“I love it, but should I buy it?”

If you were shopping for clothes, and you found something perfect…

How much would you be willing to spend for it?

That’s the dilemma I faced a while back when I ran across an absolutely scrumptious, couldn’t-be-a-prettier color Ferragamo bag. But it was more money than I normally would pay for “just something I carry.”

IHow much should you spend for it? HowToConsign.org tells you!‘m not a fancy gal. I’m not one to be impressed by designer bags. In fact, I don’t even usually notice other people’s status symbols.

But this bag, oh it was different. It was ME. When I went online and found the same bag, limited-edition, not-available in the US, for over $900… I knew the asking price of $250 was a steal.

But was it a steal for me?

So I did some quick arithmetic to figure out whether I should buy it. I’ve no doubt men would call this “justifying” but I call it

Estimating my Cost-Per-Wearing

Here’s how: Divide the cost of an item by the number of times you’ll probably wear it. Simple, huh?

So I figured out my cost-per-carry for the bag I coveted. I tend to seldom switch bags, so I assumed I’d carry the Ferragamo 20 days a month. I live in Florida, so there’s barely any seasonality to worry about: a pink leather bag would be as suitable in mid-winter as in mid-summer. So over the course of a single year, I’d have 240 days to enjoy the luscious feel, the superb craftsmanship, and the (face it, I am a bit of a snob) subtle unobtrusive logo. That’s a CPW of $1.04. I plan on carrying my bag for years. Two, let’s say. CPW? 52¢. SOLD.

And now I have the secret little thrill of knowing I have something few other women in my country have, and the monetary thrill of remembering that I “saved” $650 (not to mention the transAtlantic plane fare) every time I sling my new-to-me Ferragamo over my shoulder. Thanks, my favorite consignment shop!

So the next time you find that perfect handbag, or coat, or pair of jeans, think CPW. And if you’re shopping resale, your CPW is always more of a bargain than you ever imagined, even on the “spendy” goods. Bonus: You can further reduce your CPW by recycling your under-loved clothing at your local resale shop!

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