There is an uneasy tension between living large and spending sensibly. It is natural to want the best of everything. And at a certain point in life, we convince ourselves that we deserve the best of everything, whether or not we can afford it.
And there lies the problem. Few of us can actually afford that lifestyle, that includes many of the people you see trying to live it. After all the parties and the travel and the bling, the bill comes due. Eventually, something has to give. That process of giving up the luxuries is never fun nor easy.
One of the ways to make the transition to more sensible spending less painful is to find ways to save money on the luxuries you have come to enjoy. You don’t have to give up a fine cup of artisanal coffee. You just have to find smarter and less expensive ways of drinking it. You can pay less for designer clothes if you shop at the right stores at the right time. Here are some tips on ways to live large while saving big:
Cocktails at Home
You might be shocked at how much you are spending on adult beverages after work at your favorite watering hole. Bars make it hard for you to keep up with by providing you with a helpful tab. That way, you can keep the drinks coming without ever being troubled about just how much all those exotic drinks are costing you.
But bartenders are not the only people capable of mixing those tasty treats. Whether it is the mocktail recipes you can get online or some other source, you can stock the syrups for your favorite drinks and mix them at home for substantial savings. Above all, there is no tab that pops up at the end of the week that might drive you to drink.
This same trick works for those exotic coffees you pay $6 for every morning. You can do better than $120 a month plus tax for your morning fix. The equipment is a fixed, one-time cost. It won’t be long before the initial investment pays for itself. We can all drink to that.
Do It Yourself
There are countless ways to save money around the house. But one of the most dramatic ways to save is to utilize your do-it-yourself skills and tackle some of the bigger jobs yourself. If you want a luxurious add-on such as a backyard deck, you can save thousands, if not tens of thousands by doing the work yourself.
Not all decks have to be elaborate constructions. There are plenty of basic decks that still allow a person to enjoy their backyard with family and close friends. Doing it yourself does not mean you employ no contract work. The plumbing for the bar can still be done by a professional. This goes double for running the electricity. That still leaves plenty of savings for those fancy drinks you’ll be serving.
One of the things about a home theater you may not know is that when done right, it can save you money. A night out at the movies for a family can be rather expensive. For a family of four, the tickets alone can run you upwards of $60. Let’s not even talk about popcorn and drinks for everyone.
There is a good chance you already have a suitable TV for the job. But if you don’t, you would be surprised at how inexpensive a decent television sells for these days. Audio is the single most important part of home theater. When it comes to making the experience immersive, sound is where you want to put the budget.
While seating is tempting, your money would be better spent in a good air popper and wet bar. Even if you go all out for the perfect home theater, the project will pay for itself in only a few years.
No one is immune to falling on hard times. You can still enjoy many of your favorite luxuries by making your own drinks, doing your own labor, and bringing the theater experience to your home. In fact, you don’t need to wait for hard times to come before these ideas make a lot of sense.