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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 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!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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