4. Go prix fixe and share at your favorite restaurants
There might be a trendy new restaurant that opened up nearby and you’re eager to try it… until you realize the menu prices will take a big bite out of your budget. Some restaurants, however, offer a “prix fixe” (fixed price) menu: a three- or four-course meal that’s often less expensive than ordering a la carte. If you’re trying to live luxuriously without spending a fortune, this option ensures your meal is not only delectable but more affordable, too.
Figuring out how to live a luxurious lifestyle on a budget could also mean opting to hit the new spot at lunch or happy hour, when prices may be lower, instead of dinner. You might also go with a friend and share one entree instead of ordering two.
5. Use social media to find food events
If you’re trying to be a frugal foodie, you can look for budget-friendly food events on social media or through online groups where the members focus on specific activities or hobbies, such as fine dining or cooking. That’s one way Michelle Jackson, who blogs at her personal finance site Michelle Is Money Hungry, has learned to live luxuriously without spending a fortune. With her thousands of dollars in student loan and credit card debt, it’s a necessity if the self-proclaimed foodie wants to enjoy fine food without increasing her financial woes.
“I’ve found everything from free tastings to free mixology classes,” says Jackson, who lives in Boulder, Colorado. She also attends blogging meetups each month where meals from trendy restaurants are often sponsored by different companies. Like Jackson, you can use social media to save money by searching for events in your industry and your local area that allow you to dine on someone else’s dime.
By figuring out how to live a luxurious lifestyle on a budget—especially as it pertained to dining out and entertainment—Jackson says she shaved $13,500 off her annual expenditures while still enjoying the same quality of life.
6. Cut travel costs
Travel can be one of the most luxurious ways to spend your money. It’s also often one of the priciest. Airfare, accommodations, dining out for every meal—it can quickly add up. One of the best ways to travel on a budget and live luxuriously without spending a fortune is to go with family and friends. You can plan a luxury vacation on a budget when you split the bill for accommodations, outings and activities. Traveling like this can also be a particularly rewarding way to live a luxury life without a big budget since you’ll get to share unique, even once-in-a-lifetime experiences with people you love the most.
If you’re traveling solo, you can still find ways to live a luxury life without a big budget. Jackson often travels alone, and since she considers travel a priority in her life, she’s learned to find ways to cut costs without sacrificing comfort. She chooses to fly off-season, books hostels or rentals where she can cook and asks locals for their recommendations to avoid expensive tourist areas.