Simplifying and decluttering #1: The wallet

If there are two things I must absolutely get for the summer, it’s a wallet and a pair of durable and comfortable flats*.

I’ve had many a wallet in the past 5 years, and while I outgrew some, the others were Bad Purchases. If there’s one piece of advice I have to give about simplifying, decluttering, buying less and buying better, it’s this:

Do not — and I mean it, do not — think that buying something cheaper or buying something to “tide you over” is a good idea. Whatever you’re planning on putting down hard-earned money to buy, be it a pair of shoes or some fancy technology, once you make it a goal, stick to it, work towards it, and don’t let other items distract you along the way.

I haven’t really needed a grown-up wallet til now, and saw no need to “invest in a classic” when I was younger, because who wants to start investing in things that will last a lifetime when you’re only a teen?

But now that I do actually see a need to find an appropriate wallet, I’ve made the decision to buy something that will last me a long time. I have been on the search for the perfect wallet for a long, long time and during the course of finding the right one, I’ve wasted a lot more money than I intended to and this is one of the ultimate reasons why people overspend and are never satisfied with their purchases.

If you have your eye on something that’s insanely affordable, excellent. More power to you. But if what you want is a little more expensive and might take some saving up, don’t get distracted during your process. You won’t ultimately be satisfied with what you purchase if you buy something that is just as good as you want. Buy something that is exactly what you want. Don’t get something that’s kinda, sorta, maybe like the ones you want, because you won’t end up loving them, and you’ll still be left wanting what you originally wanted. By then, you’ve already wasted money on something you don’t really love, and have set yourself back from getting what you really want.

During my search for a wallet, I bought 3 other different wallets, each being not exactly what I wanted. The urge to buy on impulse makes it feel like what you’re about to buy is what you want, but when you see something and you don’t instantly connect with it, then it’s not what you really want. If you have more disposable income to throw around, then there is no harm in buying more than you need. But if you don’t have that luxury, then stick to what you need.

So when I made the decision that I had made Bad Purchases in my quest for a Good Purchase, I got rid of all the wallets I didn’t really love, or couldn’t fit into my lifestyle. I sold all of them and used that money to finance a wallet I actually loved.

And I really, really, really love my new Miu Miu wallet. I’ve had a list of names I wanted to check out the wallets from and narrowed it down to either a Comme de Garcons one or a Miu Miu one. I went into stores that stocked these two brands and pretty much fell head over heels in love with this one from Miu Miu. The leather is INSANE, the size/shape is exactly what I needed, and it fits well in my hands.

There is no doubt that I did lose some money in the process of reselling my three other wallets, but this is a lesson on why impulse purchases are wasteful, and why they almost always result in dissatisfaction.

This was a Good Purchase :)

* Seriously, if I don’t get these soon, I will punch a baby.

  • f

    I’ve learned this the hard way. :'( I went through my closet, looked through all the fabrics of the clothes I’ve purchased at various places and realized that a lot of the good things (like a couple Lacoste polos versus one from … idk Aeropostale) were more expensive and have lasted the longest. Being cheap can be expensive in the long run, but I think pricey investments are 100% worth it.

  • Michelle

    I totally understand you! I waste so much money because I’m soooo cheap but i learned that I should just invest in something I really want. My problem is that I’m Extremely picky, a bit on the cheap side and I’m very impatient. If I waited a little longer, maybe I could have gotten something I wanted but nope, I buy stuff that kind of fits my needs and I end up hating it and wanting the real thing.
    I started buying more expensive things now and I’m happy. I haven’t shopped in a long time because I bought all the things I want and I’m not always wanting something better.

  • esther

    You need to be my financial advisor, seriously. Or I could just save this post and carry it around with me everywhere. It’s not that I don’t love what I buy – most of the things I buy are exactly what I want – but when it comes to that discipline in saving for the pricier items I want….fail. :(

  • tracee

    I need to find a comfortable pair of shoes I can wear to work AND walk long distances in! It’s impossible, at the moment. I wear flip-flops to work and keep shoes in my drawers.
    I also need to get myself a new wallet. The one I use now is a very, very, very old hand-me-down vomit-green Gucci wallet.

  • elena

    Amy, I like your posts SO MUCH! I’ve been eyeing a Comme des Garçons wallet for awhile. Azalea had a discount on them but they didn’t have the colour I want. Right now I am using some random coin purse from Hong Kong (or something like that) but you’ve spurred me on! I think I will take the plunge soon. Your wallet looks gorgeous!

    What do you think of Repetto flats? Before, I was like LOL $200 FOR PLAIN FLATS?! but I feel like they’re worth it now. I wear a lot of flats and get torn up so easily! I’ve heard Repetto were comfortable and durable. But also fragile, so I don’t know. I think the Swedish Hasbeens ballerina flats (the Hepburn ones) are super cute too.

    • Amy

      I like Repetto’s flats, but I don’t think they have the greatest support since their soles are kinda thin. They’re durable, but don’t provide the support I want :(

  • Nikki

    Wow, you have perfectly articulated what has been wrong with my approach to purchasing anything! In trying to be a little frugal I would just buy what an item that was “ok” and still longed for what I had originally wanted, in addition they tend to break down sooner too and I end up spending more money. Thanks for such an insightful post!

  • alicia

    Have you tried ALDO for flats? I used to shy away from them because of the price, but I’ve found that their shoes are really, really nice (and so are their bags). If you don’t mind buying internationally, there is a shoe store from Japan that sells on rakuten called Oriental Traffic that I highly recommend. I regularly go clubbing in a pair of their pumps, and they’re still going strong after 2 years of serious abuse.

    • Amy

      I’ve never bought Aldo’s flats, but I have bought Aldo shoes before and I’m not really a fan. I like their designs a lot, but their materials are way too cheap.

  • b

    J Crew and Coach have pretty decent flats. These lines are probably not as fancy as your used to but my Coach flats have lasted for 2years now. I used to wear them constantly, now I wear them from time to time and they still look pretty good. I’m from the midwest so they’ve seen every type of weather imaginable haha. And my J Crew ones have really thick, solid soles. I don’t wear flats as much as I used to (i pretty much have been wearing oxfords, boots, and since its summer now, sandals), but my J Crew ones have never let me down, and although I didn’t wear them as much as the Coach ones, I wore them to a lot of parties where I danced for hours like a complete idiot and they’re still near perfect! And most of them, besides the suede ones were pretty easy to clean too.

    I talk too much, but I’d just like to add that the miu miu wallet is as I would simply put it, awesome sauce. Very good choice. I have a Rebecca Minkoff wallet right now, its lime green but its really easy to spot in my giant bags haha. I’m going to upgrade once I graduate in Dec though.

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