As a firm believer in the power of manifestation, I’ve chosen to “dress for the job I want, not the job I have” in every aspect of my life, and it seems to be working out pretty good so far. Setting standards for potential future partners, choosing to spend my money in upscale dining as opposed to fast food, and shooting my face quarterly with enough toxins and fillers to permanently paralyze a small dog aside, most of the tactics I’ve employed to live this lifestyle have not involved much money. In fact, it is in the smaller tweaks to my creature comforts where I’ve experienced the most joy. Little daily indulgences, even if they’re only noticed by you, can elevate your quality of life and set in motion a string of positive experiences. Behold, my hacks for curating a life that FEELS far more expensive than I can afford, if just in my mind only.
First, clear out clutter in your home. Ridding yourself of the useless crap surrounding you will both mentally and physically free up space to invite in something better. And this little trick costs absolutely nothing, so you have zero excuses not to! If you haven’t used it in 6 months, toss it; that is clearly not something you need. I actually suggest doing this a couple times a year, particularly in the closet and kitchen. Donate or consign your “trash” and it will even come back to you as good karma, either by helping someone less fortunate or maybe even making a little money. Once you’ve cleaned out all that ugly, unused junk, I suggest investing in a new set of dishware. If you’re like me and can’t currently afford the Versace dinnerware set of your dreams, there’s a set for every budget at stores like TJ Maxx, Ross and HomeGoods. There’s just something about opening my kitchen cabinets and seeing shelves of neatly aligned, monochromatic dishes that sets my Type A heart a-flutter. And by the way, only get the bare minimum of what you need. Unless you’re feeding a baseball team, you don’t need 20 mismatched plates and an arsenal of pint glasses you stole from various bars in college. Typically 4-8 settings works just fine, even if it means doing dishes more often.
Next, find something that doesn’t cost a lot but still seems like a splurge and keep that on hand for guests. This might sound crazy, but hear me out. I am a big fan of store brand. I do not care to buy Kroger versions of most items when it comes to groceries. But there is one area where I do not compromise, and that is keeping San Pellegrino sparkling water in my fridge. It’s ridiculous at $6.99 for 8 cans, but it makes me feel very posh to ask friends if they “care for still or sparkling water” when they’re in my home. This is something that is offered at high end restaurants and employing it in my own environment gives me that elevated atmosphere I enjoy. Plus, I can pretty much always scrounge together $6.99 a week. In your own life, think about a place you went that made you feel very special, and try to recreate the small environmental nuances for guests in your own home. Replace your ugly pink plastic bottle of Softsoap in the bathroom with a glass pump full of yummy scented handwash. (Less than $10.) Replace those flat, stinky pillows on your sofa that the kids have stained with Kool-Aid and Dorito cheese with some fluffy new ones in various sizes and textures. (Less than $20 each, depending on size.) Switch from your crappy Mr.Coffee drip machine full of Folgers to a French Press and coarse ground beans of your choosing. (Less than $20) Keep items on hand to throw together a quick charcuterie to please an audience- a jar of olives, a bag of nuts, a couple wedges of cheese, a sleeve of crackers and some hard salami can go a long way. And while you’re grabbing that dinnerware set at TJ, you can pick up a nice serving board set to really spice things up. (They’re like $12.99) Whatever it is, just ask yourself “WWARPD” and do that. AKA What Would A Rich Person Do?
Another tip is that I always ALWAYS keep a fresh flower arrangement and plenty of candles around. When I get my weekly groceries, I’ve made a little game of seeing what kind of arrangement I can make for around $10. Most stores have a markdown rack and with a small snip to the stems and some fresh water, these blooms will last at least 5-7 days. Enjoy scents of your own choosing when it comes to candles and air fresheners, but I personally enjoy clean, masculine scents. Tobacco, mahogany, teakwood all seem to be pretty crowd pleasing, but if you enjoy warm apple pie, do you.
Finally, we’re going to talk toilet for a second. Look, there is one universal activity that is really the great equalizer and that’s taking a number 2. Whether you’re a hobo doing it under a bridge, or Beyonce doing it on a private jet, it’s something everyone has to do and doesn’t want anyone else to acknowledge. As the old saying goes, “sh*t happens.” So when it does, why not make it the most luxurious experience possible? The most life changing money I spent this year was the $40 I invested in a bidet from Amazon. It was so easy to install I did it myself with 1 tool, and without getting too graphic, let’s just say daily it gives me an extra air of arrogance knowing I’m clean without question. The fact of the matter is, most of the rest of the world uses bidets and in my mind, if I accidentally stepped barefoot in dog mess, I wouldn’t use just a dry paper towel to clean it off, so why am I not treating my bum the same way? Add a tray to the top of your toilet tank with a can of boutique air freshener, a book of matches, an interesting read and a pack of moist towelettes and you’ll swear you’re dropping base at Buckingham Palace.
However you choose to incorporate them, I hope these little tips and tricks help you also find your own ways to “fake it ‘til you make it.” No matter what your goals might be, I think we all could handle a little mental upgrade from time to time.