Say the word ‘frugality’ and you’ll probably think of going without. A frugal lifestyle is typically seen as surviving on the basics, and forgoing any pleasant treats.
The good news is that you can still enjoy days out and luxury items, even when you’re on a tight budget. Here are a few useful tips.
Living the high life on a lower budget
- Address your monthly budget. Take the time to examine what you’re spending each month. Some of that expenditure will be unavoidable (bills, food, school trips etc.). However, some of it could be reduced, and then the money put towards nice little luxuries. For example, if you’re buying a sandwich every day for your lunch, could you pack your own instead? You’d save around £8 a week, which soon adds up.
- Create a savings jar. Whenever you’ve saved some money, pop it into the family ‘treat’ jar. Place it somewhere visible, as it’ll act as a powerful motivator! For example, if you switch car insurance and end up saving £150, make sure you add the amount to the jar, or at least add an ‘IOU’ note, to remind yourself.
- Search for offers. Whenever you receive a money-off voucher for something you genuinely want, keep hold of it. Likewise, keep your eyes peeled for special discounts online. You’ll find all sorts of great deals out there, such as appealing perfume offers, or two-for-one tickets to major attractions.
- Haggle for better deals. Now’s the time to get on the phone (or email) and contact your insurance companies, and your phone, television and internet provider. Chances are you can get yourself a much better deal, which could potentially save you hundreds of pounds over the year – which means more cash to spend on the fun stuff.
- Borrow or rent, instead of buying. There are lots of things you can rent or borrow, without having to purchase outright. For example, if you’re yearning for a designer dress for a major event, there are some sites out there that let you rent outfits for a fraction of the retail cost. Leasing a car is sometimes a better option than purchasing too, and means that you can potentially get a nicer vehicle within your budget.
- Embrace second-hand buying. If you love luxury items but don’t have to cash to spare, it’s worthwhile getting familiar with auction sites like eBay. If you’ve got the time to sit down and hunt through the bargains, you’re likely to find the product you want, at a price that suits your budget. Savvy shoppers find all sorts on these sites; like designer make-up, trainers, kids clothing, skincare brands, furniture and more.
- Copying the designer style. Of course, there’s also the option of copying a high-end look. Browse online and you’ll find hundreds of hacks, showing how to transform cheap armchairs into designer-inspired pieces, or how to tailor a simple t-shirt to give it a luxe look. Even better, making something yourself ensures that you have a unique end-result – not to mention a sense of real achievement.
*This is a collaborative post.
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