Spending and Saving in New York City: Part Two

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Please read our full disclosure here.

Editor’s Note: This is part two of Noel’s ongoing series honestly documenting her adventures budgeting, spending, and saving while attending college in NYC. Read part one here: Spending and Saving in New York City: Part One.

Okay, I cracked.

I bought two Hermès silk scarves at the Hermès sample sale last week. Yes, not just one — but two at $225 apiece.

You see, I was only planning to look around the Metropolitan Pavilion, admiring the equestrian saddles and well-chiseled men and women who would actually purchase these pieces. Security was so tight that I had to keep my belongings with an attendant (except for my Fendi wallet, of course). I waited in line for 30 minutes, standing amidst corporettes on their lunch breaks and grandmothers in cashmere sweaters, wondering where the younger people were.

I started off well. I admired some Birkins and fingered a few coats. I tried on a pair of pink sandals and promptly put them back on the shelf — after all, the rainy season has dawned upon New York City and I need more boots! I inhaled the signature cologne. I will not buy anything, I thought to myself.

Hermes scarves

Ah, but then I saw boxes and boxes of silk scarves in a rainbow spectrum of colors and designs. These 90 by 90 centimeter pieces of silk are hand-printed using silk screens and hand-stitched to perfection.

I stroked a few of them, but was not inclined to buy any until I saw it — a light blue and white one. (Of course, this was before I spotted the Indian rose and gold one as well.)

Why did I buy? Well, I tend to supplement my purchases with justifications on the side, which now alarms me to a comparison to Rebecca Bloomwood from the film Confessions of a Shopaholic. Especially because she, too, splurged on a scarf — except at least she was out of college and she only purchased one.

So, these are the reasons I used to convince myself to buy two Hermès silk scarves:

  • The baby blue scarf would be perfect for sporting and spirit events at Columbia University! Never mind the fact that I have yet to attend a football game and that I skipped out on some organized activities for other fun excursions during New Student Orientation Week. I could be chic when I attend Homecoming. Who needs body paint when you have an Hermès scarf tied around your neck?
  • The Indian rose and gold scarf would add color to my exceedingly dark wardrobe. I wear at least one piece in black every day, and I desperately need to add more bright colors in my ensembles.
  • Hermès scarves can be worn in so many different ways — and not just around the neck. They could be tied into halter tops, skirts, headscarves, and more. I’m just purchasing a scarf; I’m practically purchasing a new wardrobe! Yes, I know I’m getting ludicrous.
  • These are classic pieces that I won’t outgrow. If anything, my collection will probably grow throughout the years. I mean, Grace Kelly used an Hermes as an arm sling!
  • Rebecca Bloomwood of Confessions of a Shopaholic splurged on a green scarf — and it eventually became her magazine column name: “the Girl in the Green Scarf”. Who’s to say my scarves won’t give me equal or greater success as a writer?
Confessions of a Shopaholic

“Sorry dear, we only accept credit,” said the clerk at the cashier. I begrudgingly handed over my credit card.

Later that day, by some crazy stroke of fate, my dear father called me to tell me that I am paying my own taxes this year and that I should sign up for an accounting course — none of this had to do with the purchases I had made earlier, by the way.

He just wanted me to become completely financially independent by the time I graduated college. And as I told my father that accounting courses were out of the question this year because of my tight schedule, I glanced back at my new scarves.

I’m quite a lucky girl for having parents who are willing and able to support me, but I came to New York City to study and to build my future — not to increase my wardrobe size. Luckily, my parents reminded me that with independence comes great responsibility and sacrifices.

I’m keeping the scarves (they are non-refundable anyways) and I don’t regret buying them at all, but I’m not going to be a college student forever. Everyone should splurge once in a while, but as every college student fashionista knows, college is about working hard and playing hardshopping hard is just another temptation when you happen to go to school in New York City.

What about you? Have you splurged on anything recently? What have your biggest impulse purchases or splurges been on? Tell us in the comments.

18 thoughts on “Spending and Saving in New York City: Part Two”

  1. Different strokes forr different folks. The girl spent hella on designer scarves. Ok… Now wat. While I do support myself entirely ranging from tuiton to living to eating maybe ill get sent 50 buks to fly home when my tiket is 400 I gota say we can’t beat her up. We all hav diff economic bakgrounds n tho we can’t relate to that splurge we can take the moral n apply it to a personal stand point. I feel that’s the reason of the post. Noel budget n lifestyle is diff from sum of us. But situational is the same. We shud uplift eachother n giv helpin hands not down her for her blessd lifestyle. So I say unto u noel. Girl do wat u do jus keep a set budget in mind n yes u live in a very expensive city but know u won’t hav financialy backing for long. Look at the long run in things and weigh the pros and cons. But do what is best for u and at the end of the day u will no what the rite choice is

    Reply
  2. Gah, I would never be able to spend that much.
    The most I’ve ever personally spent was $40 of a jacket. 😛 I’m cheap.
    My school uniform was $300 of the kilt and the blazer, but I didn’t buy that. My mom did.

    Reply
  3. I NEVER go on shopping splurgers. I just don’t feel so much of an attraction to clothes that I can’t control myself. Of course, I don’t live in New York………

    Reply
  4. I´m from Colombia and i absolutly love this site… I’m a law student n my school requires to wear officelike outfits for some exams… so my splurges are often justified on wearing smething that leaves a good impression on my proffesors…and here tht’s a really big deal!

    Reply
  5. As a young (slightly gothic) girl, I often envy my friends when they tell me about their recent splurges. £50 on a skirt? Not for me! Every time it’s my mum’s payday, we go to the charity shops just outside london (I live in Essex, and if you have seen TOWIE, then I have shame on you and convinve you that life is NOTHING like this dumb show). I just found a chanel cocktail dress for £5.50! I forced my mother to buy it, but now it’s just the case of having nowhere to wear the dress! British Bombshell Daisy

    Reply
  6. I am having trouble believing some of your reasons for your scarf purchase. However, I know how you feel. Although I don’t drop over $400 on scarves on a single day (at least not yet so far..) I do the same thing on a smaller scale.

    Just don’t keep on telling yourself you won’t spend crazily. Actually stop going to crazy shopping places (meaning, avoid stores, except grocery, altogether. And yes, I realize that is so much easier said than done.

    I hope we both get better in our crazy semi addiction to nice clothes (and scarves)!

    Reply

Leave a Comment