When I first read about Jane magazine's study that showed women aged 20-29 spend 48.2% of their disposable incomes on accessories, fashion, and beauty, I mentally began drafting a blog post about the frivolousness of fashion, personal responsibility, etc.
Then I actually though about it. 48.2% of their disposable income. That's after the bills are paid. I'd have to look at the finances of one of the women they surveyed, but based on the budget numbers I usually use, we're talking about around 5% of the woman's total income.
Normally we'd set aside 3-5% just for clothing, and another 10% for miscellaneous personal expenses. I think this 48.2% statistic inflates things unnecessarily. What's the real percentage of total income? If I'm right about the disposable income (I'm assuming 10-15% of the total income is disposable), then the women surveyed are operating within recommended budget guidelines.
Of course using the 48.2% of disposable income statistic makes for better ad copy than the percentagee of overall income (whatever that is), but when you look at the way the Jane magazine representative spins it in this story from National Jeweler, it seems they're really just trying to convince jewelers, accessory designers and the like to advertise in their magazine. If Jane readers are really into buying $2,000 watches even if they can't afford it, I suppose that makes it a smart place for jewelers to advertise.
Ultimately, it's your money; you can spend it however you want. Now, if you're digging yourself deeper into debt to have trendy shoes, you might want to examine your priorities. Of course, the credit card delinquency rate is as low as it's been in 10 years, so most of us seem to be making our payments on time. I think it's safe to ignore this "48.2%!" stuff, just like all the other hyperbole you get from the media when it comes to debt.