Twice a month, on payday, I look at my bank statement and get excited. A wad of money is direct deposited into my account and for a moment I feel not so broke. Then the credit card auto-pay hits, the rent check is cashed and lofty student loan payments are made. Suddenly, I’m back to where I started.
Being newlyweds, my husband and I joke that we’re rich in love. It’s true and makes us smile but living in one of the most expensive cities in the country definitely has made us well aware of our finances. We are so fortunate not to have to worry about our basic needs being met but when it comes to those luxury items, there’s never a shortage of designer clothes or cosmetics on my wish list. Needless to say, I’ve learned a few tricks to make my money go farther -like when to make small trade-offs, what to splurge on and when to simply be happy with less.
Here are my top 3 tips for living luxe for less:
1. Splurge on designer cosmetics. I can’t afford designer handbags but I do treat myself to luxurious lipgloss, perfect pink polish and lash-plumping mascara on occasion. In my opinion, investing in makeup is money well spent because when it comes to skincare, I truly believe you get what you pay for. I find the products I love most go on easier, last longer and just feel better. Then there’s the whole experience of putting them on. I love my morning makeup ritual, painting on some tinted moisturizer, brushing on a bit of bronzer and peachy blush, coating my lashes with black mascara and dabbing on a bit of gloss before running out the door. I leave the house feeling like a million bucks.
Drag a few girlfriends to the cosmetic counter with you and have fun testing out a variety of products, colors and brands. Take home samples to figure out which ones you’ll really use and splurge on those. I actually find buying one at a time makes the experience even more of a treat.
2. Become sale savvy. We all have our favorite stores to shop at and know those certain brands that fit us just right. Paying attention to the types and frequency of sales at your favorite stores is a great way to save some serious cash on must-have clothing and accessories.
For example, J.Crew always offers an additional 30-40% off sale items towards the end of each season, which is how I scored this blazer for 64% off. They also frequently offer 25% off everything which is great for saving on their new arrivals. Waiting for those coupons and sales to hit your inbox pays off. If I am patient long enough I can snag my favorite designer jeans from Piperlime for 20% off and save about $40 a pair. In addition to coupons, I recently discovered you can often finagle an additional discount on furniture shipping from popular housewares stores like West Elm simply by speaking with a sales rep . Oh and I’m also a huge fan of designer discount stores like TJMaxx. It’s my go-to place for cute, quality handbags.
I recommend getting on the email list for your 5 favorite stores and learning their sale strategy. Resist the urge to make an impulsive purchase and bookmark items you want instead. Know your target savings,usually the highest percentage a store typically offers, and strike when the deal is hot. But know this means you actually have to open those emails instead of habitually hitting the delete button.
3. Simplify your closet space. I know this may seem counterintuitive but having just transitioned from a massive walk-in to a much more modest closet, having less is more. Before moving, I purged my wardrobe of poor quality, outdated and well-worn clothing. After filling quite a few bags full of old tank tops, pants that never fit quite right and shorts I wanted to think I’d wear, I decided to change my shopping habits.
When I’m shopping now, an article of clothing has to check three boxes: color, fit and functionality. If the color doesn’t work, the cut isn’t flattering or I can’t visualize three different ways to wear it, I pass on the purchase no matter how good of a deal it may be. This usually means I spend more on individual garments but spend less in the long run. I now have a small closet full of properly fitting, flattering basics that can be worn in a hundred different combinations.
So those are my go-to tricks for saving my hard-earned money and shopping smarter.
What tips do you have for living luxe for less?
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