Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget? Tips for Living the Princess Life for Less
You like the good things in life: spas, eating out, clothes, vacations. Who doesn’t love those things? But few of us can indulge in the good things with abandon, without considering the financial hangover that sets in after a month of overspending on the good stuff. The key is to be realistic. Don’t go into debt for a series of fleeting pleasures. It’s not like you have to deny yourself all the time, just think before spending. Stay in a few nights a week instead of going out all the time. Buy designer duds on sale or at an outlet. It’s not rocket science. It’s just common dollars-and-sense. Here are some suggestions for living the princess life on a budget.
Buy on sale, online, or not at all
From massages to dinners out or weekends away, you’ll find plenty of heavily discounted (50 percent off is standard) treats in or near your city on sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. And sites like Red Flag Deals will point you in the direction of deals, sales, and coupons for across Canada. Also, shopaholics need only direct themselves toward sales, outlets, and consignment shops. Why pay full price when in a month or two that to-die-for item will be half off at an end-of-season sale? Outlets are a great place to find your favourite brands at much lower than retail prices and consignment shops often harbour barely worn designer clothing for super cheap.
Become a hostess with the mostest
We’ve all been there: it’s the end of an awesome night out, you’ve eaten and drunk your fill of tasty food and cocktails among great company. Then the bill comes. Yikes. It’s Kraft Dinner for a week to make up for one night of fun. If you’re out every night, your savings account is likely hemorrhaging and it’s time to bring the good times home. So why not awaken your inner hostess? Not only will you save a ton of cash (especially if you go potluck and everyone brings a bottle of something, too), but you may even have more fun (at least you will know everyone there and are unlikely to be hit on by obnoxious strangers). Have fun with it: light candles, make a musical playlist, and dress up. Even if you order in, it will still be less expensive than eating out--just serve the food on your best dishes to glam it up.
As a princess on a budget, you may not be able to spring for that week on a private island in the Caribbean, but you can get away and do it in style. With so many new online tools available to travelers today, it’s all about travelling smart and doing your research. Sites like Kayak, and Travel Zoo can help you find the cheapest flights, while airbnb and roomorama list gorgeous luxury apartments that can be rented for way less than what a hotel of a similar caliber would cost. This will also save money because you can buy groceries and not eat out all the time (more money to shop those sales!).
Love the little things
If you can’t afford the mansion, the luxury sports car, or that walk-in closet full of Louboutins, go ahead and treat yourself to the small luxuries that will brighten your day immeasurably. Indulge in fresh flowers, scented candles, the best hand lotion or bubble bath you can afford, buy the finest dark chocolate, then break off a small piece and really savour it. If you can’t make it to the beach, go to the nearest park with a pond and sit quietly on a bench, and watch the light dance off the water. When you really appreciate life’s little luxuries, you feel richer and are less likely to go into debt by living a life you can’t afford.
Written by: Gemma Pines