Thursday, March 22

Saving Money Doesn't Have to Mean Doing Without

I saw some articles on giving yourself a facial at home and it got me thinking about luxuries. Most of us like to treat ourselves from time to time and some of these treats can be very expensive. I decided to brainstorm some ways to be creative about rewards that won't cost as much:

  • Instead of a whole box of chocolates, go to a specialty store where they sell them individually and just buy one or two good ones. Bonus - you will eat less chocolate but be more satisfied with the experience.
  • Instead of cut flowers, buy a potted plant. They are often cheaper and last much longer. Rotate rooms to give a feeling of a fresh new look once in a while.
  • At home facials are just the start. Invite a friend and you can give each other pedicures, manicures, massage and more.
  • Swap services with a friend. This could be making meals for each other, running errands, babysitting if you have kids or even cleaning each others homes. When someone else does something for you it always feels like a treat, and when it's your turn you will also have to pleasure of helping a friend.
  • Track down the title you spotted at the bookstore through your local library.
  • Attend a minor league or college game instead of pro sports.
  • Go shopping in your friends closets or pantries and let them do the same in yours.
  • Borrow or rent equipment to try out an activity for the first time, especially sports, so that you are not stuck with stuff you never use.

Once you get going, it is easy to fund substitutions for many things that are just as good or better. If you could take this approach to all purchases how much would you save?


Investoid said...

Funny, I can't see my friends giving spa treatment to each other :-)

Here are some more (not necessarily) 'guy-oriented' ideas:

1) Have your friends over to watch sports instead of going to a bar. Either BYOB or rotate who's house it's at so the cost of hosting is distributed over time.

2) Wash the car yourself, instead of getting the luxury hand wash treatment. Trust me, you'll do a better job than they will anyway.

3) Instead of taking out your mate for a big dinner (but take him/her out sometimes!), create a romantic one in your home. For bonus points do it on a 'random' day, but secretly wait until you've got enough coupons for the ingredients you need :-)

nancy said...

The two tools I have that give me a sense of luxury without much of a price tag are: one of those battery-operated teeny whisks ($19 or so) that foam milk up, and one of those old-fashioned looking little espresso makers (a gift, but I would imagine in the $20 range). I still get a sense of gorgeous indulgence every time I make my homemade latte (aka the Meaning of Life)

nancy said...

Hi - thought you may like to know that I included a small link to your blog on my e-zine, and so far, a full 25% of the subscribers (about 600 - but I don't know how many have actually opened this issue yet) who have read this issue clicked to your blog. Hope this increases your readership.
Did you get my comment yesterday about home-made lattes being my huge money-saver?

the money diva said...

Thanks for the male perspective. I tried, but I knew I was missing it. :)

Appreciate the ideas and the plug! Sorry about the delay in moderating the comments. I was out of town this weekend.