If you are living on a tight budget, you might feel envious of the way that others are able to enjoy meals out at expensive restaurants, upscale furniture and frequently travel to exotic locations. There is no question that money brings with it opportunity, but there are plenty of ways to get more from life without spending a fortune.
The key is to be willing to do a little research in advance to find the best bargains, and you might need to scout out shops or markets to find high-quality items at low prices. Here are some top tips for great living on a so-so budget.
Enjoying What You Love While Living On A Budget
Traveling On A Budget
Traveling is one of the things that people on a strict budget mistakenly believe they have to go without. Thankfully, there are ways that you can pay less for flights, hotels and dining out in new locations. The big-ticket item most of the time will be your plane ticket, and the key to getting low rates for this is to travel in the off-season as well as during the week.
A red-eye flight to Florida on a Tuesday in February will be significantly cheaper than a Friday night flight in June. You can also hunt around online at travel comparison sites like Expedia, Kayak and Webjet to find out which days, flights and airline carriers are the cheapest options. Also, be sure to head to Restaurants.com before you travel to buy half-priced gift certificates to great restaurants in your holiday destination.
Dressing Well On A Budget
Even if you are on a limited budget, you shouldn’t have to settle for out-dated or unattractive clothing. One of the keys to dressing well when you are strapped for cash is looking online for sales through websites like eBay or Asos. You might also want to visit second-hand shops or markets, both of which can provide you with stylish items at rock-bottom prices.
If you must head to the high street, only visit during special sales, and get there early to scoop up the best bargains. If you have a few friends who are also strapped for cash and looking for new threads, host a clothing swap. This lets you trade around and pick up great pieces at no cost to you.
Home Decor and Furniture On A Budget
This is one area where shopping on a budget doesn’t have to be a chore. Since shipping costs for most furnishings will be significant, it doesn’t make sense to buy these items online. However, you can visit your regional Craigslist website to find out if there are affordable second-hand items being sold in your area.
You should also hit weekly markets and garage sales, both of which often have surprisingly great deals on items like tables, chairs, wall art and even kitchenware.
Insurance On A Budget
When you are strapped for cash, you might think that things like medical or car insurance are luxury items that you can afford to get rid of. However, that would definitely be a mistake! You might not appreciate paying premiums each month, but the alternative could be bankruptcy if you have a medical emergency that you can’t pay for.
If your current insurance plan is too expensive, head online and look for some cheap life insurance quotes through comparison websites until you find one that can comfortably fit within your budget each month.
Entertainment On A Budget
Whether you live in a big city or a small town, many of the most popular forms of entertainment are also costly. Heading to the cinema, to a musical performance or for a game of bowling can add up quickly, and these expenses might be ones that you need to cut in order to afford more important essentials.
Thankfully, you don’t have to live without entertainment. If your television service is too costly, consider renting films for free from your local library, which also has new books and magazine subscriptions you can read for free.
Even if you are living on limited means, you don’t have to miss out on what you love to see and do. The key is to prioritize the things that mean the most to you, whether it’s fashion, tasty meals with family and friends, or annual holidays, and then figure out how to take advantage of the best deals and make it work for you.
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