This time of year is always hard on the wallet and if you’re like me, this year you’re REALLY feeling the pinch. Unfortunately for my bank account, I am a woman who enjoys some of the finer things in life. Also unfortunate- I do not have the monetary assets to afford myself most of these luxuries. So over my years of growing up far less well-to-do than most, I have honed the skill of making small improvements to my life that can give it that little something “extra” and make everything else seem a little more luxe.
For starters, dressing with style doesn’t always mean buying brand new luxury clothing and sporting designer handbags. I’ve found that investing in a few good pieces that can last a lifetime can instantly make the rest of your outfit look expensive. I don’t care if you’re wearing a $7 t-shirt from Walmart, pair it with a great fitting pair of jeans and a nice watch and you can look like a million bucks. There are certain classic pieces that belong in every wardrobe and if you invest your money correctly and make sure to take care of them, you will never have to buy them again. As I previously mentioned, a great pair of quality jeans that fit perfectly. A classic men’s style timepiece, something big enough to be noticed but not big enough to eat your dinner off of. Pawn shops and online consignment stores are chock full of gently used expensive jewelry that you can get for a fraction of the cost. For ladies, the perfect LBD (Little Black Dress)- something that can take you from a job interview to a funeral to cocktails without changing clothes in between. A crisp white button down shirt. Dress shoes and one nice handbag or belt in a color that goes with everything rounds out the complete closet. Make sure to shop places like Beatty Shoes, Ross or Gabe’s first for the best deals! They get new shipments 3-6 times a week, and if you’re willing to dig, you can find a lot of great stuff there.
The luxe life doesn’t start in your closet though. Like charity, it starts at home. Your home is a direct reflection of who you are as a person. What better place to add those little touches and give the impression to all who enter that you have it all together. Start by spending a little extra money on good bedding. A comfy down comforter and 500 thread count sheets can make all the difference between “going to bed” and “OMG I’m never leaving this heaven in the morning.” Luckily you can get amazing deals on these items at Ross and TJ Maxx. Drape your beds and living room furniture with plush throws and pillows. One thing I will say to save up your money and invest in for the home-custom framing. You really can tell a difference and a lot of smaller businesses only require you to pay half up front and you can pay the rest off in time. For the kitchen, have a French Press for coffee and always have fresh spa water or sparkling water on hand. (No I don’t mean cans of La Croix.) Adding a handful of mint and berries or citrus to a pitcher of regular old tap water will make your guests feel like they’re enjoying a night at the Four Seasons and costs you less than $3. In your most intimate of spaces, AKA the crapper, ensure you always have a sturdy plunger and air freshener or matches. You never want to make your guests feel embarrassed. Also, and this is my most sound advice in this article- BUY GOOD TOILET PAPER!! My dad always insisted on Charmin Ultra Strong, no matter how broke we were that week. According to him, “You’re never too poor for good sh*t tickets.” So ditch the John Wayne tissue (that’s rough and tough and don’t take crap off nobody) and treat yourself to a little something with an aloe vera finish. No need to thank me later. Also, for your own sake, get a bath tub caddy/tray. I just bought one of these from Target for $21 and it has made every night I’ve soaked in the tub since feel like a spa treatment. Mine comes complete with a cup holder for wine, a spine to hold up your favorite book or iPad and a flat space on the side for candles or chocolates. My final advice for upgrading your home, if you’re of the drinking persuasion, have a complete bar. Whether you have a designated counter space or a rolling tray or a full blown bar in your home, always keep a bottle of the 5 essentials on-hand: vodka, tequila, gin, bourbon/whiskey, and rum. Some staple mixers should always include cola, soda water/tonic, cranberry/orange juice and citrus. Also make sure you have the appropriate glassware that pairs with each beverage. It’s also a good idea to keep at least a few light beers and a bottle of red and white wine on hand (pinot noir and pinot grigio seem to be the most crowd pleasing varietals.)
These tips can give you the foundation for living a life that looks AND feels far more expensive and luxurious than it really is. And with all the extra money you’re saving you could either invest in your future, or blow on a long weekend away like me! Hey, you cant take it with ya, so spend wisely!