Loving your life now and putting away savings for later, don’t have to be conflicting lifestyle choices. With a little effort, you can live large on a shoestring budget just by being clever with how you save, how you spend, and not compromising on the things that really matter to you.
Here are three ways you can realise your saving potential, and start living la vida low-cost life:
- Spice up your rice
Quality dining doesn’t always have to include five courses and polished cutlery - it just involves a few flavour hacks to make your meal into a homespun masterpiece.
When it comes to your meal base, basic can often be the best. Cheap principal ingredients like rice, couscous or even instant noodles can become taste sensations by just adding your own fresh vegetables, spices, sauces or finishing touches – and remember, a garnish can make anything fancy.
Leftovers are also a great way to save on both time and money. Yesterday’s curry always seems to have more kick and next-day pizza is a slice of heaven.
- Save the date
Whether for laughs or love, dates with friends and romantic partners are some of the easiest things to do on the cheap. Because the more we simplify, the more we get back to what’s really important – spending time with the people who make us feel good.
Choose nature: If you can, get out there! Find your friends, pick a place on a map and go on a hike—or rest your legs and relax in the park.
DIY your dates: Be your own event curator and make a frugal festival of your own next time you want to connect with friends or a partner. You could choose a double feature for your home theatre, host your own trivia event — either face-to-face or if you can’t, online. Hello, tracksuit pant couture.
Watch for discounts: Make your date even more ‘special’ by making the most of a good bargain. Be it food, drinks or entertainment, keeping an eye out for a 2-for-1 or group deal might help you get more fun for your funds. And it might even be the key to a great night out (or in) that you weren’t even expecting.
- It’s not old, it’s vintage
Whether it’s a projector for your DIY movie nights or a car for going on adventures, you don’t have to feel like buying new things is out of bounds while you save. You might just have to buy something that’s new to you. There’s a huge market for second-hand goods, and with retro clothes and furniture highly sought-after, you can usually find something original with a simple search. Do some digging and wait for a price that suits your budget so you can have everything you want - at a fraction of the cost.
Moral of the story? Living large doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. By making simple lifestyle changes like hacking your menu choices and putting your favourite people at the centre of your fun, you can keep living your best life - without sacrificing your savings.