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5 Tips For Living Like Royalty on a Tight Budget

5 Tips For Living Like Royalty on a Tight Budget

“Cash rules everything around me, cream get the money, dollar dollar bills ya’ll”, are famous lyrics rapped by none other than the infamous hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan. Albeit, not overly eloquent in its execution, the sentiment is undeniably true. Pretty much every step in our life is governed by our monetary circumstances, meaning that balancing the books is a fine art.

So, if you’re not one of the lucky few who was born into an oil baron’s family or you didn’t invent a social media page that went bonkers, you’re probably apart of huge crop of individuals experiencing the challenge of getting on top of payments and struggling to save.

When looking at the old bank account, the knot in your throat might be suggesting a visit to a public library or prompt you to Google, “free things to do in my city this weekend” as a few tears pour out, (but only a few, the lack of sustenance you can afford will only produce so much!) Don’t fear, unless you live in Mogadishu or Kabul, there are plenty of ways to live like the Wolf of Wall Street and still fulfil your cash money goals.

So, where to? It all starts with budget and planning. Yes, the old ‘budgeting’, approach. No doubt we’ve all heard this method a hundred times from parents or that annoying accounting student we all know. It’s constantly mentioned for a reason; it works. It doesn’t matter if you’re earning mega benjamins or only a few, you have to look at what is coming in versus what is going out.

This helps you work out where you money is going and can then help you develop a strategy to start racking up pennies. Once you got a budget, you can then plan expenses by planning your life. You can plan a week of meals, transport, social hangs, whatever, meaning there will be no surprise costs that strike up like a jack in the box leading you to sing for extra coins at the train station.

We all have essentials and desirables. One obviously takes a bigger priority for quality of living, but here a few tips to merge those wants into your everyday hustle.

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1. Eats

Food on a table

    We all gotta eat. For your everyday life though, buy in bulk. With your grocery expenses buy for most meals of the week. Leave a few meals spare for eating out with mates and/or romantic mates. Yes, I feel ya, you’re probably thinking,”Eating out?! Isn’t that the worst? So expensive”. You’re not wrong, however don’t worry, I got you. As long as you’re not dining out everyday, there are plenty of ways to eat out on a budget.

    First move, get on social media, no not to perve on hot people or watch funny cat videos, get on there and follow any local restaurants, bistros, diners, bars, if it serves food, follow it. Food businesses and eateries are always posting deals, ranging from 2 for 1’s, discount hours, special offers, events, it’s how they market and build customers, why not take advantage?

    For budgeting purposes you can save bulk dimes and still enjoy the luxury of someone else cooking you up a feast.

    2. Stay Fashion Relevant

    A woman in various outfits showcasing fashion

      You might remember that moment at school when you’re sported new sneakers or mad clothes and the whole class was like “Damnnnn!!!!”. Contrarily, you also might remember that moment where you got picked on for wearing daggy threads or looking like a Kmart mannequin. Fearing that the latter may come again due to budget constraints? Stay calm, a world of affordable and trending fashion is out there.

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      Companies like Asos, H&M, Zara, the Iconic, present magic and freaking awesome options for styling up a storm. Forget about the last catalogue of Abercrombie and Fitch and Ralph Lauren, you can pick up quality plain tops, sweaters, shirts, pants, jackets, shoes for anywhere between $10 to $40 and look fit for anything from a fashion show to an ivy league party.

      The rise of the hipster and serious gentrification has meant picking up second hand apparel is also a cheap and stylish option. Fortunately, op shops are everywhere so get rummaging. The world of fashion is no longer all about labels, it’s about style and there a plenty of sources available to maintain yours on a budget.

      3. Date Nights

      Wine and Candles

        Candlelight: the perfect real-life Instagram filter.

        You don’t have to hire Hitch to spark romance or maintain it. Staying in with your significant or attractive other provides great ways to inspire love, cuddles, romance and even savings on the finance scene. Ever heard of “Netflix and Chill?” Yes, while the term has its dubious associations, it is a darn impressive service full of great, versatile content for just over $10 a month. There’s something for everyone and every mood.

        Cosy up on the couch and watch classics or discover new favourites. Don’t hesitate to follow your local cinema on social media if you prefer a bigger screen, just like restaurants, they’ll be promoting hot deals too. Or, If you happen to be a Masterchef, cooking in at home can serve up a dish of good times and speaks for itself when saving cash.

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        If you’re going to, make something edgy like burritos, arancini balls, something that is fun. Pair this with a bottle of wine or drink of preference, light a few cheap candles, dim the lights and voila, you’re on your way to recreating a scene from The Notebook. To throwback a few paragraphs, pair your date/s with a local dinner deal, even better!

        4. Bulk Gains, For Less Cash

        A woman stretching on the beach

          Provided you’re not living under a rock or militantly disbelieve basic science, exercise is pretty important when it comes to your health. Luckily, we live in a time of #fitspiration. In a nutshell, you don’t have to fork out bags of cash to stay fit and healthy, nor have you ever had to. There are plenty of cheap, small 24 hour gyms that offer more than enough for your everyday sweat and shred production.

          If budget doesn’t permit, your heartbeat can still be increased by more than just your financial anxieties. The internet is a great place to resource intel on exercise. Take notes, then hit your local park or lounge room floor and get sweating. Remember that push-ups, sit-ups, squats, running are all free and still widely used in military and professional sporting team programs. Last I checked, those guys are pretty cut.

          If you’re chasing zen, check your local council or shire as many throw free Yoga and Tai Chi classes. For more #healthyliving tips on the cheap, follow fitness fanatics or athletes on social media outlets to get even more daily workout and exercise tips. Do you even lift? No excuses.

          5. Grind and Hustle

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          A woman walking 4 dogs

            “I need a dollar, dollar, dollar man what I need,” Aloe Blacc isn’t wrong. Having an actual income when assessing finances and budget is a pretty good start, (obviously). But if you’re unlucky enough to be working hard for less, or just need more capital on top of your paycheck, the world is your oyster to make a few extra scraps.

            With a global service like Uber, you can drive up the figures displayed in your bank account. All you need is a car that meets the required specs imposed by Uber, and then let the extra cash floodgates open. If you’re not riding dirty in the vehicle game, there are plenty of creative alternatives.

            For example, roll deep with a couple of canines providing your own dog walking business. Not only does it give you great company, it’s also a method to integrate fitness while earning dosh. If you’re one of those weird people allergic or just don’t happen to like pooches, look to jobs posted on things like Gumtree or Craigslist. House-sitting, cleaning or even selling some of your possessions are easy and generally stress free ways to generate remuneration.

            Failing these options, pick up a part-time job at a bar or restaurant, a fantastic place to earn wages, get cash tips, and socialise. Eat, sleep, earn, repeat

            Alright, we may have overstepped the mark when saying live like royalty. Unfortunately that privilege is only destined for a select crop of lucky individuals. So if you’re eating rice in the dark in your apartment, with bills coming in while seeing your friends tagged in photos out and about, turn that frown upside down.

            There are countless methods to live a stimulating and adventurous life on a budget. Need help budgeting? Why not seek out a professional wealth advisor, the pay-off from an investment like this could be the ticket you need to your financial success. At the end of the day, it’s your life, your money, your budget, your goals, treat yourself where you can and know full well the world offers more than just paying the man.

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            Last Updated on June 26, 2020

            25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

            25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

            “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

            If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

            You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

            Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

            As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

            And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

            But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

            • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
              • food
              • rent/mortgage
              • cell phone
              • insurance
              • socializing/entertainment
              • transportation
              • hygiene products
              • household bills
            • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
              • travel
              • clothing
              • medication (*depends)
              • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
              • gifts

            Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

            Save Money on Food

            1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

            Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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            Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

            2. Buy the store-brand version

            Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

            3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

            Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

            4. Have group dinners

            If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

            Save Money in Transport

            5. Get a bicycle

            Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

            6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

            Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

            7. Find the cheapest gas

            Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

            Save Money in General Shopping

            8. Shop online

            Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

            9. Sell your old stuff

            Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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            Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

            10. Bulk buying stores

            For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

            Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

            11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

            You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

            12. Generic brand medication

            More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

            13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

            It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

            Cut Down on Household Expenses

            14. Printing

            Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

            e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

            Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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            15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

            A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

            16. Shop around for insurance

            Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

            Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

            17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

            If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

            18. Don’t get a TV

            Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

            19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

            My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

            Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

            20. Have house parties

            Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

            For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

            21. Open festivals, meetups and events

            It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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            22. Volunteer

            If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

            23. Housesit

            There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

            Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

            24. DIY beauty

            French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

            25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

            If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

            Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

            Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

            • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
            • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
            • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
            • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
            • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
            • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
            • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

            Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

            What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

            Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

            More Tips for Personal Finance Management

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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