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Japanese women reveal their biggest expenditures ever

By Casey Baseel

Japanese women’s Internet portal My Navi Woman recently released the results of its survey on working women’s biggest expenditures, and whether or not they got hit with a dose of buyer’s remorse afterwards.

It’s no surprise that fashion accessories had a strong showing on the list, compiled from responses from 299 women aged 22 to 34.

“The most expensive thing I’ve ever bought was the Cartier watch I treated myself to when I turned 30,” answered a 32-year-old executive assistant. “It cost about 450,000 yen, but I like it so much I wear it every day. You don’t often get a chance to buy something like that, so I’m glad I did.”

While there’s no arguing that’s an awful lot to pay for something with no function other than telling time (which the cell phone we’re sure she usually has on her can also do), many people feel secure buying brand-name items like this because of the assumption that they’ll be able to get a lot of use out of a long-lasting, quality product. This plan hits a bit of a snag when circumstances prevent you from using it for five days out of the week, though.

“I spent about 220,000 on a Louis Vuitton bag,” began a 28-year-old sales representative. “When I bought it, I was really happy with it, but then I noticed someone else in my section at work already had the same bag. One time I tried bringing it to the office without drawing attention to it, but I felt like everyone was judging me, and I really wish I’d chosen a different purse.”

A 26-year-old logistics company employee went with a more artistic choice. “The flute I play now cost 500,000 yen, but it’s a sterling silver one made by Muramatsu, just like I’d always wanted,” she explains. “They say flutes only last about eight years, but that’s how long I’ve been using this one, and it still sounds great.”

Some people are more concerned with visual beauty than aural, however, such as the 31-year-old IT professional who shelled out a hefty sum for liposuction. “I did it just twice, but the total was 1,100,000 yen. I’m sort of satisfied, but I’ve already started gaining the weight back.”

Easily among the most expensive responses was the one from a 32-year-old who works in the sales department of a food and beverage company: a condo. “It was pre-owned, but still set me back 19,800,000 yen. I’m really glad I bought it, though. My commute to work is really easy, and my monthly payment is about half of what I spent renting a place before.”

Experts say that people who spend money on experiences tend to be happiest, and this held true for a 30-year-old who works in broadcasting and took her mother with her on a trip to New York. “We went around Christmastime, and I spent about 300,000 yen paying for everything for both of us….Even now my mom gets excited talking about the time we spent together there.”

Another case of money well spent is the 30-year-old machinery sales rep, who parted with 2,000,000 yen, in cash, to study abroad. “I was just 24 then, so it took a lot of courage to spend so much. I don’t regret it at all though, because the time I spent overseas made me who I am today.”

There are no absolutes in the connection between spending and happiness, however, and not everyone looked back so fondly on how much money they’d burned through in an attempt to create priceless memories.

“The most I ever spent at one time was for a night of drinking at a host club,” says a 33-year-old insurance company employee, who declined to give the exact amount. “Of course I regret it.”

Source: Nico Nico News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- 24% of Workers in Japan Have Less Than 250 yen to Spend on Lunch -- What’s Behind Some Japanese Men Not Being Able to Save Money?
-- Oh, Japan, You Make Me So Mad Sometimes

© RocketNews24

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31-year-old IT professional who shelled out a hefty sum for liposuction. “I did it just twice, but the total was 1,100,000 yen. I’m sort of satisfied, but I’ve already started gaining the weight back.”

This has got to be my ex. She's an IT professional with Olympus. She had liposuction done twice, front and back just because she was going to be a bridesmaid.

2 ( +5 / -4 )

Lots of buyer's remorse here.

Materialism and superficial frivolity bring misery.

The condo is great, and a trip to NYC with mother is wonderful.

Want a sustained dopamine rush? Sponsor a third world child.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Well, it's good to see where some people's priorities lie. That kind of money will sit in my retirement account. Although I wouldn't mind taking myself out on a vacation once in a blue moon, or buying a product that I expect to last for a very very long time.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Not sure why this article focusses only on women (men don't make large, unnecessary purchases?), but none of them seem particularly over the top. If it's your money, spend it how you like.

My biggest expenditure (shared with mr cleo) - educating 2 kids. Somewhere in the region of 16 million yen just for school, plus transport and extras. worth every penny, but doesn't leave much in the retirement account.

3 ( +13 / -9 )

I think it's just that it's a site for women, Cleo.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I would have guessed fingernails

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hmmm. Got my teeth overhauled a few years ago, cost 500,000 yen in total which is really reasonable by intl standards. Currently spend about 70,000 a month on hair, skin, nails (hand and foot), fitness, and various potions. There are two things I'll never, ever cut back on, regardless of my circumstances: haircare, and good shoes. Without the former I look awful, without the latter I feel terrible.

0 ( +4 / -2 )

Someone paid ¥220,000 for a LV bag and then realised that someone in the office had the same bag? I think you'll find millions of Japanese women have the same or basically the same LV bag, my dear. It's hardly original now, is it?

10 ( +12 / -4 )

...men don't make large, unnecessary purchases?

Cleo, after a year-long search, I finally found a pedigreed whippet. Cost me 50,000 yen, an amount I would normally not spend on myself (and what a deal! - the breeder did not know what he had), but he entertains everyone, and when he dies, perhaps I'll have him made into a purse.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not sure why this article focusses only on women (men don't make large, unnecessary purchases?)

The article is reporting on a story from "Japanese women’s Internet portal My Navi Woman". The readership of that site is most likely going to be overwhelmingly female. But then RocketNews, a site not geared towards any particular sex, wrote a story on the story, and Japan Today syndicated the story about the story. So we end up with a story that was probably written by a woman, for women, on a site with men and women, coming off as seemingly one-sided.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I am a " Contractor " in a country not so far from Japan. I could basically buy anything I want...I recently decided to dump all my savings on my House Mortgage. Don't regret it a bit....I don't need anything but a new iMac, when I get back there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Laguna - a ¥50,000 whippet is neither large nor unnecessary! :-)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

...a ¥50,000 whippet is neither large nor unnecessary! :-)

He's not shy about reminding me of the latter.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not sure why this article focusses only on women (men don't make large, unnecessary purchases?)

They can't as Japanese wives give their husbands an allowance preventing them from making such purchases. :P

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Experts say that people who spend money on experiences tend to be happiest,

I would agree with that statement. When you just spend money on a consumer item like a purse or similar, the joy does not last.

And as for the lady buying the watch who claimed >You don’t often get a chance to buy something like that, so I’m glad I did.”, you can actually get a chance like that every day of the week. You just have to go to the store and purchase it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Am I really reading a response from someone saying their condo was pre-owned like it`s a bad thing??! they own a condo, and from the sounds of it without a mortgage in a great location! Geez!

The single biggest expense for most people is a house. We have just dropped an unmentionable but extremely large amount on ours, and we have only been in a week now, but it feels wonderful. This place is OURS, not someone elses we are borrowing from. Needs a bit of work but it cannot be underestimated the amount of fun you can have with your spouse screaming at each other as the light fades and you have to remove the security light you have just spent the last two hours helping him put up for the third time because once it was all in place he found he couldnt screw the top plate on as he didnt realize you had to punch out the middle bit from the metal base plate, as he didnt read the instructions and didnt bother to ask wifey who actually HAS done quite a bit of DIY (destroy it yourself) in the past, unlike Mr Tokyo here who has only ever had to push a button all his life to magically switch on a light or fill a tub.

They are right. Spending money on "experiences" is definitely the way to go.... :-/ !

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Regarding the Condo purchase being "pre-owned"... if my wife is a good example of a normal Japanese woman, then Anything Pre-Owned is out of the question and definitely not something to brag about. The Japanese female's preoccupation with everything having to be new and bought at a reputable Department Store is tough for me to swallow. They look at the whole experience of the purchase and to them that adds to the value. For most guys... we just want the lowest price we can get... new or used... this way we can go out and buy more foolish junk.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As long as they were deep down inside happy that they bought it I can see no harm in their deciding to buy it.

Personally I thought for sure that some lady would say that she had 500 pairs of shoes, lol.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Experts say that people who spend money on experiences tend to be happiest

Yes, and those two people mentioned at the end of the article are the two I have most respect for.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

if you understand the psychology behind it why women or men buy them self those kinda nonsense stuff than you only have to feel sorry for them. lack of self esteem, lack of serotonin. i would stay far far away from those people who need those expensive kicks to gain a few minutes of happieness. its a reflection of our sick society.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The woman who paid for liposuction, twice, could have used that money to hire a nutritionist and personal trainer to teach her how to take care of herself and still have plenty of money left over. She would also be a lot more happier.

3 ( +3 / -2 )

I wouldn't call it nonsense stuff thkanner.

Luxury stuff = status symbol. It make sense If you were doing big business... status symbol is important. People do look at how you carry yourself. The car you buy, the way you dress, the stuff you buy...etc .

The sad thing is nowadays the rich can't even afford the luxury stuff. All those designers are jacking up the price. (e.g. a Chanel bag used to cost 2,500 USD in 2012 and the same style bag now cost 4,300 USD in 2014.)

That's some serious greed!! $4,300 per play...That's gotta be one of the worst investment decisions.

Time to wake up GUCCI HUCCIs!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I spent about US $10,000 to study abroad in Tokyo for a year. Totally worth it. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I agree, experiences are usually worth the money, especially if they are with people you care about. The friends I made and the things I experienced... I can't put a price on that. Ten grand seems like a great deal in hindsight, even though I was a bit afraid to shell out the cash then.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My wife spent some obscene amount, hundreds of thousands of yen, on a crystal chess set. I wouldn't mind at all if she'd just learn to play..... : (

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Now where can I get my hands on some money ??? (Just need it for everyday expenses...)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Spending such a huge stash of cash on item which are not necessary, especially at the time of uncertain japanese economy, to me is out of thoughts. Especially brand. I look for good quality not brand cause we end up paying multiple times more just for the brand name.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But usually brand names will also be quality. For example I'm no fan of Louis Vitton, but there is no denying they make a quality product. So you are not only paying for the brand name, but also the assurance that the name will also ensure quality. With unknown names it's hard to have that some confidence, as the brand is an unknown.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

With brand comes quality and I am not denying that but is it worth spending so much just for a brand name. I used to work for a company like Levis and Ruffhewn and the cost of making their pants were USD 8.00 but we used to put tags of USD 160, so its 2000% markup for the brand name.

Also, spending 4500 dollars for Cartier is futile when we can get so many other good watches like Seiko, Gucci for much less money and they are as good as Cartier.

Everyone has their opinion and everyone has rights to spend their money in their way, I got no objection but I personally would not spend just for brand, because I personally, not only reckon, but is convinced and with fact that we are being ripped off on the name of brand.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Factors not including in this report were:

Are they or were they living at home? It is not uncommon for single women to still live at home with their parents well into their late 20's. If that is the case, a working woman could have tons of money saved up without issue, since they are not paying rent or other house items.

One lady mentioned she saved up for a condo, saves her time to work. Sounds like a good use of money.

Other's mentioned things like bags. It would seem like a lot of money, but a single working woman living with her parents probably would have enough.
0 ( +0 / -0 )


I love to play chess ! (but I don't have a partner...)

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Maybe I can interest you in an unused crystal set, then. Only 12 man, and that's half price!

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Please refer to my post a little higher up... I am really in a pretty "sticky" situation and apparently (thanks to "abenomics") it seems it's only going to get worse...) Anyway, I don't have a partner ! I did teach my son several years ago but he doesn't have time any more :(

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

2 ( +1 / -0 )

Buying an LV bag that can decay and rot is a waste of money. Especially if it goes out of fashion. To equate an expensive timepiece to a cellphone just to tell time is a shortsighted comparison on the part of the writer. A quality timepiece serves multiple purposes, especially those that stand the test of time and can become an heirloom. For this reason jewelry and timepieces are ok by my book. So are skincare/health products. Saving money or investing are also good ideas, especially for planning for retirement. But most of all, you have to keep your spirit and soul happy. For the most part if you earned your money you have all the right to spend it, donate it, or throw it away any way you like. Just don't do it at the expense of others. If you do it to show off or make yourself look/feel better than others then you've got insecurity in yourself and your status.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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