How I Afforded a Chanel Bag On A Budget

Fashion today means that any outfit can look instantly rich with the addition of a designer bag. Chanel is timeless and will never go out of style.

I recently heard that millennials can’t afford to invest in real estate because they’re spending all of their money on avocados. Although we are the Guac Generation – and are willing to pay $1.50 extra for it – one of the many reasons why I personally can’t afford a home is because of my Chanel wallet on chain. And yes, if you’re wondering, my recent purchase was not actually a handbag, it’s a wallet… on a chain.

For those who follow the Kardashians, know that nothing screams “2017 chic” more than dusting off your velour Juicy tracksuit from 2003 and pairing it with a designer bag. Although clearly oxymoronic, fashion today means that any outfit, no matter how casual, can look instantly rich with the addition of a designer bag. With this realization, my quest to invest began.

And this is how an entry-level, twenty-something did it:

Tip #1 – Treat your search as a business decision

With a quick scan of my closet, I realized that nothing was of any value or could stand the test of time. In today’s overly saturated fast-fashion market, it’s easy to spend a lot on stuff that won’t last. Considering the majority of my wardrobe consists of pieces from Zara, Forever 21 and H&M, I don’t anticipate wearing items for longer than two years given the trendiness and mediocre quality.

I recognized that I want to own something with more longevity than an avocado but more realistic than a house- and of course, I wanted to look good doing so.

As I’ve learned from my sibling who works in the fashion industry, purchasing a designer bag is similar to buying a home- it’s a long-term investment with huge resale potential. Not to mention that the cost of Chanel bags is steadily increasing year-over-year and like a fine wine, the bags get more valuable with age. (Read more about that here.)

Although I could’ve gone with a lower price point brand, Chanel is timeless and will never go out of style. Not to mention that my kids will one day thank me for such a magnificent inheritance.

Image: Instagram/@to.esselle

Tip #2 – Make money by spending money

Let’s face it, no one uses cash anymore. The rise of e-commerce has made it almost required in today’s retail environment to own a credit card. Do your research and select a credit card company with a desirable loyalty program so that you can actually make money while spending money.

From the moment my Chanel itch came to fruition, it took about one year to rack up hundreds dollars of ‘free’ money from my credit card’s loyalty program. Knowing what I already wanted, and where I could get it from, I cashed out my points in gift cards to Holt Renfrew. Although minimal in comparison to the overall cost, it was very helpful saving on a very expensive purchase.

Tip #3 – Shop vintage and look out for sales

My golden rule of saving is remembering that everything goes on sale. Keep track of those items you’ve been eyeing at Zara and hold off on purchasing until their bi-annual sales in the summer and winter. That way, you’re saving on trendier pieces that you won’t want by next year anyways.

Lastly, I highly recommend vintage shopping. There are tons of great vintage stores across Toronto where you can find really rare pieces for cheap. Not to mention that these stores are filled with endless amounts of vintage athleisure wear which is much more authentic than buying from Urban Outfitters.

Like any millennial, I often wonder if I’ll ever make, or save enough to invest in real estate. For now, I’ll capitalize on my largest asset, my Chanel wallet on chain. And hey, at least if I ever become a bag lady, I’ll look good doing so!

Do you know any tips on how to save for a designer piece? We’d love to hear from you!

Featured image: Instagram/@shyfashion

Posts you might be interested in: 

5 Best High-end Clothing Rental Stores To Check Out This Holiday Season
Experts Weigh In: The Best Investment You Can Make is a Designer Handbag
How To Spot A Fake Designer Bag
5 Affordable Dupes for the Most Coveted Designer Handbags
Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Used Luxury Handbag