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How to live a seemingly expensive life

Everyone wishes they could live the life of champagne and eggs benedict for breakfast every morning. Well, not every morning because that can’t be healthy, but you get the idea. The lavish life of luxury is appealing to most members of modern day society. Why? Because we all want what we can’t have and are, naturally, jealous human beings. Okay, so, maybe not everyone but definitely some of us.

Luckily, there are ways in which you can live smartly and reap the rewards of an expensive lifestyle without having to break the bank.

Buy used

Can’t afford a brand new Audi A4 but still want to look good while running your daily errands? No problem. Look for a used Audi that is only a few years old and still in great condition. You’ll have the same feeling of luxury and enjoy something new and you would have saved a good couple thousand Rand. You can even use the money you saved to add any furnishings your model may be missing. Keep it clean and looked after, and no-one will know the difference.

But buying used is not limited to cars. This can be your guide to getting your hands on quality brand’s furniture, accessories and clothing. There are many Facebook buy/sell groups that provide a platform for communities to sell various items. These groups are generally specified to location, which makes it even more convenient for you! Look out for new posts on designer boots or lounge suites up for sale and save yourself the expense of buying it brand new. Obviously, you need to be sure of the quality and condition that it’s in and make it worth the buy. Then, you have the usual Gumtree, OLX, Locanto and Junk Mail online classifieds where you can find other second-hand deals.

Vouchers and rewards cards

Now, there’s no reason that you can’t buy new things and enjoy shopping at your favorite clothing or home store, just be smart about it. Keep an eye out for vouchers in newsletters, magazines or in store. You can also take the time to fill out the rewards card form and start earning points, getting vouchers, or having access to rewards-card-members-only promotions.

Do some research and look into the pros and cons of creating an account at your frequent and favorite stores. Decide whether the benefits are enough to outway the cons and be responsible with it. You don’t need to live the debt-filled side of an expensive life.

Sales only

On the topic of buying new, make it a rule that you wait for the sale. If you know that range of crockery you’ve been eying is going to go on sale near the end of the month (or is likely to), wait for the sale SMS before you go and buy it. And if it’s still there at the end of the month, then you can accept it as a sign and finally buy it. Waiting a few weeks won’t hurt. Fully consider your potential purchase before you go through with it and swipe your card. This way you get the best of both worlds: saving and having “expensive” things.

Student boutiques

If you crave a pampered experience and enjoy hearing compliments on your hair and nails, there’s no reason for you to have to try box dye your hair yourself and miss a spot… or two. Student boutiques and salons are out there and they need the experience as much as you cannot afford a trip to a luxury spa.

At great prices (they are but students) you can have your hair done, your nails manicured, and a full body massage. You will feel just as relaxed and luxurious after spending a day at a student salon as you would after an expensive spa day. Better yet, you would have done it at almost more than half the price.

Nature is free (mostly)

You can also go out every weekend without having to sacrifice dinner for a week by simply enjoying nature. Go to the beach and have a cocktail, pack your own picnic basket and enjoy the park or a botanical garden or go for a hike (free exercise). You can also go wine tasting. It’s really not expensive and you will have the most beautiful views, unique to every farm.

Take photos of you and the view with your new second-hand Gucci handbag and Ray-Ban sunglasses and feel like a million bucks. You will be surprised at how much you can actually do and enjoy on a budget and have the same (if not a better) experience than those throwing around money.

Remember, the money you save from extra luxuries can go a long way towards settling debt, saving for a downpayment or planning a holiday trip.