A budget doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and it doesn’t have to mean that you can’t enjoy the finer things in life. Why shouldn’t luxury belong to everyone? You simply have to know when and how to splurge, and you have to get a little creative. You might not be able to live quite like royalty, but you can fulfill your taste for extravagance without breaking the bank.
Easy Ways to Live Large on a Little
Your task is to be the savvy consumer. Let other people pay full price. Let other people wonder just exactly how you afford the things you do. You can live within your means without looking like it.
Never Underestimate Gently Used
Maybe you can’t afford designer fashion when it’s brand new, and maybe you can’t drive a 2018 Lexus right off the lot, but you might be able to find these things used. Luxury items like designer clothing and luxury cars are made well, and they get taken care of by their owners. That’s good news for you. That means when the latest model, or the latest trend comes out, you can be right there waiting for the old model.
Aps like Poshmark make it easy to find gently used designer clothing and accessories at affordable prices, and thrift stores in rich areas can be your own personal gold mine.
Don’t be discouraged that you can’t buy things brand new. You still get the same style, comfort, and reliability, but you don’t have to pay the big bucks. That makes you smart. In fact, it just may make you smarter than all those people earning the big bucks in the first place.
Even designers have sales. Bargain racks exist everywhere. From physical racks in the trendiest salons to virtual bargains online, there are ways to get deals and steals everywhere.
One way to find them is by simply signing up for email ads. Yes, your inbox will be inundated with countless emails. Some of them will be junk. Some of them will be tempting. Some will actually help save you some serious cash. Be the first to know about sales, and you can even cash in on early bird shopping. You’ll hear about sneak peeks and flash sales. You’ll get special codes for additional savings. You’ll find out about clearance items before everyone else.
If you’re worried about missing important personal or work emails in an inbox flooded with advertisements then just be sure to have a separate shopping email.
You’re not likely to get a coupon code for a luxury home in your email, but you can still use the Internet to experience luxury living. Airbnb offers a chance to rent luxury homes for a weekend getaway or an opulent vacation.
You might think that Airbnb is reserved for college students looking to crash on a couch or share a one-room studio in Paris to save more spending money for bread and pastries, but Airbnb actually has some incredible spaces for rent. You can enjoy a lavish home with beautiful views, and all the creature comforts imaginable. It might just be for the weekend, but it’s still worth it.
A stay at a luxury Airbnb destination can help transform your ordinary vacation into something special. Walk in the shoes of the rich. You can stay in actual villas and sip espresso on a veranda overlooking the crystal blue Mediterranean. You can swim in rooftop pools and relax in your very own sauna. Once the visit’s over it may be hard to leave, but at the reasonable rates of so many spaces, you can afford to go back again.
Use Points and Rewards
At this point, if you don’t have a credit card that rewards you for your purchases then you are doing something wrong. You have to buy groceries and gas, right? You have to buy clothing, don’t you? Why not earn something in return for making all those necessary purchases?
That’s the logic behind rewards cards. You can make purchases and earn airline miles to take you on luxury retreats around the world. You can earn cash-back to buy the designer handbag you’ve been eyeing. You can sign up for hotel rewards cards and earn free nights at luxury hotels. Rewards cards help your money work harder, so that you can use it do more things.
Remember though, that you are on a budget, and the only way to beat the credit card rewards system is to pay it off as you go. Interest on your debt is the enemy of the budgeter, and it can keep you from living the luxury life you deserve.
Save and Spend Like a Pro
Saving money isn’t really in the luxury definition, but you can fake it till you make it. You can shop the sales, earn the points, and take someone else’s last season designer dress, and turn it into your treasure.