We all want the best life possible but sometimes getting to where you want to go can be a real challenge. Think about attending university. You have to sacrifice four years in school to get a degree and the opportunities that can come with having a degree. If you want a house, you have to come up with a downpayment. This might mean asking family members for help, working really hard to make money to do this, or making financial sacrifices like avoiding costly vacations. At the end of the day though, you can reach your goals and dreams by making some sacrifices, even when you don’t really feel like it. I am trying to avoid this though.
I read this really great blog post in Refinery29 about a couple who saved really hard to buy a place in NYC. Not having a partner, it made me realize that I am really going to have to double down if I want to own a place one of these days. I am still figuring out the process of where to draw the line between enjoying life and saving. I love going out to eat, my family lives in the USA (lots of flights) but its just me who has to come up with the dough. Part of the reason for doing my twitter feed, and now this blog, is to think about “luxury hacking” and how someone who wants to live lux can enjoy life while making investments in the future. I read a story once about a woman who visited a friend who did not seem to have much but had purchased her first apartment when they were all in their 20s. She felt a bit jealous but that helped propel her to make decisions to get where she wanted to go. Eventually she bought a place of her own too.
Living in London means that there is always something going on. One of the reasons that I was so excited about moving here was that it gave me a chance to see and experience all of the wonderful things that London has to offer. It truly is amazing, but I know that it can also be pricey. If you are living in a small town – or even a suburb – things might be different. I felt like I saved a lot of money when I lived in the suburbs because there was no where to go on the weekend. I have decided that I am going to keep living life the way I was before but with a bit more common sense. Let me explain what I mean by this. Those of you who follow my twitter feed and blog know that I am in the middle of a 30 day challenge and I am already learning so much. I want to keep enjoying lux while reaching my goal of eventually moving into a property of my own at some point at the end of next year. It will be a struggle but my plan is that eventually I will be blogging from a flat of my own.
So, what am I going to do differently? Well, I hope to have more details after this month is over but there are a few key things up front.
First, I will go to really cool events that don’t cost as much and I will not pay more than I have to by looking for deals. I live in Westminster and there is a little discount card that gives you deals (many of them online for those of you who are afraid of coupons like the plague) and I’ve signed up for it. There are lots of 2-for-1 options out there. This is where it pays to be the planner of activities for friends because you can end up saving a bundle.
Second, I am setting up an autopay bank account just for my expenses like I used to have. This will suck out money from my account so that anything left is what I know that I can safely spend. Hopefully this will save me a bit of time doing my accounting each week.
Third, I am also going to make better use of downgrading my upgrades. Here are some examples. I will go to nice places on the weekend and only at brunch/lunch. Weekday nights out need to be cheap, easy. If I still want to go somewhere fancy, it needs to be for drinks/appetizers. I will still buy lux clothing but I will also stop wasting money on cheaper clothes that I am sometimes not as happy with. I will admit to loving some affordable brands that I will keep buying from (love you H&M). Also, there are a million things to do that don’t involve eating out – an afternoon of bowling, movies, runs around the park, etc.
Last, in some cases, I just need to say “nooo”. Not in a mean way but the truth is that I already work long hours and really don’t need to be out every single night running the street anyway…
I am not sure how this is going to go but I do know that I have a goal in mind and I am going to make it happen! I just want to stop wasting money and time on things that feel good in the moment. It is time to plan for upgrades! Of course there is an important aspect about earning more as well but that is for another blog post…