Thanks to the rise of image-based culture, many of us feel a lot of pressure to work incredibly hard in order to afford an enviable lifestyle. From exclusive gyms to business-class flights, the millionaire lifestyle has been normalised. If you feel inferior to other people because most of your money goes to simply covering rent, an aspirational lifestyle can seem totally out of your reach. But don’t let this get to you.
These tips will help you change how you think about money and luxury, so you can create the lifestyle you actually want on a realistic budget.
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Change Your Mind-set
When you’re short of money, it’s easy to feel as if the life you want is out of reach, but sometimes it’s your thinking (rather than your situation) that’s the problem, and a bit of a mind-set change can make all the difference. Whether you covet new cell phone accessories or new sunglasses, that aspirational lifestyle is more about a state of mind than the reality of your circumstances. The first step to creating a more positive attitude is to be mindful about your day-to-day purchases. This will help you get to grips with all the different directions your hard-earned cash goes on a daily basis, and work out how all your spending makes you feel. Next, it’s time to substitute that unhelpful sense of inadequacy with a good dose of gratitude for all the things that you already have, rather than focusing on what you don’t have yet. Once you’ve got these elements of your new mind-set taken care of, you’re on your way to creating a luxurious-feeling lifestyle that you can actually support.
Make Sacrifices Selectively
Living an aspirational lifestyle on a limited budget is possible if you’re willing to sacrifice some things that you frequently buy but don’t need, giving you the freedom to splurge now and again on treats and lifestyle enhancements that will significantly impact your happiness. Consider some of the things you spend money on that you could live without. For example, could you move to a less expensive area and pay less rent? Could you brew your own chemex coffee at home, rather than buying one on your way to the office every day? And maybe it’s time to re-examine your habit of revamping your wardrobe every season… do you need new leather boots every year? Could you invest in one high-quality pair that will last you a few seasons?
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Watch Your Piggy-bank Grow
While it might be hard initially to stop buying those non-essential items, you’ll be glad you have when you see your savings growing in your bank account. Try a savings tracking app to help you keep tabs on the impact your new, improved spending habits are having on your account. Before long, you might be able to splash out on the odd treat that gives you a sense of luxury, guilt-free! Whether it’s a bottle of champagne or a trip to Rome with your friends, you’ll be living the lifestyle you want, when it really counts. It’s worth bearing in mind that at some point, you might not be paying so much attention to the picture-perfect lifestyles that pour in on your Instagram feed, now that you’ve changed your mind-set.
Whether you wish you could buy expensive cocktails or take an exclusive yoga class, these tips will help you change your mind-set and spending habits to revamp your life.