Most of us enjoy having nice things. We want to be able to go to fancy places and dress well. However, the economy has dealt many of us a blow to the wallet. We must live on a tighter budgets now because we need to provide for basic necessities first. You may currently be restructuring your budget for a lower-cost lifestyle. This does not mean that you need to completely deny yourself or your family the finer things in life. Depending on your personal likes, this list is only a guide to provide ideas for living rich when you’re poor.
Basic Budget 101
Before you begin trying to find room for the finer things, prepare a budget for your daily and monthly needs. You need to keep your house or apartment, your car or public transportation, food and clothing, home utilities, and other basic needs. Many of these items cannot be negotiated on price, so place the highest unchangeable items first on your budget. The ones which are negotiable are the ones where you can add finer items. For big-ticket items such as a high-definition television or an exciting vacation, make sure to start a Big Fun Fund and save on a monthly basis for that particular item.
If you are a healthy eater, you may have been used to shopping at health food stores instead of the regular grocery stores. Many health food stores are more expensive than grocery stores. However, now that your income is smaller, you do not need to begin purchasing processed foods. Look for farmer’s markets and sales for fresh vegetables or start your own vegetable garden. Seed packages are usually under a dollar each. Until you have your own garden, check your weekly grocery advertisements for sales on fruit and vegetables. Cut out how much meat you buy as meat is usually the culprit in high grocery bills. If you want to purchase meat, always look for sales and bring a calculator to compare per pound price. Investigate sales by checking per unit price.
If you like designer items, consider going to consignment shops. Consignment shops have new and gently used items at a fraction of the cost of department stores. You can still shop designer without having to pay designer prices. Furthermore, you can place some of your wardrobe into the consignment shops and earn money back on clothes you no longer want to wear yourself. You can also search for green swap sites such as Rehash Clothes which is a site for swapping clothes and other items. Another alternative is going to a flea market or to the thrift store. If you know how to sew, you can remake thrift store clothing into your own designer threads!
If you have sensitive skin and need to buy certain skin care, consider your local grocery store. Many of them carry natural products now at the fraction of the cost of many higher brands of natural skin care. You can find natural makeup even among dollar brands like j.a.n.e. cosmetics and Wet N’ Wild. Until you are able to afford your usual makeup brands, give these a try and check the ingredients. If your skin is not extremely sensitive, you have an even larger array of choices for budget beauty shopping. Have fun. You can still be beautiful on a budget!
This list is merely a tool for getting you started on your Look Rich When Poor goal. You may come up with other ideas. The main point is to think outside of your usual box and look for quality among lower prices.