"Luxury Shame"

I have been hearing the term “luxury shame” around lately. An article in the Chicago Tribune called it, “a sense that even if you can still afford it, it’s best not to make a show of it“.

“Frugality is the new cool”, was another quote in there.

Here is the main event:

“Conspicuous consumption is out,” she said. “Conspicuous frugality is in.”

I’ve been preaching forever that we all (and I point a very big finger at myself) should learn to save more money. But I think the fact that it is “trendy” and “conspicuous” to bargain-hunt misses the point.

“Conspicuous frugality” suggests to me that one is being frugal only so that one’s friends notice. Not because they have learned anything. As if Once the Current Crisis Has Subsided, I Will Max Out My Credit Card.

I recently made a “conspicuous consumption” purchase – the bookcases I posted about the other day. So I am sorry if this comes of as rationalizing my own choices. I absolutely do not want anyone to go out and buy things they cannot afford. But it really burns me up that the very people that might contribute to the rebuilding of the economy are…oh, never mind.

Here was the good news:

“While sales for retailers of books, CDs and DVDs have plunged, the Chicago Public Library saw circulation grow by 28 percent from July 2007 to July 2008.”

You can read the entire article here.

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