How to Save for Your First Designer Purchase

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Chanel, Gucci, Christian Louboutin: these are some of the key words that are a part of every fashionista’s love language. We want nothing more than to have the perfect walk-in closet with all of these labels hanging on every piece and attached to every shoe box, but if you’re like me—life comes first and it is expensive. So you must be thoughtful with your everyday purchases and save toward your dream purchase. Going on that, I want to share with you what I do every year to make a designer purchase and hopefully show you that it’s more achievable than you may have thought. Here’s to patience and a little foresight!


Every year within the first three months, I start thinking about my big ticket purchase. My criteria always include something designer, something I feel is a staple in any wardrobe, and something that, once I own it, I will keep forever. Sometimes I even think about whether I would pass it down to my daughter.  #simonefuturewardrobe

Some items from my wish list: the year before last, my goal was my first Shinola watch. It felt special from the second I bought it, and I now wear it literally every single day.   As for future goals, I hope to purchase a Burberry trench coat, but that item is still years out.  Still, each year the goal always starts the same: I start thinking about how I can put together the funds to buy myself the “perfect” Christmas gift in December.


Once I’ve determined what I really want, it’s time to do the math—how much will I have to save every month? This year I’ve had my eye on a Chloé handbag. The “starter” option, as I like to call it, is $795.  So let’s work backwards: how much would I have to put away each month, starting today, to buy it in December?

In my initial budget, I calculated how much I would need if I put away something only once a month; it ended up being almost $99 dollars each time. I quickly realized that was a significant amount to take all at once on a monthly basis.

Scenario #1

Goal = $795

Time = 8 months (8 set asides)


Budget = $99 a month

In my second budget, I calculated putting aside $45 twice a month. This is more realistic for me because it allows for smaller savings at a time; I don’t have to do it all at once, and it’s less of a disruption to my current lifestyle.

Scenario #2

Goal = $795

Time = twice a month for 9 months = 16 set asides


Budget = $49, twice a month


If you take nothing else from this entire post, this next sentence is key. AUTOMATE THE EXECUTION.  Once I’ve committed to how much I want to save every month, I automate my account to make it happen. Every bank I know allows you to transfer funding free between all your accounts; you can take the set amount, set up a biweekly transfer, and it’s done! This way, I don’t have to remind myself to do every payday or every other Tuesday, and now it’s outta sight and outta mind. This also guarantees that you won’t spend that money on something else. ☺


Lastly, if for any reason I’m not feeling confident about my budget, there are other ways to help myself achieve my goal. Selling Items could be one—If I know I’m getting a handbag that will put several other handbags out of rotation indefinitely, I would rather sell them than let them sit on the shelf. Or I use loyalty programs: Nordstrom, for example, uses a point system where for every 2,000 points you accumulate, you get a $20 Nordstrom note to spend on anything in the store. I usually save up all my notes all year to go towards the end-of-year purchase. Every little bit helps!


I know we all have dreams of the perfect wardrobe, but while it’s not possible to have a whole cake and eat it too, you can have a slice. Set a goal for yourself, create a budget you can live with, automate the execution, and if need be, sell some of the items you’ll replace with a shiny new one. You got this!

Take it from our lady Coco Chanel: “The best things in life are free. The second best things are very expensive.” ☺



2 Comments Write a comment

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  • DonnaT May 16, 2017

    Okay…so I got this! My closet is filled with items that I have not even thought about (dare I say years); some still with tags.
    Thanks Ambra — I feel like the little engine that could…
    I think I can ~ I know I can

    • DonnaT May 16, 2017

      I believe in giving credit where credit is due ; )
      My apologies Natalie…for previous comment.
      Thank You!

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