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How to feel rich with a limited budget

How to feel rich with a limited budget

There is no eloquent way to put it: living on a limited budget is sucking. You spend your time think

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There is no eloquent way to put it: living on a limited budget is sucking. You spend your time thinking about every last dollar you have in your bank account. You get stuck eating pasta and ramen noodles every day for dinner (and lunch). And going to a bar feels like you’re paying for a six-course meal.

But at the end of the day, we all have to pinch penny at some point. But being responsible with your budget can help you feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Let’s cover some ways to live frugally while still treating yourself every now and then.

Poison from a woman who says

Source: Giphy.com

Buy in a ‘next’ neighborhood, not a ‘now’ neighborhood

Just before COVID-19 hit, my husband and I started looking for a home. It was very quickly clear that we were not buying in the city where I grew up. Therefore, we expanded our scope and found the perfect home at the bottom of our budget. The only downside was that it was in an emerging area without much nightlife and a severe lack of… well, anything.

It turns out that this was not a disadvantage at all. Our home has risen 40% in value since the pandemic hit, and we have moved in just as the small town center has risen and opened a number of restaurants, bakeries and pubs over the past few years.

Buying a home in a less popular location can mean you have one of the most beautiful homes in your area. And if you choose an emerging area like my husband and I have, you may end up with a lot to do and have potential home ownership to start with.

Rent fancy clothes

Many people deal with negative situations by shopping. No judgment, I did it too.

Joey from Friends says 'Maybe I can wear more clothes?'

Source: Giphy.com

For those who regularly find that they break their budget to buy something new to wear, there is an alternative that is better for you, the environment and your wallet: clothing rental services.

Whether you need clothes for the office or just a fun occasion, companies like Nuuly and Rent the Runway have you covered. For a relatively affordable monthly price ($ 88 for Nuuly; $ 94 for Rent the Runway), you can get new clothes every month. It can make you feel like you are constantly on a shopping spree, without your wallet having to feel the stress.

Leave the gym

Gyms like Planet Fitness are designed to make you feel like you’re getting a great deal. With low prices, it seems like you spend almost nothing to gain access to a pretty decent gym. But there are two key factors that are left out:

  1. The gym bets that you will sign up and never show up. This is their business model. Many people sign up for the low price, and half of them (myself included) never actually go to the gym and forget to cancel.
  2. You pay more than $ 10 a month thanks to other annual fees. While the monthly price is low, a gym like Planet Fitness charges an annual fee of $ 39 and an initial fee of $ 10 on top of the monthly plan. While it may not seem like much, you’ll pay more than a hundred dollars a year to maintain a membership you’re probably not using.

So, instead of gym memberships, pamper yourself with some fancy exercise equipment and take advantage of the free options at your disposal. Exercise outdoors or get affordable equipment for your home and turn any extra space into a home gym.

Read more: 6 tips to help you end your gym membership

Travel to lesser known places

Just because you live on a tight budget does not mean you are not allowed to travel. You’ll have to put in a little extra legwork and find places off the beaten path, but is not that the whole point of travel in the first place?

If you are looking for some affordable places to visit, we have some suggestions here. We also have some ways you can book flights for less.

Read more: Travel for Cheap: 7 Ways to See the World for Less

Get a discount on all your entertainment

You no longer have to pay the full price for anything. With discount programs and loyalty clubs you can find an affordable option for most products. For your everyday purchases, cash back applications like Capital One Shopping can tell you if you have the lowest price, and they almost always have some kind of coupon as well.

For entertainment, Groupon can help you find discount coupons on movies, amusement parks, restaurants, breweries and more.

Read more: 11 best sites to find coupons and offers online

Visit museums

Visiting museums is a surprisingly affordable form of thought-provoking entertainment. As a personal example, my hometown has always had what they called “first Fridays”. On the first Friday of each month, all the art museums were free to enter. Considering there were a dozen or so small galleries, you could spend all night looking at different artists’ work.

Poison of a man showing a woman a painting in an art gallery

Source: Giphy.com

Even larger museums across the country are free. Here is a handful to consider:

  • The Smithsonian in DC
  • National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.
  • Cleveland Museum of Art.
  • The Alamo in San Antonio.
  • The museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.

Do you have a Bank of America debit or credit card? Thanks to Bank of America’s Museums on Us program, cardholders can access free public access to more than 225 museums and cultural centers across the United States on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month.

Buy a used luxury car

A man asking a woman,

Source: Giphy.com

If cars are not your thing, you can jump past this one. But if you like to have a nice car (which is, despite what most financial experts claim is good), you can even do it on a budget.

Depreciation of cars can hurt original buyers, but it can actually be a benefit to used car buyers. Luxury cars depreciate astonishingly fast, but if you buy one second-hand, you can shave off tens of thousands of the purchase price while still getting a reliable ride. Some of the most affordable options are:

  • Cadillac CTS – You can get a relatively new model for just under $ 30,000.
  • BMW 3 Series – For anywhere between $ 15,000- $ 30,000, you can insure an older BMW.
  • Audi A3 – Five years ago or so, all my friends wanted an Audi for some reason. That new car of $ 35,000 + can be found for $ 10,000- $ 15.00 if you go with an older model.
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class – Mercedes can be found on sites like Carvana for $ 10,000- $ 17,000, compared to the $ 40,000 + starting price for a new one.

Read more: How to drive a car more beautiful than you thought possible

Track your net worth

Tracking your net worth can boost your confidence, even if you have a long way to go before you reach Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk status. When you watch your net worth and (hopefully) watch the number rise, you will understand that your wealth is growing no matter how slow.

You can find some applications that can help you easily track the growth of your nest egg in our article Applications that help you build your net worth.

Summary

Living on a tight budget can be difficult, but there are ways to feel rich (or less broken), even when you are not. Sure, you will not be buying a mansion anytime soon, but you do not have to eat a bowl of ramen noodles and canned beans every night.

If you take a few steps, such as finding your net worth, using discount applications and finding free entertainment, you can have fun while keeping your budget on track.

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