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How To Live Like a King on a Peasant’s Income

How To Live Like a King on a Peasant’s Income

Wouldn’t it be nice to live like a king, rule the land, and have people bow at your feet? It sure sounds like a nice fantasy that most of us think we can’t attain… but the truth is, you can.

Well, we might not get other people to bow to us, but we can certainly find a way to dress like a king, eat like one, and travel like one. Most kings have gorgeous clothes and a nice car; they eat at fancy restaurants; they travel in first class; and they always have crowns. Who’s to say we can’t experience a little of that?

Now, I know what you’re thinking: all of that might seem out of reach on a small income like yours, but I’m here to tell you it’s possible.

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There are ways to live like a king (or at least close to it) on a very modest salary—the key is to understand how to get great deals without putting yourself into debt. If you do your research, exercise patience, and keep your spending in check, you’ll be feeling like royalty in no time. Here’s how to go about it:

How To Wear King’s Clothes:

If you were a real king, you’d wear extremely nice clothes from the top name brands. Designers would beg you to wear their creations, and you’d have someone to do all your shopping and clothes coordinating for you.

All that sounds a bit luxurious, but there’s no reason why you can’t experience a little bit of that royal treatment. While you might not be able to match the exact brands favored by royalty, you can certainly buy clothes of very nice quality at a lower cost.

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One way to do this is to join membership shopping sites: membership websites like RueLaLa routinely have luxury brands anywhere from 20%-90% off of retail prices. Most of them also sell home goods, so you can make sure you’re living in the lap of luxury at home too. Also, don’t discount thrift stores, where you can scour thrift stores for both vintage and name-brand items that are worth a lot more than the small price tags seen at Goodwill—all it takes is a little bit of know-how and a willingness to look to find the best deals.

Also, don’t forget about websites like Overstock that carry nice items for less and eBay, where you can bid on brand new or gently used clothing items. Just remember to set a budget to stick to it. Living like a king is great, but only if you don’t go into debt to do it. Bidding online can get to be a bit addicting. It always helps to remember that unless it’s an extremely rare item, someone will sell something similar to it in no time.

Fancy Restaurants:

A few years ago, some five star restaurants would simply be out of a “peasant’s” price range, but with the birth of coupons and secret shopper programs, you can easily try out some of the best restaurants in the world for far less than you could have ever imagined.

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As a secret shopper, you can try out restaurants and eat for free as long as you rate their service and their meals. With companies like Groupon you can buy coupons to dozens of restaurants and get your meals approximately 50% off.

Drive A Fancy Car:

I can’t promise that you can afford a fancy car, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drive one. Have a fun day out with your friends. If you’re a guy, dress up in a suit with your nicest tie or bow tie. Be sure to have your shirt and pants pressed. (Wrinkly clothes don’t give off the best impression.) Ladies, definitely go for your nicest heels and a pretty dress. If it’s cold were you live, make sure to wear a nice peacoat or leather jacket, as opposed to a sweatshirt with your favorite team on it. I usually shop around at places like Marshalls or Ebay to get the best deals on clothing. The brands are not as important as how well they fit you and look on your shape. Once you’ve picked your you outfit and are dressed to impress, go out and test-drive some beauties.

Travel First Class:

There’s a whole movement of people called “churners” who use credit card points to fly free around the world. They also get free nights at some of the world’s best hotels and upgrades wherever they go. The best part is that most of these churners are normal people who just learned how be really smart about their credit cards.

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In order to master this, you have to have good self-control and great credit. Then, you have to be able to do the research required to understand the risks of being a churner, which could involve negative hits to your credit due to the amount of credit cards they apply for. Many churners apply for several credit cards all in the same day to avoid too many inquires on their credit. They also plan it out, so that they can reapply for other cards every 3 months. In order to receive these points you will have to spend anywhere from $1,000-$10,000 in a specified amount of time, so you’ll need to do your research and find out if your expenses actually merit getting a specific card. Spending needlessly just to get points defeats the purpose of getting free flights, so always stay within your means.

There are many resources online where you can go to find out how to travel in style. Join a forum online or read blogs written by churners to get insider tips on how the experts do it best. Some of our favorites are Milepoint.com and FlyerTalk.com.

Having A Crown:

Well, this last one might not be as easy as the previous items for us to attain. However, if you are smart with your money, utilize sales, shop around, clip coupons, and scour thrift stores, you can definitely save up for a crown in no time.

Featured photo credit:  Blissful couple toast the beginning of their holiday via Shutterstock

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Catherine Alford

Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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