When is the right time to buy luxury?

When is the right time to buy luxury?

Apr 28, 2021

(Click play to listen to audio version of article.)

I asked someone this question and her answer was, “When it’s on sale!”

While it’s a very practical answer with touches of FQripot, let’s first delve deeper into the reasons why people buy luxury.

  1. It’s a treat. Purchasing luxury items and services gives you a feeling of being pampered and that gives you that emotional vibe of being special.
  2. It’s a symbol of accomplishment/success. When you enjoy them, it reminds you that you have now arrived.
  3. It’s a way to gain acceptance. When you strut your luxury stuff or get yourself a membership to this exclusive club, it is a way for you to gain acceptance from elite groups, and the society in general.

Now it’s okay to enjoy luxury, even for frugal Ilocanas like me. And it is interesting to observe what luxuries each person is willing to spend for. Personally, I am not very fond of signature bags, the popular tita luxury items. I don’t have what I call a GK bag. I mentioned this to Ana Meloto-Wilk, owner of Human Nature and daughter of Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto, and she laughed at my definition. A GK bag is a bag that’s worth one Gawad Kalinga house! J And this is not to say that I frown on women who have dozens of this, no judgment here. As I grew older, the “luxurious” taste that I’ve developed is more on quality service. I also value education, so our family is more willing to put in some cash on these. We saved up for the junior term abroad of our three sons, and even at this stage of our life, we continue to allocate resources for our education.

In order not to be judgmental of others, let’s always remember this: Different people value different things differently. Walang basagan ng trip!

Luxury during crisis

There was a book entitled Shoptimism by Lee Eisenberg published right after the Great Recession, also known as the global financial crisis in 2007-2009.

It’s interesting to observe this phenomenon these days during this unprecedented global covid pandemic. Last year, there was an observed rise in the sale of luxury items in China, a few months into the global pandemic. Maybe it was a coping mechanism, and some justified it as an expression of optimism in the economy amidst crisis.

So, when is the right time to enjoy luxury?

The answer to this question is in the third basic law of money: Make your gold work for you. Make an army of golden slaves before you buy luxury.

I hope all parents could inculcate this law (together with the first two laws – pay yourself first, and get only into a business that you understand and seek advice only from competent people) to their growing up children. This value of delaying gratification has become so hard to observe, especially in the era of social media when the inggit (envy) factor is just so strong as you tend to compare yourself and what you have not just with your peers who are physically around you, as it was during our growing up years, but virtually with the entire world. You see everyone’s posts on IG, FB, etc.

It may not be easy to always control yourself from buying luxury prematurely, and you may come up with all sorts of justification, “I deserve this!” “I worked hard for this.” But observing the third law of money is the only way you can maximize the magic of compounding. That is what we truly deserve and that’s what we should work hard for – a happy old age that includes having enough money saved up for retirement.

So, what hack can we use in order to always observe the third law of money? Here’s an easy to remember rule when it comes to buying luxury: Buy luxury only if you can afford to buy 10 pieces of it.

Yes, my dear reader, that simple, just add one zero! But simple is not always easy. Nonetheless, it is when you wait for that time when you can finally afford it (using the guideline above), that you will be able to enjoy luxury without worries. Enjoying that luxury will be a lot sweeter after the wait.

And here’s one last thing about the luxuries that we pamper ourselves with. Let’s make sure that we are spending our extra money on the things that we really value, and not just on things that we think will allow us to show off. You may be able to get valuable insights on Inconspicuous Consumption – spending less on attention-grabbing luxury items but more on health, wellness, education, and retirement. (Click article link – What are the ultra rich spending on now?)

Cheers to enjoying your value-based luxuries at the right time!


1. I’ll be giving a talk to the employees of HSBC on April 28, 2021 at 4pm. We will discuss Why Financial Education Alone Does Not Work! If you’re from HSBC, I look forward to seeing you there. If your company is interested in having this discussion with me, please email us at FQTeam@FQMom.com

2. Let’s discuss more about the third basic law of money during our weekly Kumu show on Thursday with my co-host for the week Martin Fausto, and our guest Kiara Dario, a genz actor, singer, and dancer. She will not only share her insights about the third law with us but also render us a song or two. Come early at 10:55am.

3. Our third installment for our FQ Workshop with Shell is happening on April 30, 2021. If you want your employees to have this in-depth workshop, please email us at FQTeam@FQMom.com.

4. To learn more about your money behavior, get your copy of FQ Book 2. Get copies for your loved ones too. The principles you will learn from here are not only applicable in your financial life but all the other important aspects of your life. https://fqmom.com/bookstore/

To know more about FQ Book 2, watch this short video .

5. How good are you with money? Do you want to know your FQ Score? Take the FQ Test and get hold of your finances now. Scan the QR code or click the link https://fqmom.com/dev-fqtest/app/#/questionnaire

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