What is inexpensive luxury? There is this image that living the life of luxury means lounging around all day doing nothing as people do your bidding, but real luxury isn't about wasting your life, it's about enjoying all the small details of your life.
You can own a luxury car but if it is coated with dirt and filled with used tissues and discarded coffee cups you won't feel very luxurious when you are in it.
Inexpensive luxury is owning a car that you can afford, in a favorite color, that you keep sparkling clean and in excellent condition that you feel great driving.
Add some details like tossing on a pair of driving gloves, some stylish sunglasses and a fun location to drive to and you will get that luxury feeling. Inexpensive luxury can be as simple as that!
You can live a life of inexpensive luxury on a budget by getting rid of money sucking distractions, some careful spending and some organization.
What are the luxuries in life that you really enjoy? Are you a foodie that thinks fine dining is the greatest way to enjoy life or would just having a amazing cup of coffee each morning be the perfect inexpensive luxury for you. Do textures in clothes, sheets and towels make you feel luxurious or would you rather spend your time soaking in a bubble bath. If you want your bathroom to be more luxurious read Inexpensive Luxury in Bathrooms.
While advertisers try to push the idea on us that expensive luxury goods (cars, perfumes, exotic vacations) are the way to a luxurious life that's simply not true. Media has such a strong influence in our lives. Television programs sometimes just seem to be a never ending display of stuff that are shown to entice you.
Designers do their damnest to make sure that their clothes, furniture and accessories are used in high profile shows so that will result in future sales for themselves.
You are watching a drama where you sympathize with the characters and consciously or subconsciously you believe if you surround yourself with the things that they are shown with, you will be more like them.
Award shows tend to be a never ending fashion show were all the clothes and jewelry have been lent out by high end fashion houses that want their goods to be showcased.
I am not saying that it is bad to want nice things, or to admire beautiful things, but the cost of these items tends to be steep and there has been in the last 20 years a push from the "luxury" markets to sell to average income earners. Gucci bags being carried by office workers and high end vehicles driven by school teachers.
To define the luxury market is very difficult as it is becoming all encompassing. Up to maybe 50 years ago it was very easy. A luxury items was something that the poor could not afford and in many cases they did not even know existed. Today's explanation is more varied.
The thought is that a luxury item is something that it better made with quality materials and has a high price tag to reflect the quality that went into it. Over the years luxury items have also become limited and so they become more exclusive. People want to buy that exclusivity to reflect their wealth.
On the other side of this there are such items that are called Veblen Goods, which if they were less expensive would make them less attractive, because they are no longer exclusive and they would lose their rank as a status symbol (case in point, designer handbags, designer jeans.)
We know about luxury leather goods, cars, watches and jewelry but it has now moved into the concept of luxury tea, coffee, chocolate, wrapping paper, cosmetics, golf clubs, kitchen cabinets, etc. etc.
What is insidious about this luxury market is that even if some people know that they can not afford the price of these goods they are willing to buy the knock offs of these items to continue the belief that even a fake of that items is better that a good, quality-made, unknown brands
I should be very clear that I love my luxuries. Most of them have nothing to do with the price I pay for anything but are the moments in time that I can take for myself and my family that we make special. A pot of simmering stew on a cold winters night that we will eat in front of the fireplace, roses from my garden on my bedside table, a spur of the moment picnics, snuggling into a huge feather pillow as I read a book or enjoy an Inexpensive Spa Day at Home.
Inexpensive luxury means paying attention to things that make you feel great.You can feel luxurious wrapped up in a thick warm towel that you bought on sale for $10. The other truth is what one person finds luxurious might leave another person indifferent.
You need to find what you believe luxury to be. While at first thought you might think dining out is luxurious, try to hone in exactly what part of the experience it is that you truly enjoy. Is it the food, the restaurants decor, the romance of the candlelight, the company, or the fact that you don't have to do the dishes at the end.
Try to recreate the experience that you find most luxurious at home. If it is the food, start researching recipes, if it is the decor, study exactly what you like and try to find inexpensive items in thrift stores, Kijiji, Craigslist or outlet stores to re-create it. Candles are easy and cheap to buy, friends can be invited over and you can learn to tidy up as you cook so your kitchen is clean by the time dinner is ready and the dinner dishes can then either be placed in the dish washer or quickly wiped and left stacked to wash latter.
Sometimes we just have too much stuff around us to enjoy luxury. How do you start your day? Are you digging through piles of dirty laundry to find something decent to wear? Do you have a make up bag that is crammed with samples from the drug store and 5 year old make up?
Simplifying your life could be the answer for you to enjoy the inexpensive luxury that is around you. Chose the clothes (and any accessories or jewelry) that you are going to wear the night before, even if you are going to be at home all day. What ever situation that you are in, be it work in an office or working at home, it will be one less decision that you have to make in the morning so you will be able to enjoy other things. If you love clothes and they are one of your luxuries then choosing your outfits the night before can become a very pleasant ritual.
That means that you will have to be organized with your laundry so that fabulous black dress you know you look great in will be in your closet ready for you to pick out. If you want inexpensive luxury on a budget then it means you will have to think of chores not as a burdens but a small necessity to enjoy the things you really love.
This simplification might be what you need in the rest of your home. You can have less things of better quality, so instead of having 10 chipped mugs find 6 good quality ones and dump the broken ones. Sometimes you can't find your "nice stuff" because you are holding onto things "that you might need someday" and anyone would fine it hard to feel luxurious in that type of atmosphere.
Are you mindlessly watching tedious television programs or surfing the internet when you could be using that time to pamper yourself? Sometimes to enjoy something you have to be a bit disciplined with yourself. You know that you love bubble baths but you find yourself night after night sprawled on the sofa. Give yourself a good shake and get in the habit of getting yourself to make the effort to do the inexpensive luxury things that you enjoy.
Don't go chasing after the same luxury once you have achieved it. If you bought a luxurious bathrobe that you love (on sale of course) it doesn't mean that having 3 or 4 more will make you feel even more luxurious.
Don't start filling up your life with money sucking distractions, like buying several cups of designer coffee a day, when what you really crave is a cappuccino machine in your own kitchen.
When you really discover what it is that you want in luxury you will find that walking into a store is not the only way of achieving it. Inexpensive luxury might be something that you already have in your live but are not taking advantage of.
Enjoying this article? Get more great reading monthly. Sign up for the More Style Than Cash Newsletter!