Saturday, 29 March 2014

Some home truths about that shoe addiction of yours

Is this why you don't have enough money for a house deposit?
Women wondering why they don't have enough savings for a house deposit could do well to look in their cupboards for the answer. A survey has revealed women will spend more than $57,800 on shoes in their lifetime – almost $3400 more than the 10 per cent deposit needed for an average $544,000 mortgage in Australia.
According to the survey (which was conducted with British women, so to be fair perhaps we can knock a couple of grand off when converting back to Australian dollars considering we're likely to get around in the same pair of cheap rubber thongs for the summer months), women buy, on average, 13 pairs of shoes a year. Apparently we purchase three pairs of flats and heels, two pairs of boots and sandals, and a pair of runners, flip-flops, and pumps each. The survey didn't include “special occasion shoes” though, so depending on how many times you're planning on getting married, your wedding shoe purchases could mean the difference between a couple of bedrooms and a garage.
Financial planner Louise Gooden from is not surprised by the survey's findings. “Women, and they're not alone, have little planning skills when it comes to money,” she says. “Often they just spend whatever is in their account or available on credit, and there is no distinction between wanting and having. Shoes give an immediate good feeling so they are a temptation that is often given into.”
Average pairs per year aside, if you think about the (admittedly pop) psychology of shoes, it's easy to understand why they're a staple in a woman's pick-me-up artillery. They don't mind if we're still carrying a little extra winter padding, they will fit our foot anyway. They make us look taller and appear more powerful. And depending on just how sparkly and fabulous darling they are, they may even make us feel less sad for a few blissful moments.
Compare this to taking $200 out of your pay packet and popping it aside for a house deposit that never seems to add up, and it's little wonder the short-term gain of buying a new pair of heels wins out over long-term renting pain. Confessed shoe addict Julianne, who has amassed more than 250 pairs of shoes and has a separate cupboard in her parents' house to store them, admits that even though she still lives at home and should be well on her way to saving enough for a house deposit, her urge to shop often gets the better of her. “I'm 27 and in the lucky position of having a full-time job and no rent to pay, and if I take a step back and think about the money I spend on fashion and in particular, shoes, then yes, I'd probably be appalled,” she says "Fifty thousand dollars seems undoable though, even though I've spent thousands and thousands on shoes.”
There is good news for Julianne and her fellow shoe aficionados though – Gooden says you can have your pointy heels and penthouse too. “There's no reason both can't be part of your plan. Sort out your financial future and objectives and then enjoy your discretionary income however you please.” Gooden suggests putting a minimum 10 per cent of your income into a no-fee high interest savings account and make it a habit to start paying that as a non-negotiable first. “And if you have too many shoes, maybe top that up by selling some!”

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