Confession: I Love Pretty Things

“I adore pretty things and clever words.”

pretty things
I found this photo on Pinterest!

I found this quote on Pinterest several months ago and it speaks to me on many levels. I was an English major in college and continue to love reading and writing more every day, so the clever words are never far from my mind (even if they don’t always come from me). The part that used to be hard to admit is that I also really love pretty things.

I’m stereotypical in only one way: I love girly things – the shiny, the pink, the colorful.

I started to realize this when I got out of college. Two days after graduating, I found myself faced with a 600 mile move and no money for a moving truck. Luckily, I had no problem getting rid of the stuff I accumulated in college because none of it was pretty. Useful, maybe, but not pretty. The funny thing was that I was perfectly happy having nothing over having something that wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I was also able to fit everything in my parent’s minivan with plenty of room to spare for them, me and my grandma to all ride comfortably as well.

How Does This Affect My Money?

I’m lucky in many ways, but the first is that I value money and I’ve spent many years figuring out how to handle it in the best way for me. If not for a little part of my mind telling me to save instead of spend, I would have easily found myself in mounds of credit card debt, but surrounded by lots of beautiful things.

The key here is that I love beautiful things, not stuff in general. I don’t want to consume simply for the sake of shopping.

Now that I’m in my late 20’s, I do find myself more willing to spend money on things I love – beautiful things – than I used to be. This is something that isn’t often talked about on personal finance blogs: the part where I decide to use my money on something I love that other people find frivolous.

How Do I Continue To Save When Buying An Unnecessary Item?

  1. The biggest way is that I simply do not buy anything that isn’t exactly what I want. I didn’t have coasters for almost a full year before finding some beautiful blue and white ones. We didn’t have dining room chairs for 6 months.
  2. In addition to not wasting money on things I don’t want, I also make sure it’s in the budget. No matter how beautiful, I simply refuse to buy anything that I cannot afford. I will save for it just like I would a big trip or other expense.
  3. I don’t have an affinity for brand names. This saves me a ton of money by itself (though, I’m not judging you if you do!). Because I do not personally chase a name, it allows me to shop in small boutiques and even go vintage. One of my favorite pieces is a blue candy dish my mom bought me last Christmas. It’s old, she spent maybe $3-5 on it, and I happen to think it’s beautiful.
  4. I always make sure to tell people when I’m looking for something. My parents are huge antiquers, so I added a few of the things I was looking for to my Christmas list.

All of these things have allowed me to enjoy the things I love, while continuing my financial goals!

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