Originally Posted by Gibonius
Another vote for "this is a meaningless question." If income > expenses + savings goals + other discretionary spending + $500 for shoes, then you have enough money for them. Your net worth is like the integral factor of that equation over time, sort of useless for deciding if you can "afford" them or not. Perhaps your savings goals would be higher when you had a lower net worth, but still a dumb question.
That's entirely the point. It reflects YOUR savings goals and preferences.
For example, if a guy had, say, $1000 in the bank,
would you think it's reasonable for him to buy $500 shoes?
Some people would say that's absolutely mad.
Others would see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
So, the question again, at what number would you think a guy is mad for spending $500 on shoes.
Again, $501 is a perfectly valid answer, and it reflects volumes. Just understand, that is not the only answer people will give.