During a recession, many of us look for substitutes for luxuries that we have become accustomed to during wealthier times. As the term ‘disposable income’ becomes no more than a distant memory, we’d all like to find ways to live well on less money. Below, you will find 5 top tips to help you do that.
Switch your mindset from ‘I deserve this’ to asking ‘do I really need this?’ Look through your bank statements and ask yourself this question. This change in mindset is difficult to achieve at first, but once mastered, it may surprise you to find how much of your monthly pay check goes on unnecessary luxuries.
Identify what is habit, rather than a necessity. For example – do you buy pre-made lunches during the week? If you manage to bring in home made lunches each day, you will save a small fortune. If you really miss your deli sandwiches, try buying similar ingredients from the grocery store and making them yourself. Even though the ingredients will be expensive compared to your regular weekly shop, you will still save money.
Be open-minded. Enjoy going out for coffees? Get them to take out instead, watch the world go by in a local park or even people-watch on a busy street. Even better, invest in a thermal coffee cup and make your own. You might underestimate how much you spend each month on such things, but the costs add up quickly when you think of how frequently you buy them.
Be creative. Do you enjoy going out for dinner? Invite your friends round for a Pot Luck Supper. Each guest brings their favourite dish to share, so you get to enjoy new food, your friends’ company and spend very little. The washing up is also part of the fun!
Don’t feel afraid to try something new. If you always go to a particular resort or location on vacation, look into house-swapping in those areas instead. Companies such as Homelink Home Exchange offer house swapping opportunities for holiday makers around the world, for a fraction of the price of a top hotel.
Whether it’s a lot or a little money you wish to save on luxuries, by employing these principles, you will be able to live well on little money. Be creative, open minded and realise what you need, rather than what you want. By doing so, you come to enjoy the substitutes just as much as the luxuries themselves, and enjoy the luxuries even more when they come around.