Recently a group of guys called Home Free Vocal Band won a singing competition called “The Sing Off.” On their latest album they released a song called “Champaign Taste on a Beer Budget.” The concept is very simple. Many people have expensive taste but find themselves living on a simple, cheap budget. So how do you live within your means without feeling like you’re having to cramp your style? Here are 4 things you can do today to stretch your budget to satisfy your expensive taste.
1. Take Care Of Your Stuff
This one is pretty straightforward. When you buy a new pair of shoes, a new outfit or splurge on a new couch – take care of it. Keep it clean, so that it will last for years. Be sure to wash your clothes the way the instructions say. If you spill Koolaid on your floor, clean it up asap. You don’t want to let spills turn into stains. When you get home from a function where you have to dress up, change into day clothes before you start cooking. If you are going to spend money on nice things, make sure you actually take care of them so they last. After all, expensive taste items are much harder on the wallet to replace should you ruin them.
2. Do The Math
When you are ready to make a purchase, do the simple math. If an outfit or product is only going to be used once, then you are essentially paying full price for a one time event. But if you can buy something and use it multiple times, then every time you use it or wear the clothes you are reducing the cost. Exactly how much bang are you going to get for your buck?
For example, a mattress may cost $800. But if you sleep on it every night for 4 years, then that means you are using it at least 1,460 times. If you divide the cost by the number of times you are using it, you will only have spent about 50 cents for each night of sleep. That makes it a bargain and helps you feel better about paying the bucks. You can forget your expensive taste in many cases, but you need to get what you like as far as mattresses are concerned. There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep.
3. Buy Quality
Is it better to spend $3.00 on a plastic screw driver from the discount store or $23.00 for a quality tool that will last? Sometimes the smartest buy is the more expensive item. If the cheap item has to continually be replaced then is it the best deal? We have found that it often hurts in the beginning to buy a quality item, but saves money and headache down the road.
4. It’s Ok To Splurge – Occasionally
You can splurge on some things, just make sure that they are important to you. You may have to scrimp and save a little to quench your expensive taste, but if a cruise makes you happy, perhaps eating in more at home and packing your lunch for work is worth it to you. Don’t deprive yourself too much, but don’t go overboard either. 🙂