Your Handbag Is Talking About You!

IMG_8934Six years ago I was unemployed and on a very tight budget. Looking for something to occupy my time between interviews I started making videos on YouTube. I called myself ‘Miss Budget Beauty’ because I intended to talk about makeup and had very little money. Everything I talked about I had had for years or had bought on eBay to ‘haul’. For a little while this worked for me but once I got a job and had a bit of spending money again my budget changed and so did my content. At the time YouTube was still finding its feet, nobody was branding themselves and I had no idea that the moniker ‘budget beauty’ would prove to be so restrictive in the next few years of my accidental career.

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It took me quite a while to realise I’d created this box for myself and if I wanted to stay in it (and keep my audience) I would have to adjust my attitude. It did get silly at one point with certain viewers chastising me for recommending Revlon which they didn’t class as ‘budget beauty’ and I think that’s when my defensive ‘I’ll talk about what I like’ phase kicked in but a couple of years ago I took stock and decided to make a change. I created a new channel, Diary Of A Spendaholic where I felt that I could post anything that didn’t fall under the budget beauty header. That channel has evolved in to a bit of a catch all for everything from vlogs, to stationery, outfit videos, and then of course, luxury items.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.25.17Part of why I created the channel and called it what I did was because I’d developed a little taste for high priced handbags and wanted to share them but didn’t really have anywhere to do that. I discovered a whole world of luxury YouTubers with completely unattainable lifestyles through researching new purchases and loved the escapism of watching their closet tours. I did however sense a theme of resentment and general negativity in the comments of these videos which I had no desire to draw my way. It can be tricky to talk about expensive purchases without seeming braggy or spoiled. Nobody wants to discuss money so if you play down the cost then you don’t appreciate the item and in turn don’t derserve it (spoiled) but if you make a big fuss about how expensive it was then you’re most certainly going to be tagged as braggy.

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There is a stigma attached to those high price tags that I’m not super fond of. A very good friend of mine recently described me as (and I’m paraphrasing but you get the jist) liking my designer bags but having a heart of gold. I know that that comment came from a good place but to break it down she felt that she had to clarify that I was still a nice person even though I spent money on expensive things. I’m guilty of it myself, if a friend tells me she’s met someone who owns X that we’ve been coveting for years my first question is ‘do we hate her?’ – I’m obviously being sarcastic but what I mean is despite her having the money to spend on that thing we can’t afford is she still someone we could have a laugh with or is she a rich b*tch? Your handbag says more about you than you might think!

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Although I don’t think I’ve changed personality-wise I know that my income has directly affected my perspective over the years. I had a friend who had wanted a Mulberry handbag for as long as I’d known her, she finally got one and I thought ‘I could never spend that on a bag’. Shortly after we were shopping and she took me in to the Mulberry store to see another bag she had here eye on.. ANOTHER ONE? I thought, at this point it was getting ridiculous! I remember this clear as day and whenever someone makes a negative comment about my personal spending I try to put myself back in those shoes. It’s all relative, I once thought a Topshop handbag was a splurge and that wasn’t all that long ago. I totally judged people for spending thousands on handbags and shoes but that’s because I didn’t have thousands to spend on handbags and shoes and I thought there would be so much more I’d rather spend that money on if I DID have it.

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In six years my situation has changed completely, I still appreciate a bargain and I don’t have unlimited funds by any means but I can justify occasional luxury purchases. The most common comment I see is ‘I’d rather have a holiday’ to which I would respond, what if you could have both? Nobody knows anyone elses behind the scenes, I’ve seen people accuse instagrammers of having Sugar Daddies because they travel all the time, I’ve seen others be shamed because there are starving people all over the world and they are showing off a £3k handbag.. that person could be donating huge amounts to charity.. nobody knows and it’s not our place to ask. Do I still wonder how people afford what they do? Of course! But I try not to judge someone because they’ve chosen to wear their money, whether that be a £50 foundation or a £500 pair of shoes.


special thanks to the tweeters who helped with this post



  1. Kayla
    16 June, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    Well said. In my eyes you can never judge another person’s situation only their actions. If you want to buy nice handbags? Why not. This does not preclude you giving money to charity if you choose. It just means that you chose to spend your disposable income on this one item.

    ideally no one would be judgey or make rude comments, but the reality is that when you put yourself out there criticism comes as part of the package. There is a fine line to walk as was said in the article between sounding spoiled and bragging. It’s a difficult line to walk but just do the best you can and understabd that if people know you well enough then none of that will matter.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 10:02 am

      I was talking broadly than just luxury bloggers, people judge strangers in the street because of what they’re wearing/carrying and it’s so bizarre but then at the same time.. is that why they’re wearing/carrying what they are?

      Are the reasons we buy the things we do actually the reasons we’re being judged? Of course it’s nobodys business but it’s human nature and we’re all guilty of it

  2. Emma
    16 June, 2016 / 2:09 pm

    It is absolutely your choice to spend your money on what you want! I loved your review on it, and pretty much all of your content in general.

    From your other videos and vlogs, you can see that you are not sacrificing things to make that purchase (I don’t mean that how it might read or in any insulting/offensive way, I mean that you still went on a family holiday, your children are not going without, you are talking about buying a house, you can still afford to buy other things!).

    I love your content and personality, so I will follow you regardless of what you spend your money on!

    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 10:07 am

      Thank you! I’ve followed so many people in the past and loved them and the more money they make the less and less relatable they become.. I also know of other bloggers who keep their luxury purchases to themselves for fear of losing their audience. Most of it does still boil down to perspective for me and once someone is referring to a £2000 bag as cheap that’s a turn off for me, lol. So long as whoever it is still has a handle on the value of what they’re talking about they I don’t care what they buy

  3. 16 June, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    Really interesting post! I was never really interested in designer things when I was a bit younger and instead chose to spend my cash on (too many) high street purchases that ended up never being used. These days I am lucky enough to be able to have a really nice treat a couple of times a year thanks to work bonuses and tend to make a splurge on a designer bag (albeit normally from Bicester Village!). I think it’s entirely up to the individual what they choose to spend their money on – like one of your tweeters said, if you’re paying all your bills and not using a credit card to fund a habit then go for it.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 9:58 am

      Ditto! I had £5k debt by the time I was 19 and nothing to show for it.. looking back that’s 2 chanel handbags that would have doubled in value in that time, haha. But instead it was clothes and nights out that I have no memory off. But nobody thought anything of my spending then because it wasn’t obviously extravagant! Needless to say these days I don’t trust myself with a credit card, haha!

  4. Lisa Jane
    16 June, 2016 / 3:02 pm

    Love this post, and your videos and blog in general. I think you have the tone just right, you save money where you can and splurge where you want to. I have heard you mention many times, how long you have saved for some of the luxury purchases you make, and they are always things you have coveted for a while and it’s not baggy or boastful just genuine enthusiasm. I think it’s ridiculous to buy something for the sake of the label, but if you love it, and you can genuinely afford it, go for it. Life is hard, and we all deserve a few luxuries now and then.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 10:12 am

      The tipping point for me was ‘do I know where the next chunk of money is coming from?’
      If I saved for a year and was able to buy something I really wanted I’m not sure I could actually bite the bullet and hand over the cash. A year is a really long time to have sacrificied for one thing. I’m lucky that I have a regular job that pays my bills and YouTube/blogging tends to come in waves so if I get a big job I know that would pay for X that I’ve been wanting and I don’t feel it as much as if I’d saved forever. I do try to keep a little bag fund going at all times just in case 😉 but I saved 3 times for my first designer bag before I actually bought it, haha.

  5. 16 June, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    I think everyone is guilty of judging people’s choices. Great post as always. P.S totally get the Carla reference but you’re definitely more kick ass

    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 9:40 am

      haha! I think in hindsight the designer purchases comment was part of the ‘which character would you be’ question but I didn’t really think of it as something someone would use to describe me, I guess

  6. Helen
    16 June, 2016 / 4:35 pm

    I am from a very poor background, however I now have a alright job and my partner earns a nice amount of money. This means that we go on holidays, out for nice meals and can have little luxuries. I regularly get judged by people for the amount of jewellery, shoes and clothes that I own. In reality they are all Primark, New Look and H and M. A number of my pairs of earrings and necklaces are from ebay. You never know how much people are really spending, but the reality is, it is not our business. People like different things, our neighbours have three really nice cars (between two of them), but rarely go out, our cars are years old, but we go out all the time. People just have different priorities and that should be respected.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 9:55 am

      I wouldn’t have said I was poor but I definitely understood the limitations of our household budget. I was earning money as soon as possible (paper round at 13, waitressing 3 nights a week at 16) and I never in a million years thought I’d earn more than my husband, I would have been voted ‘least ambitious’ haha if there had been such a thing but here we are. He’s a saver and I’m a spender, and I’ve had friends question him about my purchases as if it has anything at all to do with him how I spend my money. It’s bizarre but it happens!

  7. 16 June, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    I totally agree! I love designer handbags and don’t think anyone should judge someone else’s financial situation, although I do know I have wondered how some people can afford lots and designer good and expensive holidays. Sophie x

    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 9:44 am

      Totally! I know it is none of my business but it’s just natural to be curious lol

  8. 16 June, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    It personally doesn’t bother me what other people spend their money on, as it’s their money and their business and quite frankly not for me to judge. For all we know, someone who has a designer bag may have saved for years to afford it and I just think, who am I to judge? If someone wants to spend their money on a more expensive item, good for them! Some people would save for an expensive car, others for an expensive bag or holiday and it’s different between individuals. I personally don’t see myself buying a designer handbag in any years to come, maybe because I don’t have interest in them. I would however save up for a new lens for my camera as that interests me more 🙂

    Emily // Beauty and Lifestyle Blog


    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 9:42 am

      yes, each to their own, exactly!

  9. 16 June, 2016 / 7:37 pm

    Love this post! You’re right, as your earnings increase so does what you are willing to spend on things. I like both of your channels, I know I can get an honest opinion from you no matter what the product or price.

    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 9:38 am

      Thank you! I think when it comes to reviews that’s where perpective is the most important thing. You need to be on the same wavelength and I’d like to think I still feel the same way about beauty and cost as I did 6 years ago

  10. 16 June, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    I am always spending money but it is on things I need or want. I do this because I work really hard and definitely earn my money. I do feel like I have to justify every purchase I make still though. So no, I don’t really judge anybody on spending.

    I have however been following your blog for quite some time and I think it wasn’t until you put this post on that I realised my perception of you had changed (not in a mean way!). What I mean is, I related to you as someone who didn’t want to spend a lot of money as I was a uni student etc. Then, when the beauty wasn’t as budget I felt a little out of touch – I now realise I spend the same money that you spend on products and my budget for beauty is a lot higher now!!

    So, I suppose I didn’t get judgey, I just didn’t relate as much as before!!

    Rachael xox

    • missbudgetbeauty
      17 June, 2016 / 9:35 am

      No, I totally get that! There are bloggers I used to love but are now in their late 20’s with no kids, lots of money and freedom.. I just can’t relate to that. I don’t dislike them I just don’t get them anymore and I feel like their perspective has changed too much.. this coud be a whole second post, haha. I am willing to spend money on designer bags now because I have more of it but I still don’t want to spend more than £10 on a foundation or mascara lol.. I will in the name of research but I would rather save on beauty (where I still very much believe you don’t have to splurge these days) and spend on things that I will still have after that foundation is long gone.

      I like to think my perspective when it comes to beauty is unchanged, it’s funny though because my audience is growing and so are their budgets so once upon a time Revlon was deemed ‘expensive’ now I can say a MAC lipstick is pricey and be told ‘it’s not that bad, it’s not like it’s Chanel’ haha. We are all moving targets really, aren’t we? nobody will ever think exactly the same way as you at any one time.

  11. Raquel N.
    16 June, 2016 / 11:04 pm

    Thank you for such a sensible post.

  12. Natalie
    19 June, 2016 / 10:59 am

    I have watched your videos for years and will honestly sit there and binge-watch. I like your honest approach to things and I for one don’t think you should filter yourself for anyone. You’re my favourite Youtuber because you are just a normal person, that has a normal job aside from YouTube and your blog, you come across as so much more articulate and street-wise than some of the other bloggers I watch who seem to “dumb” themselves down to appeal to a younger demographic.
    In conclusion, don’t worry about the negative comments, people are jealous and unfulfilled in their lives so have to pic on someone else. Women should build each other up and empower.

    Any ways , sorry for the rant and the terrible grammar.

    Please keep the videos coming !!!

    Natalie X X

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