Luxury vs. Practicality: When to Spend and When to Save


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Spending and saving all depend on your budget. You should always follow your finances when judging what you should buy. Of course, you want to invest in pieces that are high in quality and will last a long time — but what do you do if you can’t even guarantee the quality of what you’re buying? The luxury vs. practical war has been going on for many years, but the truth is that each category has its own moment to shine, depending on what you may want out of a luxury brand.

What Defines Luxury?

Technically, what defines luxury is up to the consumer. Some people with lower incomes might consider something luxury, and to others, that might be considered a practical, more affordable option. With luxury items, you’re likely paying for the name and the brand. Most people who buy luxury items do so to alter how others see them — as someone who can afford to pay the price of luxury. Some luxury brands might use higher-quality materials, which can ensure that the investment is worth it, but many times, you may just be paying for the brand name.

Unfortunately, maintenance costs might be higher for luxury vs. practical items, especially for things like motor vehicles. You may need to safeguard your objects at a higher premium with luxury insurance, something you wouldn’t have to do to ensure the safety or integrity of your more practical items. When you opt for luxury, eyes are bound to be on you. One of the downsides of luxury items is that you might experience judgment for thinking you’re trying to show off to others.

You’ll know whether an item is luxury by the brand name. Luxury brands typically have rich histories of philanthropy or have been in demand for so long that they have become luxury and nearly unobtainable. The consumers are the ones who define what luxury is. As long as certain brands remain prominent, luxury brands will continue to be considered “high-end” by the majority of people.

Luxury vs. Practical: Clothing

Many people understand the value of a capsule wardrobe, but if you’re not on a strict budget for clothes spending, you may feel tempted to buy luxury clothing. Often, luxury clothing can be made with higher-grade materials or feel better to wear. It’s up to you what you’d rather value, as some people find comfort in luxury items, while others just look at clothes as something they need — and as long as they like the style, the brand doesn’t matter.

According to the Hierarchy of Needs, you have to have your basic necessities taken care of before you can attain other goals in life. As a result, the luxury vs. practical debate can come after the basic needs are met. Some people may see no interest in buying luxury clothes, as they might want to save their money for other necessities. The good news is that you can buy something high quality without falling into the trap of always purchasing luxury items.

Luxury vs. Practical: Accessories

Luxury accessories are a great way to dress up an otherwise practical outfit. Likely, they won’t cost as much money as the clothes themselves, so you can splurge on them without feeling as bad about the cost. Having luxury items can also make you look like a more attractive date, and it can help you get ahead in certain societal circumstances. Something like a bag or a watch can signal to people that you can afford luxury items, which could attract positive company without looking like you’re trying to throw your wealth in someone’s face. 

In terms of luxury vs. practical accessories, you have to make the final call. Luxury accessories will likely be just as functional as a more affordable item, but you might like the flashiness that luxury items entail. If you care about aesthetics, try to find something that fits your style. As long as you like it, it doesn’t matter whether it’s luxury or more affordable.

How to Choose Between Luxury and Practical

The luxury vs. practical debate will continue to burn brightly. It all comes down to how you want to be perceived. If you’re willing to be judged as vain by a few people to make up for that status upgrade you could get with luxury items, you could opt for them when you can buy them. Sometimes, luxury items are made with higher-quality materials, but you should always double-check each item individually before relying solely on that fact.

Overall, if you can afford to buy luxury and don’t worry about quality too much, you could opt for luxury pieces due to how beneficial they could make your image. You may be seen as an individual who’s responsible with money, and that may open exclusive opportunities for you. Buying luxury items can open a new world up to you, but you should always be careful with your spending.