With holiday season in full swing, many of us are counting every penny that’s going in and out of our bank accounts–from buying gifts for family and friends to paying your regular monthly expenses, and still having some money to spend on yourself, of course. This time of year, finances tend to get a tight for many women. Though you may not talk about it, just know you are not alone as millions of people overspend during the holidays, and all year round.
If you’re into enjoying the lavish champagne life but are working off of a beer or sparkling cider budget, I’ve got 5 tips on how you can bridge the gap to still enjoy your luxuries…on a budget.
- Instead of buying clothes, rent them! – I LOVE shopping, but shopping frequently adds up… quickly. Doing a lot of TV and speaking appearances causes for tons of visibility, and once I’ve been photographed in something or worn it on TV, I likely won’t wear it again (that’s just me!). If you’re in need of a constantly evolving wardrobe, try investing in Rent The Runway. It’s great because you can either rent for a special occasion or you can enjoy their Rent The Runway Unlimited subscription (which I have) which allows you to rent 4+ pieces for an unlimited time/frequency. I love it because once I’m done wearing it, I ship it back in the prepaid bag and then I can rent another piece. You pay a monthly subscription fee and it’s non-committal: wear it, do your thing, and ship back. Doing this more a month sets boundaries on how much you’re spending a month.
- Opt for the “generic” brand – Name brand items are super catchy and the marketing is phenomenal: so much so, we may spend 50% more on an item because of its name vs. a less popular brand that does the same job. This can range from clothes to beauty products. The only person who will know it’s “not name brand” is you, so stop being ashamed of purchasing the more economical option. When it comes to beauty products, I like to mix and match, and if you’re on a budget, here’s a good way to trim some bucks off your purchases.
- Seriously, DIY! – I know, time is money, and sometimes it’s just easier to pay vs. doing it yourself, but sometimes you may have to carve out some time to save some money! I, too, enjoy a good happy hour, but after being there for while and picking up drinks for friends because they’re $3-$5, it really adds up…and you’re left with a $65+ tab! Skip the Happy Hour and invite your friends over, requesting everyone bring a bottle of their favorite libations. You provide the mixers and the place, and now you have a more cozy gathering sans the loud bar noise and big bar tab. Still enjoy lavish–and plentiful–drinks that are Instagram worthy but skip the hefty tab and tipping. If you need some inspiration, Pinterest has the ultimate DIY cocktail list!
- Look for the discounts – Listen, I’ve taken 2 great international trips using Groupon and Living Social. A few girlfriends and I wanted to go somewhere economically, on semi-short notice, so we made it happen. Some folks may be skeptical about purchasing a vacay package through those platforms, but our’s were 100% legit! Of course, like anywhere, always read the reviews before purchasing. Using travel and discount apps is a great way to enjoy a lavish vacay on a budget!
- Be honest with yourself – If you can’t afford it, it’s ok. Nowadays, social media will have you feeling like you’re poor or insufficient if you can’t afford to look a certain way. Stop caring what people are “liking’ because they aren’t paying your bills or contributing to your well-being. Be honest, but gentle, with yourself. You may not be able to afford it right now, but you will eventually if you prioritize. Focus on the end game, and you’ll be living the lavish life you want in due time!