Who doesn’t dream of enjoying a luxurious lifestyle? But, let’s face it, making that dream a reality on a limited budget can be quite a challenge. That’s where this article comes in. We’ll share 16 practical tips to live the champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget.
Whether you’re craving international adventures, fine dining, or designer shoes, there are ways to achieve it without overspending. With a dash of creativity and resourcefulness, you can enjoy the finer things in life without sacrificing your financial future.
What is a champagne lifestyle?
The term “champagne lifestyle” is thought to have originated in the early 1900s, when champagne was a symbol of wealth and status. Champagne was expensive and difficult to obtain, so it was only consumed by the wealthy.
As a result, the term “champagne lifestyle” came to be associated with a luxurious lifestyle that was only possible for the wealthy. Today, the term is still used to describe a lifestyle that is characterised by excess and indulgence. People who live a champagne lifestyle typically have a lot of disposable income and are not afraid to spend it on the finer things in life.
However, it is important to note that not everyone who wants to live a champagne lifestyle can afford to do so. Some people may have unrealistic expectations of the cost of living a champagne lifestyle, or they may be trying to keep up with their peers who are living more luxuriously. Seeing influencers living the high life on social media can further fuel the desire to keep up with the Joneses. While social media may portray some people as living a luxurious lifestyle, it’s important to remember that appearances can be deceiving. All this can lead to people living above their means, which can have serious financial problems.
Potential issues with a champagne lifestyle
While we all crave a touch of luxury in our lives, living a champagne lifestyle can lead to several financial problems if you don’t have the means to support it. Here are a few key drawbacks to consider:
Payday to payday lifestyle: If maintaining your lifestyle is draining all your income, you are stuck in a payday to payday lifestyle. This is extremely common and something even high-income earners can struggle with. In fact, 45% of high earners report living paycheck to paycheck. This is often due to overspending and taking on larger debts for a house or car, as it’s easy to get caught up in the lifestyle creep when you have a high income.
Debt: When your monthly income is not high enough to maintain your lifestyle, it’s easy to pile up consumer debt. If you’re not careful, you might start bridging the gap with credit card debt, buy now pay later schemes, and other consumer debt.
Reduced savings: If you’re spending all of your money on luxury goods and experiences, you’ll have less money to save for long-term plans like retirement, a house deposit, or other financial goals.
Hedonic adaptation: Hedonic adaptation is the tendency to become accustomed to a certain level of pleasure and then require more and more of that pleasure to achieve the same feeling of satisfaction. When you live a champagne lifestyle, they’re essentially trying to achieve a level of pleasure that you can’t afford. This can lead to a cycle of hedonic adaptation, where you are constantly striving for more and more luxury and excess.
16 ways to live a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget
Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy life’s finer things without getting into financial trouble. Here are the top 16 tips to live a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget.
1. Decide your top champagne lifestyle priorities
Let’s be real, a lemonade budget cannot cover a champagne lifestyle in all areas of your life. Therefore, start by defining your most valuable champagne lifestyle expenses. What are the things you enjoy the most? You should also identify areas where you are willing to cut back.
For example, if you love to travel, you might want to allocate more money to travel expenses and then reduce your spending in other areas. Or if you love to explore new Michelin-starred restaurants, you might want to make that a priority and cook at home otherwise. Deciding what’s worth it for you is a personal decision. What’s worth it for someone else might not be for you, and vice versa.
2. Create a budget that fits your champagne lifestyle priorities
Once you know your priorities, you can start to create a budget. This will help you track your income and expenses so you can make sure you’re not overspending. If traditional budgeting with Excel sheets is not for you, explore some alternative budgeting methods to keep your finances on track. Once you know where your money goes, allocate it to your top champagne lifestyle priorities, starting with your most important goals and progressing from there.
3. Set a fun fund
A fun fund – or in this case a champagne lifestyle fund – is a small amount of money that you set aside each month for fun activities. This could be anything from getting a massage or going to a festival, depending on your priorities. There are plenty of money management apps that can help you with this by automating your fun fund savings, such as the Plum app. This can be a great way to budget for fun and avoid impulse spending, while also allowing you to save up for bigger splurges.
4. Avoid debt traps
Debt can make it challenging to live a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget. If you have debt, make a plan to pay it off as quickly as possible by making more than the minimum payments on your debt and by not taking on any new debt.
Credit cards and buy now, pay later services can be tempting because they allow you to pay in instalments. But the problem is that it’s easy to start using these services for everything, and before you know it, you could have a lot of debt. A champagne lifestyle is not worth it if it means you have to go into debt to afford it. It won’t last long if you get into financial trouble, so avoid debt at all costs.
5. Look for discounts
One way to save money on champagne lifestyle expenses is to look for discounts online. Websites and apps such as Groupon or Wowcher offer discounts on travel, dining, beauty treatments, and entertainment. You can also sign up for email lists from your favourite brands to receive notifications about sales and promos. Many retailers also offer a first-purchase discount when you sign up for their email list. In addition to email lists, join different (free) loyalty schemes. For example, by joining a hotel loyalty scheme, you can often get the best rates, free upgrades, and discounts on other hotel services.
Finally, don’t forget to shop around for the best prices. Don’t just buy the first thing you see. Compare prices from different retailers before you make a purchase. You can also use price comparison websites like Google Shopping to compare prices from different retailers.
6. Use cashback and coupon sites and apps
Cashback sites and apps can help you save money on your purchases by rewarding you with a percentage of your spending back. Coupon sites, on the other hand, give you discount codes to use on participating retailers. Some of the most popular cashback and coupon sites in the UK are TopCashback, Quidco, and Pouch.
To maximise your savings, download the cashback and coupon browser extensions from the above cashback and coupon providers. This will ensure that you automatically get cashback and coupons applied to your online purchases.
7. Collect air miles
For many, travelling is a big part of a champagne lifestyle. So if you love to travel, collecting air miles is a great way to save money on flights. You can collect air miles by flying with certain airlines, using certain credit cards, and shopping at certain retailers. Once you have enough air miles, you can redeem them for free or discounted flights.
In addition to offering air mile rewards, some credit cards also offer free upgrades, lounge access, and companion vouchers. Companion vouchers allow you to bring a friend or family member with you on a flight for a discounted price or even for free.
If you have large purchases coming up, it’s worth spending them with a credit card that offers airmiles or other rewards to get the most out of your spending.
8. Shop pre-loved designer items
If you are a fan of designer items, pre-loved designer items are a great way to live a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget. You can find high-quality items for a fraction of the original price, and you’re also helping to reduce waste and support sustainable fashion.
Vinted and Depop are some UK sites where people can buy and sell pre-owned items to and from other consumers. There are also plenty of online stores that buy and sell pre-loved designer clothes and accessories, such as Lampoo, Vestiaire Collective, and Luxe Collective. These companies authenticate the products before selling them.
While these sites are all specialised in pre-owned items, you can often find new items with tags on all of these sites, as sellers may have changed their minds or received unwanted gifts.
9. Rent clothes and accessories
If you only need an outfit or accessory for a special occasion, consider renting it instead of buying it. There are many companies that offer clothing and accessory rental services, such as By Rotation and Hurr Collective. Many luxury fashion retailers such as Harrods, Selfridges, and Flannels now offer rental services as well. Renting clothing and accessories for special occasions is a great way to save money and reduce waste. It also allows you to wear designer clothes and accessories that you might not be able to afford to buy.
10. Invest in quality over quantity
It’s better to have a few high-quality, timeless items than a closet full of poor-quality clothes that will quickly fall apart. When you splurge on something, make sure it’s something that you’ll love and wear for years to come. This is especially important for designer items, which can be a significant investment.
Some designer items can also be good investments, such as certain handbags and watches. These items can hold their value well and can even appreciate over time. If you’re looking to invest in a designer item, choose something classic and well-made. Avoid trendy items that may go out of style quickly.
11. Find the best dupes
Finding good dupes is a great way to live a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget. A dupe is a product that is similar to another product but is less expensive. There are many dupes available for popular champagne lifestyle items but beauty dupes tend to be specifically popular. These dupes are often just as good as the real thing, but they cost a fraction of the price.
Just note that dupes are not the same as fake products. Counterfeit products are illegal copies of brand-name products. Dupes, on the other hand, are legal alternatives.
12. Find more affordable experience alternatives
Affordable experience alternatives are like the dupes of the experience world. A champagne lifestyle is often associated with expensive experiences, such as dining at fancy restaurants, attending exclusive events, and travelling to exotic locations. However, it is possible to live a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget by finding affordable alternatives to expensive experiences.
For example, if you enjoy exploring high-end rooftop bars and restaurants, why not opt for going there for a coffee for a beverage instead of a dinner? Or when travelling in big cities, avoid expensive and touristy viewpoints. The same buildings often have a bar or restaurant where you can see the same views.
By finding affordable alternatives to expensive experiences, you can enjoy the same level of glamour and indulgence without spending a lot of money.
13. Recreate champagne lifestyle experiences at home
By getting creative and resourceful, you can easily recreate your favourite champagne lifestyle experiences at home on a lemonade budget.
For example, if you enjoy spa visits, buy the supplies you need to have your own luxurious spa day. This could include things like bath bombs, essential oils, face masks, and body scrubs. You can also light some candles and play calming music to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Or if you love fancy restaurants and nights out, why not plan a cocktail party or wine-tasting evening at home? Invite everyone to get dressed up and bring their favourite wines or cocktail ingredients.
14. Negotiate prices
Another way to make a champagne lifestyle more affordable is to negotiate. Whether you’re buying a pre-loved designer handbag on Vinted, getting a custom ring made, or booking a stay in a luxury Airbnb, always check if you can negotiate the price.
You might be surprised by just how many things you can negotiate. And while it doesn’t always work, there is nothing to lose either. Even if you didn’t manage to get a discount on the price, you might get some free extras.
15. Increase your income
At the end of the day, you can only stretch a lemonade budget so far if you’re dreaming of a champagne lifestyle. To make that dream a reality, it’s all about boosting your income. You can start by asking for a raise or promotion at your current job or exploring higher-paying opportunities elsewhere. But keep in mind, there’s often a cap on what you can earn through employment alone. To supercharge your earnings, it’s time to think about starting your own business or side hustle.
16. Invest in your future lifestyle
If a champagne lifestyle is important to you, it’s important to not only find ways to have it here and now but also ensure it’s something you can continue enjoying in the future too. This means making smart financial decisions and investing in yourself and your future.
Here are a few tips for investing in your future champagne lifestyle:
- Pay off your debts: High-interest debt can eat away at your savings and make it difficult to achieve your financial goal of living a champagne lifestyle. Make a plan to pay off your debts as quickly as possible.
- Save and invest regularly: Even if you can only save a small amount each month, it will add up over time. However, savings alone can’t improve your finances in the long run so learn the basics and get started with investing to grow your money for the future.
- Invest in your education and skills: The more you earn, the more you can afford to spend, save and invest. Invest in your education and skills to increase your marketability and increase your earning potential, whether running your own business or being employed.
- Make mindful money decisions: As you increase your income, it’s important to be thoughtful about what you do with the extra money. By deciding in advance how you will allocate it, you make it more likely that you don’t simply spend it all.
While we may not all be able to afford a champagne lifestyle in the traditional sense, there are still ways to enjoy the finer things in life without breaking the bank. It requires a little bit of creativity, resourcefulness, and a willingness to step outside of the box. Living a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget is all about being smart with your money and making the most of your resources. By following the tips above, you can start living the life you’ve always wanted.
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