A Louis Vuitton bag is a dream for many, a reality for some and an extravagance for a number of rational, financially responsible individuals. Yes, we all have our perception of what an LV bag is, and more importantly, what it represents.
A fascination that began in my childhood
My first memory of the brand LV was when I stepped into a fancy mall in Bengaluru and was completely smitten by the feel and presence of the brand that made everything else seem so mainstream. As a teenager, I recall requesting my mother for an LV walletand she responded, "Even at this age, I don’t think of buying such exorbitant things which cost in lakhs of rupees. And what are you going to do with an LV bag anyway? You certainly can’t carry it to school…?"
I was angry, felt like rebelling and then did what I always would ask my father instead. Being the authoritative parent between the two, he simply asked, "I will consent to this purchase if you tell me what is it about the bag, that makes it so much better than the other, affordable brands?"
At that time, I certainly had no answer for either Mom or Dad’s queries. I later reconciled by telling myself that perhaps this really was not something I needed and that my parents were right after all.
In the subsequent years, I saw some girls with LV clutches and wallets at college, and wondered why they were able to indulge in what I was denied?
I could not bring myself to reconcile again. I decided that if not buy the bag, I must at least be able to answer everything my parents asked me. So I did some digging. My discoveries left me even more spell-bound and irrational.
What's so special about a bag?
Now as a working professional, I know that an LV bag is not merely a carrier for my stuff, it is an icon of style, with the state of the art craftsmanship, an intriguing history, and a French heritage. The leather used in the tote bags have immaculate stitching and a fine finish. The quality of these bags is unparalleled and thus commands a premium price.
This answers my father’s question. But by now I had also learnt that LV Speedy, Keepall or Neverfull totes would cost me anything between Rs. 1-2 Lakhs. Let’s take 1.5 Lakhs as a ballpark figure. Now that I have a job and recognise the hard work that goes into accumulating that money, I also understand my mother’s inhibitions.
Making an indulgence happen - the smart way
Do I now no longer want that indulgence? Not quite.
I still want it but now I have a plan to achieve this dream (one that doesn’t involve asking Dad for help). I have decided to work towards this goal. You may ask, how?
Well, now that I have a job, I have started saving, and working in a finance company I quickly realised that I would be a fool to let the money stay idle in my bank, with minuscule returns. I would rather invest this money in debt mutual funds. Yes, I know this may seem risky, but for your information, debt funds are not a part of the equity markets, they help you significantly reduce the risk factor associated commonly with equity.
Now, the ideal debt funds provide you with an 8-9% return in one year. I am going to start saving Rs. 3,000 every month, towards this goal and my planning indicates that I will get there in about 3 years. Once this amount is collected, I will be off to the mall the very same day!
The Louis Vuitton Bag is not the only thing I am saving for. But I have decided that 15% of my salary is the maximum amount which I am willing to contribute towards my indulgent dream. When I get there, it will be on my own steam.