monograms- it's declassé. I prefer buying hard-to-find, low-key but discreetly expensive items. Anymore, I will not buy anything that is made by some poor child-labor in India, Bangladesh, China, or anywhere in the world. I am also trying to avoid purchasing leather goods as I perceive it as animal cruelty. To fans, leather is the ultimate heritage material in which the patina only becomes more interesting during its long life. That’s the trade-off, if you like, for killing an animal. Call me 'Eco-Pragmatic', I wouldn't mind that.

The third is a zodiac necklace which is a gift. I don't like wearing jewelry but this one is acceptable because it is very minimalist. However, if the return window hadn't passed, I would have returned this one. No one knows what brand it is therefore guessing the price is hard. Also, the stones are tiny and the necklace is almost invisible. 

Fourth is a blue sapphire ring which is similar to Princess Diana's engagement ring. This is also a gift. I don't like this ring because it is very loud and more like a statement ring. Since I don't like wearing jewelry, this is a big no-no for me. I also think that buying diamonds is a waste. They don't have great resale value and have limited functionality. It is wiser to buy certified lab-grown diamonds, Moissanite, or other kinds of gemstones instead of diamonds. If this wasn't a gift, I would have loved to return it to the store.

The fifth is foreign vacations with family. This is a recurring expense. In the past 15 years, I have been to over 30 countries across 6 continents. We travel on our own as we don't like traveling with other people due to privacy, hygiene and preference reasons which make our trips more expensive as opposed to traveling with tour companies. A majority portion of our vacation expenses is our hotel stay- we cannot compromise on that for hygiene reasons. Since everything is available online, I don't shop abroad unless it is something exclusive to that country, handmade, and not available anywhere else in the world. I eat local food and travel by local transport because I want to better connect with the country's culture and experience the country as a local which in turn minimizes wastage of money. 

Other items that I own:

  • Clothes, shoes? I have very selected pieces in my wardrobe. It's quality over quantity. 
  • Accessories? None. I consider them 'junk' that only occupies your storage space.
  • Electronics? Only necessary items such as laptop, phone, tablet and a watch - all Apple products. I do upgrade them from time to time depending upon my usage and the upgrade features they are offering. 

In short, I don't possess anything that I won't remember where I kept it or when I have used/worn it last.