The average American adult spends about $18,000 a year on items classified as “non-essentials.”
Of course, this spending isn’t always a bad thing. Things like travel, many electronics and movie tickets are all considered non-essentials.
Unfortunately, many of us wind up spending too much on things we really don’t want and wind up without enough left over for the luxuries that we do, like family trips or a new home. Luckily, a few simple budgeting and spending strategies can help you live in luxury without breaking the bank.
Invest in Quality Where It Matters Most
One mistake that everyone is guilty of from time to time is choosing price over quality. In some cases, this may be a smart choice, but keep in mind that a sacrifice of quality could wind up costing you more in the long run.
For example, say you’re buying a car and have to choose between an older, inexpensive model or a new, but pricier option. That pricier option may set you back more money upfront; however, it’s less likely to need the same repairs and maintenance that the older model will need.
In most cases, higher-quality purchases will hold up longer over time, which can help you save money. Consider purchasing a few nicer pieces of clothing, furniture or electronics to enjoy the luxury of products that look and feel better, and the security of knowing you won’t have to pay to replace them again in the near future.
Make the Most of Your Spending
When you do decide to make a purchase big or small, make sure that you’re taking steps to make the most of your spending.
While many people opt to pay cash to avoid spending more than they can afford, those cash purchases rarely come with any bonus. In contrast, cashback or rewards credit cards help you earn money or points for every purchase you make.
Over time, your everyday spending on food, gas, groceries and more can turn into points, gift cards or cash that you can use on a vacation, a new laptop or whatever else you’d like to buy. This is one small way to afford a few extra luxuries without spending any extra money.
Be Careful of Small Expenses That Add Up Quick
Making small everyday purchases on a rewards or cashback credit card is a great way to save up points or cash, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think twice about each of those small purchases.
Many of us spend more than we realize on individual purchases that seem inexpensive. Whether you like a daily drink from a coffee shop, have too many streaming subscriptions, or have an online shopping problem, these small purchases add up over time.
Take a look at your finances and ask yourself how many of these types of purchases you’ve made recently. Then, add up the total of that spending. Whether it’s a few dollars or a few hundred, that’s money that could go towards luxuries you’d enjoy much longer than a cup of Joe.
If your budget still isn’t getting you that luxury vacation you’ve been dreaming of, it might be time to get creative. While a flashy all-inclusive resort looks great in brochures, odds are that you’ll have just as much fun during a lower-budget vacation at a more affordable hotel. Luxuries like time off of work or making new memories with your family are more affordable than you may think.
Learning to Live in Luxury on a Tight Budget
By investing in quality, making the most of your spending, cutting out unnecessary expenses and getting creative, you can live in luxury without blowing your budget.