How to Afford a More Luxurious Lifestyle
It could be a boat or it could be a sleek-lined car with all the bells and whistles. Whatever it is, it’s your version of living in the lap of luxury. There’s only one problem — buying these things takes a lot of money. The figure in your bank account, though, might not have that many commas.
Not to worry — you don’t have to give up on your dream lifestyle just yet. Sure, you probably can’t whip out your checkbook or credit card and buy exactly what you want. That means you’ll need to get creative on how you make it all happen. Consider the tips below, and your life will seem more lavish before you know it.
1. Save Up
Someone in your life probably told you to start saving your money early. Maybe you did, but if you didn’t, that’s OK, too. Starting to sock cash away now is better than nothing. Begin with putting roughly 10% of each paycheck into savings. You can do more, though, with mobile banking.
If you opt for a fee-free debit card, you won’t need to maintain a minimum balance in your bank account. Plus, many of these cards have round-up savings features that automatically transfer money to your savings with every purchase. You’re building your personal fortune without even thinking about it. That jet ski or motorcycle you’ve been eyeing will get more affordable by the day.
2. Shop in Alternative Spots
You don’t have to go to the biggest department store or flashiest boutique. Those places are more than happy to gobble up your money. Instead, consider online marketplaces, outlets, or thrift shops. You can find great deals on amazing items.
Outlets typically stock up on last season’s items and sell them at a deep discount — sometimes up to 70% off. If you sign up for the outlet store email list, you’ll get access to additional discounts and sales. Don’t forget about the current thrift shop trend (thanks, Macklemore!). If you’re willing to sift through the racks, you can pop some tags on some pretty cool things.
3. Rent, Don’t Buy
No one ever said your luxurious lifestyle required purchases. Renting things is just fine. It can save you lots of money in the long run. Plus, if you decide you ultimately don’t like an item, you’re not stuck with it forever.
When you’re headed out for a big trip, rent that sports car you’ve always wanted to drive. Sitting behind the wheel may be a bucket list experience, and it will make your vacay seem that much better. You can even go the rental route with clothes. If you have a big black-tie wedding or work event coming up, try an online fashion rental service. It will cost less, and you’ll look (and feel) fabulous!
4. Choose the Set Price and Share
Let’s say the latest hot spot for dinner just opened and you’re salivating to try it. That is until you see the menu prices. Don’t get discouraged. You won’t need to fork over half your paycheck to put your fork in a tender steak or creamy risotto. Instead, check to see if the restaurant has a “prix fixe” (fixed price) menu.
These menus typically give you a multiple-course meal for a lower price. It can be much more affordable than ordering individual items. Plus, who says you must go out for dinner? Make a lunch or happy hour date with a friend and split the cost. That’s a fancy meal out for two without breaking your budget — a win-win!
5. Be a Product Tester
If you simply must be on the cutting edge of everything — fashion, music, or technology — don’t stress. There’s still a way to be a trend-setter without going broke. Sign up to be a product tester. You’ll get to try all sorts of products for free (and keep them) if you offer some honest feedback.
Don’t want to be an official guinea pig? That’s OK. Stockpiling free samples is another way you can put more luxury into your life. Plenty of cosmetic brands are happy to give you a smaller-sized product to try. Make the rounds at the more expensive makeup counters, and you could have several weeks of products on hand.
6. Slice Travel Costs
Traveling is a luxury, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an extravagant expense. There’s no need for that trip to Paris or the South Caribbean to drain your bank account. It just means you’ll have to plan to control hotel, plane, and meal costs. Don’t worry, you can do it.
Sharing adventures with family and friends (and splitting the cost) is a great way to lower the price tag. When everyone chips in, you end up paying less individually for a bigger experience. Interested in traveling for free? Sign up for a credit card with travel or hotel rewards. If you save up your points and choose to travel in off-peak times, you’ll get more bang for your buck.
7. Look for Healthy Wellness Deals
Pricey gym or spa memberships feel like excessive purchases — especially if you’re living on a budget. Getting fit or pampering yourself on occasion shouldn’t feel like an indulgence, though. Thankfully, there’s a way to work exercise and relaxation into your life without emptying your wallet.
A few times a year, gyms run introductory offer specials. You can sign up for a fraction of the cost and still enjoy everything in the center, including classes. Spas frequently offer the same kinds of deals for treatment packages. Keep your eyes open for one that interests you and snag it.
A luxury lifestyle can sound exotic and seem out of reach when you’re trying to be cost-conscious. That’s all an illusion. There are several ways to bring a little fancy into your day-to-day life without leaving your bottom line a little thin. Get creative with some of these methods and you’ll enjoy feeling a bit “extra.”