Booze or Birkin

Booze or Birkin

The Hermès Birkin bag, always a symbol of affluence, has become a caricature of what it means to be fashionable, rich, and ludicrous in popular culture. Most notably, last year, a female rapper urged women to “break up” with their boyfriends if they could not afford one. Pop culture, and rap culture, are no strangers to the idea of hypergamy (being in a relationship for some benefit, usually status or money), but it’s 2021. I’m sure most people will agree that if you want a Birkin bag, you should go and get it for yourself. 

Which led me to wonder; just how accessible is the Birkin? It’s a financial fact that some things are more accessible to two-income households than others but, let’s think about the Birkin as a true luxury ranging in price from $10,000-100,000. Now on the low end and resale side of the market, you’re looking at shelling out a minimum of about $10,000 to fit in with the cool moms. You can do many things with $10,000, but let’s assume that, like me, you’ve been bitten by the Birkin bug. Before reaching for your credit card, let’s think about other ways to redirect our cash to acquire our first Birkin. 

As a recent college graduate, the first thing that came to mind was going out. For two years in college, I went out every single weekend (and some weekdays) and spent around $100 each weekend. We’ve all heard the stories about how a person can spend enough money on cigarettes to buy a Lamborghini, but have you ever heard the story of how the poor college kid drank a Birkin bag? Let’s just say I went out 40 weekends a year (it was more). Let’s also say I went out on 10 school nights (it was waaaay more). Simple mathematics would show that in one year, I spent approximately $5000 on booze. In two years, not considering interest, that number reaches $10,000. 

We’re going to ignore the physical repercussions of consuming $10,000 worth of alcohol and instead just focus on the simple fact that, because I was financially oblivious, I figuratively swallowed one of my dreams whole. I obviously enjoyed myself during that time; I made great friends and had tons of experiences that I would not trade for anything. But, as we assess our values and review our financial goals, we should each pose our own version of the question: booze or Birkin?