Meghan likes to have nice things. Really nice things. But her budget doesn’t exactly match her luxurious taste.
The luxury lifestyle is definitely something that Meghan wants to live. In fact, it’s a lifestyle that many of us want to live as well, but unfortunately, the cash flow isn’t always there to make that happen.
Or is it? Meghan’s annual income is modest at less than $50,000, but that doesn’t stop her from attaining that highly-coveted luxury lifestyle she desires. The truth is, a millionaire’s income really isn’t necessary to live in the lap of luxury. In fact, a luxury really isn’t about spending a lot of money at all. Instead, it’s about the small details that really make life more extravagant.
The trick is to implement ideas that coincide with your particular tastes and needs, while adopting effective ways to save money.
Meghan finally had that exact epiphany, and as a result, she was able to surround herself in her perception of luxury without having to take on a second job to afford it. Having nice things and enjoying a lifestyle that rivals those of celebrities doesn’t have to be an impossible feat, as Meghan found out.
Here are a few ways to enjoy that opulent feeling, even on a tight budget.
1. Redefine Luxury
First things first. Luxury doesn’t always have to be defined as things and experiences that cost a fortune. A very small percentage of people in the world are lucky enough to be millionaires, but that doesn’t mean everyone else can’t get a taste of a luxurious lifestyle.
What you need to do is define luxury as it pertains to you and your needs and tastes. At the end of the day, the true definition of luxury is how things and experiences make you feel.
2. Go For Quality, Not Quantity
More isn’t always better. Sure, it would be great to be able to drop a wad of cash every day on something that catches your fancy. But on a limited budget, you need to be a bit more conscious of what you spend your hard-earned money on.
But you can still enjoy the finer things in life by focusing your expenditures on a select few items that help you feel like you’ve indulged. Whether it’s groceries, clothing, or a vacation, opting for quality over quantity can help you take advantage of higher-quality goods and experiences in all areas of life.
For instance, rather than buying 20 pairs of cheap shoes, you can savor a couple of brand-name pairs for the same money. And because they’re better quality, they’ll probably last longer too – which makes them a wise investment.
3. Buy Produce in Season
Good food is one of the highlights of life, and it’s something that no one should ever have to skimp on. Luckily, you don’t have to. Of course, groceries can eat up a huge chunk of your monthly budget, and produce is one component of grocery shopping that tends to be one of the most expensive.
It’s possible to still enjoy produce bursting in flavor without getting sticker shock at the check-out counter. By purchasing locally-grown produce that’s in season, you can get those same ripe fruits and veggies without spending an exorbitant amount of money on them.
Shopping at local farmers’ markets and buying fruits and vegetables that are in season can help save a few bucks while still enjoying the way produce is truly meant to taste. Knowing how to save money with your grocery expenses can allow you to still thoroughly enjoy what you eat without spending more than you have to.
4. Go Out For Lunch Instead of Dinner
We all love to go out to eat once in a while, don’t we? It’s nice to have someone else whip up a gourmet meal without having to invest the sweat equity. But going out for dinner can be a real budget-killer, especially if it’s a frequent event.
While you can still enjoy dinner out every so often, you can enjoy the treat of eating out at a more affordable rate by going out for lunch instead. Lunch menus typically come with more affordable rates, and the food is just as good. Or else, going out for an early dinner during Happy Hour can do the same trick.
5. Ditch the Gym and Exercise Outdoors
It’s obviously important to stay in shape and keep your body strong and healthy, but you don’t necessarily have to pay for a really expensive gym membership to make that happen. Instead, you can get just as good a workout outside of the gym walls without the sky-high membership fee.
It’s surprisingly simple to get creative with your workouts. The stairs inside can be a great alternative to a stair climber machine, and the sidewalks and walking trails certainly beat the treadmill.
You can also get yourself a few handheld dumbbells to get a weight training workout at home. Enjoy the scenery that your home or neighborhood has to offer; odds, are, it’s probably better than the concrete walls at the gym.
6. Look Into Alternatives to Hotels
Hotels can cost a pretty penny, but you need to stay somewhere when you’re traveling. The good news is that hotels aren’t the only lodging choices when you’re traveling.
Alternatives such as Airbnb.com, VRBO, and HomeExchange.com all offer vacation rentals that provide the comforts of home without the hotel price tag. They provide great lodging options as well as a unique experience for your next vacation.
7. Sign Up For Travel Deal Alerts
Traveling can definitely be very expensive, but it’s a luxury that many people simply cannot live without. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to spend the big bucks when booking your next holiday.
Sign up for travel deal alerts with some of your favorite travel sites. Just about every travel website offers this option. Once you submit your email address, you’ll be alerted to some of the best deals and lowest prices on airfare, all-inclusive vacations, hotels, and so on.
You can even sign up for travel deal apps like Hitlist, Hopper, or Skiplagged, which also help you experience major savings on travel. That way you can still enjoy the luxury of traveling to your favorite destinations without having to flip the bill at full price.
8. Go On Shorter Vacations
There are plenty of ways to save money, and saving during your travels is one of them. Extended vacations will be more expensive than shorter trips for obvious reasons. The longer you stay and play, the more you’ll pay. But you can still get that same enjoyment out of your trips by shortening their duration.
Instead of going on holidays for a week or two, consider getting away for a few days or a weekend instead. You may even be able to make more frequent trips of shorter duration and still stay within your budget, which will help you escape work more often.
9. Rent Name Brands Instead of Buying
There’s something about designer brand names that just screams luxury. Let’s face it: many of us love adorning highly-coveted brand name fashions and accessories, but we don’t necessarily have the income to accommodate such extravagant purchases.
It’s still possible to have such lavish items, even if only for a temporary time period. Rather than outright purchasing these expensive items, you can rent them instead. There are actually websites out there that rent out designer shoes, handbags, and outfits.
Sites like BagBorroworSteal.com, LendingLuxury.com, or RentTheRunway.com offer rates on a weekly or monthly basis that will afford you with high-quality fashion clothing and accessories at a fraction of the cost of buying. Renting is also a great way to stay on top of the latest fashions without blowing the budget.
10. Buy Used
If you’d prefer to outright own your fashion items, you can always consider buying gently used goods. Sites like eBay always have used brand names clothing and accessories at cheap prices for the thrifty-minded.
The same goes for all other kinds of goods, including furniture, electronics, and vehicles. Buying used is a smart way to get your hands on high-quality, brand name items while on a limited budget.
11. Dress Well Every Time You Leave the House
You can instantly feel rich by dressing yourself up well every time you step foot outside the front door. Rather than throwing on a pair of raggedy jogging pants, ill-fitting t-shirt, and old sneakers when you go shopping, you can easily feel like a million bucks by dressing up in something that fits your body like a glove and looks like it’s been put together by a celebrity stylist.
Put a handful of outfits together at the beginning of each week so you can quickly grab your clothing and go without having to spend too much time every morning thinking about what to wear that day. This will make your morning routine a lot easier.
12. Get Salon and Spa Treatments at a Beauty School
Part of living the life of luxury involves being pampered at the salon and spa, but we all know how expensive such visits can be. However, you can still enjoy a mani-pedi, blow-dry, or relaxing massage by going to a beauty school and getting treated by those in training.
If you’re open to getting treated by a student (supervised, of course), then you can realize significant savings while still being treated like royalty.
13. Put Out Fresh Flowers
There’s something about the glorious colors and pleasant scent of freshly-cut flowers. Adding a new vase of fresh flowers in your home can give your interior an instant luxurious boost for a few dollars.
Being “rich” isn’t always about how much money you have to spend. Like Meghan, you can still live the life of luxury by implementing financially-savvy ideas, even if you’re on a limited budget.
Don’t let your small budget dictate the type of lifestyle you want to lead. Knowing how to save money is key, as is spending it wisely. There are plenty of habits you can adopt even on a marginal income that can easily mimic a lifestyle worthy of being deemed luxurious.