You know you want it. And you can have it – and it doesn’t have to be expensive AF. You read right; despite the popular conception, living a luxury lifestyle doesn’t always have to come with a high price tag. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your money and experiencing luxury on a budget:
How to Live a Luxury Lifestyle for Less
The Big Idea
To quote Paula Pant, you can have anything. But you can’t have everything. And, really, there’s not much of a point in having everything; it can lead to excess materialism, gaudiness, and just not getting a lot of respect from your peers.
Instead, it’s better to aim for an appearance of understated elegance, and to focus on experiences that really matter to you. (And I say experiences very conscientiously, as they tend to matter much more than things in the long run).
Tips on Living a Luxury Lifestyle for Less
Focus on Experiences Rather than Things
As I just said, experiences matter more than accumulating things. They last longer in terms of the happiness you get out of them. Don’t believe me, believe the pros:
[Researchers] concluded that people are happier with experiential purchases over material ones irrespective of when you measure happiness: before, during or after consumption. Experiences also provoke more satisfaction even though people typically spend more time using their material possessions. The researchers said a possible explanation is the endurance of experiences in people’s memories, while the perceived value of material goods weakens over time.
Do things that really make you happy, with people that make you happy.
But we still have to talk about things! Let’s go. But before I do that, here’s a YouTube video on things people waste money on. I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but it’s got some interesting food for thought:
Be strategic about timing
Many luxury brands offer sales and discounts at certain times of the year, such as during holiday shopping seasons or end-of-season clearance events. By planning your purchases around these times, you can score luxury items at a fraction of their regular cost. You won’t necessarily find sales at high-end boutiques, but department stores and online stores tend to run more of them. For example, FarFetch runs sales pretty often.
Shop for used items
Buying luxury items secondhand can save you a significant amount of money. Websites like The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective specialize in pre-owned luxury clothing, shoes, and accessories, while sites like Chrono24 and Watchfinder offer pre-owned luxury watches.
This is key. The first time you wear a new watch or article of clothing, it becomes used and the value can plummet (though some luxury items appreciate). Either way, it makes sense to buy used, unless you can get something new with a high certainty that it will appreciate.
Rent instead of buying
Websites like Rent the Runway and Bag Borrow or Steal allow you to rent luxury clothing and accessories for a fraction of the cost of buying them outright. This is legit, friends. You can have a constant stream of new luxury goods, for a monthly fee that’s really a fraction of buying the stuff. In my experience, it’s about $100-$300 per month, as opposed to spending thousands on one article.
Look for alternative brands
Many luxury brands have more affordable lines or diffusion collections that offer a similar aesthetic at a lower price point. For example, you can find a similar look and feel as a designer handbag by checking out a high-end luxury brand’s line of leather goods.
Be selective with your purchases
Instead of buying a lot of cheap, trendy items, focus on investing in a few high-quality, timeless pieces that you’ll wear for years to come. These items will stand the test of time and won’t go out of style, allowing you to get more wear out of them.
Then, go high-low and combine these anchor pieces with the cheaper trendy items. Like you can have a Celine handbag that you bought secondhand, but a Zara or H&M top. You’ve gotta mix and match 🙂
Take advantage of loyalty programs
Some luxury brands offer loyalty programs that give you rewards or discounts on future purchases. By signing up for these programs, you can earn points or cash back that can be used toward your next luxury purchase. Not every brand does have this, but some do and it’s worth checking. Stores can also have loyalty programs.
As you probably know, this is super common in travel. Travel hacking is like an entire world of its own. To get started, check out sites like One Mile at a Time.
Seek out deals and discounts
Sign up for email newsletters or follow your favorite luxury brands on social media to stay informed about sales and promotions. Don’t be afraid to haggle or negotiate prices either, if the merchant allows it. For example, you can and certainly should negotiate at Poshmark.
Don’t emphasize cars too much
Look, no matter how much you drive, your car will be parked the vast majority of the time. And, basically all modern cars can be had with advanced safety features, air conditioning, and leather seats and other creature comforts. There really is little point in driving an expensive luxury car, unless you have a job where you need to set that image for clients or higher-ups.
Summing It Up
By following these tips, you can enjoy a luxury lifestyle for less. Remember to be strategic, selective, and always on the lookout for deals and discounts, and you’ll be well on your way to living the luxury lifestyle you desire.
Also, don’t forget that experiences are much more important than things!
Video on How to Live a Luxury Lifestyle for Less (With Travel)
Here’s an intro video on travel hacking from One Mile at a Time, just to whet your appetite: