A Taste of Luxury: How the Gen-Y Crowd Lives Luxe on a Budget

What: Reports show that despite the generally lackluster economy, African-American Gen-Y folks are spending more every year on premium luxuries like jewelry, vacations, and gadgets–all thanks to Groupon and its kin.

What They Say: According to a February report from American Express Business Insights:

Millennials actually increased their spending on premium luxury fashion by 33 percent from 2010 to 2011 … The good thing is millennials aren’t necessarily spending recklessly. Thanks to flash sales and services like Groupon and other daily deal sites, young people can actually afford the good life on a budget.

What We Say: Twenty years ago, the phrase “thrifty luxury shopper” would be considered a contradiction. Nowadays, it makes perfect sense.

With the proliferation of luxury e-commerce, flash sale sites, designer sample sales, and group-buying culture, we now have more access to the lifestyles once exclusive to the celebs and the mega-rich without having to pay the full price. Plus, thanks to the growth of fashion and celebrity blogs, shoppers are now more informed and confident in purchasing products from the higher end of the retail spectrum.

Now, as a blog dedicated to living one’s best on less, we’re actually happy that the “aspirational” lifestyle has been made more (sensibly) affordable. We got to try out that Portuguese buffet, or finally own that Louis Vuitton bag we’ve lusted on since last year. Moreover, we have learned smart shopping concepts like waiting patiently for an item until it goes on sale or investing carefully on key pieces of our wardrobe that have an impressive cost-per-wear ratio.

We must keep in mind the pay-offs though. Luxury and flash sales are a dangerously addictive combination, especially when not tracked. For instance, your gorgeous new luxury bag may mean you have to cut back on nights out with friends. Ten designer bag deals later, you might just find yourself cutting down your living expenses to just running water and once-a-day meals for the next 6 months.

Bottom line? Shop smart. All the time.

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