Wanting finer things in life


My wife and I are not super wealthy, but we do ok. I do donate money to the Church and to just one charity, St. Jude Children’s hospital.

On the flip side, I admit that I have a need for buying more high end items. My wife needed a new handbag, I buy her a Vuitton. This past winter there was a bit of snow and freezing cold here, and I buy her a fur coat. Just today she was out of perfume, and I bought her some Versace.

It’s just that when it comes to buying anything my wife needs, I always try to get her the best quality items. In a weird way, I’m doing it because I love her and want the best for her. But lately, this has gotten me down some. Sure I’ve taken some of her pricier items in the past and taken them to the shelter or such. Believe it or not, people there complain that I should have just brought cash instead.

I’m confused. Anyone else feel like this? Buying higher end stuff.

There’s nothing wrong with buying/owning expensive things. :slight_smile: It’s your money you can do what you want with it. If giving your wife the very best makes you both happy, that’s fine, too. After all, whatever we buy, be it expensive or not, we are supporting people who work for a living, just like we do. It’s not the product it’s the intention that matters.

However, I’d say that if you buy the most expensive thing merely because it is the most expensive thing and not really what your wife would love to have, you may want to ask yourself if it’s to impress her rather than please her. That’d be my only reservation. And I can understand how people in a shelter wouldn’t really want expensive things given to them. They’re likely to be robbed of them, they’re not the kind of thing they’d want even if they had the money, and it’s not practical for their lives.

I agree with what Della said. If you can afford it and your wife truly likes it, I don’t see the problem. If buying your wife a fur coat means you can’t make the mortgage payment, then there’d be a problem.

There is something to be said for the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” In my more broke days, I was buying tennis shoes (which I wear frequently) from Target, because they were cheap…and it showed, because three months later, the soles would be peeling away. When my situation got better, I started buying Sketchers, which are pricer, but last longer (so in the long run, were ‘cheaper’ than the Target shoes.) Speaking of which, it is about time I bought another pair of tennis shoes. :smiley:

I could see people in the shelter expressing complaints about some items–a fur coat would probably be discomforting to have if you essentially have no home–you have no way to keep it ‘safe’, you’re making yourself a target, plus people like to point and judge and say, “Well, if you have that…” Should you decide to get rid of the fur coat, probably best to sell it and buy a couple of good coats from a thrift store and donate those instead.

There is nothing wrong with a little extravagance for your wife. But I got the impression by your post that you were brand dropping. Perhaps you might want to think about the motivation behind these purchases rather than the things themselves. Some introspection may be in order…

There’s a difference between buying what appears to be the best quality and consequently a superior value, versus buying a designer item for the sake of branding.
Buying something that is expensive for the sake of having a “this” or “that” is not good stewardship. If Louis Vuitton makes the best product, in your viewpoint, go for it. But if you buy it because you both believe that it’s really fancy and will somehow make her look uber stylish…not good stewardship. I’ll wager she’s plenty attractive without on her own. :wink:

Count your blessings and enjoy the fruits of your labors. I’m very glad you give to charity.
Think how much you can do if you simply buy best value, not most coveted brand.

Think how good you will feel, and how proud your wife will be of you.
Together, you can make a difference in an impoverished person’s life.
I think this is what you really want to do, but fear abandoning the name brand lifestyle.

It’s not that bad.
When our tv broke, I waited and waited until I could get the brand I prefer. It made it sweeter when it was on sale and I opened the box. :slight_smile:

Thank you all for the responses. :slight_smile:

Watch Shindler’s List. At the end he talks about how if he didn’t have his Mercedes he would have saved more lives. I think of that all the time when I’m tempted to buy “designer” products. The LV products are not really attractive and why would I want someone else’s initials on what I own? Branding = Brainwashing!!! it is what is comes down to and don’t get caught up in that! Read up on the history of LV, Gucci, etc. and think why would I want these initials on my products. What have they really done to contribute to the better of the world? What makes them so special?? Marketing!! LV started a business of packing peoples products in Paris. He happened to package a wealthy women’s goods for shipping and she passed his name along to the upper class. He then designed a trunk for shipping. and… so… ?? Now everyone is buying his product so it gives them a boost of vanity or pride or whatever and for what? You can still buy quality products without the high cost and “status”.

Material things are a delusion oftentimes in terms of following the spiritual path. This is not to make you feel guilty, but to make sure your priorities are correct. If you are putting fur coats, vuitton bags, etc before the immaterial treasures such as God and You (the real you beyond your body) then you are no different from the faithless.

Of course you can do what you want with your money. But expensive branded items aren’t necessarily better quality than others. In some cases, you’re just paying to advertise someone else’s name.

I agree with Pianistclare.

There is nothing wrong with buying something more expensive because it’s a better quality item.

My husband and I do this a lot because we know that putting some money into it will give us a better product that will last much longer and do the job better.
We tend to do this more with big ticket items like electronics, cars, appliances and furniture.

I sometimes do this with makeup, clothes and bags. If you buy good quality…breakdown is minimal and it will last.
I buy coach bags not because it’s coach but because I’ve only had to purchase two bags over the past 10 or so years…those bags are great and they don’t fall apart.

But shopping for brands because it’s a brand…isn’t good.
It’s just flaunting what you have and harboring jealousy and other negative behaviors with everyone else around you.

I think that is borderline scandalous.

This could well be a snare of the devil - he is trying to keep you from growing in charity by making you attached to worldly goods.

Remember too, that our money does not belong to us but to God. We have a right to it which others cannot take away but that does not in any way mean we can spend it as we please. Love of neighbour obliges us to consider the needs of others with less than we have, after we have bought what we need to fulfil the duties of our state of life. We must use our money to glorify God.

This is something that has been concerning me recently; I have no one else to support so after I have paid for my basic needs I am trying to use the rest in the service of God, which for me means giving it to charity (Catholic charities, of course, because they provide aid in the name God as He really is) or using it for mass offerings. I just cannot justify buying anything I don’t really need when others are in real need and it is so easy to get help to them.

I agree there’s nothing wrong with “wanting finer things in life”, so long it is within your means. why not?

Do not spend the money you do not have, though.

Do not let $$$ become your master!

I prefer to live freely and buy things I can dispose without thinking twice when I get tired of them :shrug:

I understand that.

Our parish is having a shoe drive for our charity parish overseas. I had a brand new of unworn Clarks brand shoes. They cost $159, but I never wore them once. Still had the tags on them actually. I put them in the shoe drive bin tonight and felt a sense of good that I will be helping someone else overseas who doesn’t have any shoes. :slight_smile:

I would say this is a problem if you believe you NEED to buy these things. This indicates a disordered relationship with things.

You also seem to buy expensive things you never use and end up giving away.

Perhaps you need some counseling to get to the bottom of why you think you need these things so badly.

I bought several expensive brands in the past. After a while I realized it became “world burden” to myself.

It took quite sometime for me to learn to let go of “the-whole-world’s burden” as I call them :smiley:

OK. I will be brutally honest. We are probably considered lower middle class. We live paycheck to paycheck and we have debt cause we can’t make it work every month.

To be able to just give away a brand new pair of shoes ($159 pair at that) you seem like you’d certainly be in the upper class bracket. And you seem like you are just being flashy. In other words a show off.

If you buy good brands for quality and durability reasons that’s one thing but for the sake of having the newest, latest, biggest, greatest, that money can certainly be used for better things. Like giving.

I’d focus more on giving and less on getting. Presents for the wife are nice for special occasions (birthday/anniversary/Christmas) but ideally shed jump on the giving wagon alongside you.

I suggest you sponsor a child through a reputable organization. Put the child’s picture somewhere you will see it often and see Jesus in that child. Next time you want something unessecary that’s luxurious or expensive, look at that child’s face and ask Jesus what you should do. I’m sure He’ll let you know! :wink:

That’s not to say you can’t have a convertible or take your wife to a fancy restaraunt or take a exotic vacation, just learn moderation, and make sure you are putting Jesus and those less fortunate first. :thumbsup:

ETA: I’m reminded of a quote from Mother Theresa it went something like “you should give until it hurts a little”. Maybe that would help you with learning moderation.

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt before this post. But now, I think you may have a materialistic attachment to brands and items and the status it gives you.

First we should endeavor to distinguish between needs and wants. Once we’ve done this we can reduce our wants. Reducing our wants will allow us to lead a happier more contented life. I believe the parable of the rich young man in the bible speaks to this very well. Blessings to you all. Stay safe.

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