Have you ever looked at a celebrity on social media and wished you could live their life? Weekend trips to the spa, expensive nights out on the town, and a never-ending supply of gorgeous clothes to wear once… Maybe it’s a far-fetched dream, or maybe it’s possible to live a luxury lifestyle even on a budget!
What is a luxurious lifestyle exactly? One person’s idea of a luxurious lifestyle will look much different than someone else’s. Here’s a snapshot of what luxury is to me…
Cuddling up with that soft blanket on the couch.
Inhaling the smell of a brand new book.
Having time for a nap before I need to pick up the kids from school.
People often associate luxury with all the items you own or how much money you can impulse spend. In reality, luxury is more about feeling comfortable and convenient. It’s about focusing on how things and experiences make you feel.
So ignore what other people think is luxurious and focus on what you think living a luxury lifestyle looks like. That may include saving for designer clothes or making enough money to quit your second job. All in all, luxury is subjective.
So, to answer the question of this post…yes! It’s absolutely possible to live a luxurious life on a budget. Here are some tips on making the most of your spending and still feeling like you’re living the life fit for a queen.
Travel hacking your luxurious life
Luxury to me is being able to go on vacations with my family and make memories my children will have for their lifetime. Luckily, there are so many ways you can “travel hack” to make a vacation possible for your future.
The most common travel hacking method is earning points or rewards from your credit cards. Earn points from everyday purchases like groceries and gas and then redeem those points for things like airfare, hotels, and even rental cars. This is exactly how my family and I went on our last vacation to Canada!
Cook big meals at home
If the luxury lifestyle means eating extravagant dinners, you can easily still indulge in this at home. In fact, I suggest making a date night out of it! Find a restaurant-worthy recipe from a cookbook or online that you wouldn’t normally make at home.
Then with a partner, family, or friends, cook the meal together. Put on some music, grab some flowers, set the table, and pour a glass of wine to really set the mood. You can easily still be a foodie at home just by turning cooking into an experience rather than a chore.
Set up sinking funds for luxurious lifestyle expenses
If you love treating yourself to luxury brand products like designer purses or shoes, you can still make those purchases. Sinking funds are savings accounts that you slowly contribute to every month to spend on your short-term money goals. A new purse can easily be a short-term money goal!
Rather than impulse spending, this allows you to spend only on these luxury lifestyle purchases when you have the money to do so. It also controls your saving so that you’re also dedicating money to other important places like debt and investments.
List your money goals
While sitting down and writing out your money goals may sound like the opposite of fun and luxury, it’s an important part of living a luxurious life on a budget. You must prioritize where your money needs to go in the short and the long term.
It reminds you why you may need to cut back on expenses and that there are more important things in life than keeping up with a luxury lifestyle. However, you can still include some of those luxuries that are most important to you in your money goals! It’s all about finding balance and making sure your other money priorities are met.
They say that a new car loses as much as 10% in value just by driving it off the dealership lot. I think the same could be said for just about anything! Price tags for new stuff will always be much higher than anything you buy used and second-hand.
I challenge you to rethink how you view second-hand items. Just because someone owned it before doesn’t mean it isn’t still in amazing condition! You can score an amazing deal just by choosing to buy something that someone else no longer needs.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
As I mentioned above, the luxurious lifestyle is more of a mentality than a real thing. If you surround yourself with people who view buying expensive clothes and having the newest iPhone as the most important parts of life, chances are you will, too, even if it’s not in the budget.
Surrounding yourself with people who also see luxury in the small things is important. Then you won’t feel pressured to live a life outside your means. From having free time to spend with family to embracing good health, half of it is being thankful for what you have.
I don’t know about you, but I view having spare time as a part of living a luxurious lifestyle. It means not burning yourself out from trying to keep up with the Joneses or working three jobs just so you can live the same lifestyle as your friends.
See if there are anyways you can allot some more free time. Luxury is taking the time to sip a cocktail in the garden, taking your kids to the playground, or reading in a bubble bath.
Discounts and sales
Why would you ever pay full price for something? If you practice a little patience, the things you love will go on sale. Everything from cars to hotels to that one expensive brand of cheese you love. If you have your eye on something specific, sign up for the company’s email to be notified of any sales (warning, you need to resist all their other emails first!).
Another great way to save is by shopping out of season. If you end summer with beat-up sandals, for example, purchase a new pair in the fall when they are on sale. Then, you’ll start the spring with a new pair of sandals and won’t need to purchase them when they’re full price.
Make small home upgrades
If a luxury lifestyle means having a home with fancy gadgets and the latest styles, you can still experience this. Once again, it’s all about moderation. Set up a sinking fund for home improvements you can slowly make over time.
If possible, try to do these upgrades yourself. Things like painting, removing popcorn ceilings, updating cabinetry hardware, and changing lighting fixtures are all easy things to do on your own.
Look for new experiences
Luxury is way more than what you own. To me, a luxurious lifestyle means you’re always encountering new experiences. Anything to break up the monotony of everyday life!
Get out of your comfort zone and find new adventures. This can be as simple as finally learning to play piano or doing a new hike on the weekend. You’ll find these experiences much more fulfilling than any objects, and they can even enhance your overall life.
Take short trips
Let’s face it, most of us don’t have the budget to tour through southern France drinking wine for a month. Or sip pina coladas on the beach of Costa Rica. But you probably can work a shorter trip into the budget!
Short trips allow you to still satisfy that travel itch while keeping it more budget-friendly. Doesn’t three short trips in one year sound way better than one long trip?
Also, don’t underestimate the power of a staycation. These can be amazing ways to recharge and slow things down without needing to go out and be busy.
Get out of debt
Being debt-free is the epitome of embracing the luxury lifestyle. Remember, many people don’t have the privilege of saying they’re debt free. Being in debt causes plenty of stress and worry, which is quite the opposite of luxury.
When you’re out of debt, you’ll find that you have much more money dedicated to other things in your life. Finally, you’ll be able to save and invest and do things like taking your kids back to school shopping without worry.
It’s essential to stay out of debt! Control all kinds of impulse spending, and don’t be tempted to fit into others’ expectations of living a luxurious life.
Rent luxurious items
If you really want a certain luxurious item, why not see if it’s available to rent? You can rent nearly everything. If you love buying new clothes and mixing up your wardrobe, give something like Rent the Runway a chance.
You can even go as far as renting homes. Why not get a fancy Airbnb for your next weekend trip? Rent that cool car you’ve had your eye on for a day or two. Maybe even consider leasing a car rather than purchasing one if you don’t want to commit to ownership.
Ignore luxurious lifestyle trends
Thanks to social media, it’s easy to focus on trends. After all, brands constantly tell us what’s in style and not, so we have to go out and buy more and more to fit in.
While it may be hard, try your hardest to ignore those trends. This will cause you to spend money on things that will only be trendy for a few minutes. Instead, focus on spending money on things you like, not what everyone else likes.
Invest in DIY salon equipment
Those beauty bills can rack up fast! Having regular nail or hair appointments may feel luxurious, but they’re actually quite easy to replicate at home.
Make a point to invest in the kind of salon equipment you might need, like gel manicure kits, waxing strips, curling irons, massage guns, facial products, etc. The investment will pay off quickly from all the money you save on appointments and tipping.
Don’t forget to educate yourself on how to use the equipment! Luckily, you can find out how to do just about everything on YouTube or Google these days.
Splurge on yourself
I saved this one for last so you could get an idea of all the ways to enjoy life on a small budget first. But in reality, it’s okay to splurge every once in a while. Giving in to occasional indulgences prevents us from experiencing life and money burnout.
Final thoughts: Luxury lifestyle on a budget
Go for that monthly massage. Buy that jacket you’ve been eyeing for two months but refuses to go on sale. Reward yourself with a day off work. As long as you make sure to prioritize your money, you can enjoy some of life’s luxuries as often as you like! Want to know how? Check out my free budgeting and debt payoff cheat sheet by signing up below!