Unfortunately this isn’t a post about literal champagne. Just putting that there as a warning, so I don’t get lots of disappointed comments from people who’ve read the whole thing to discover that champagne doesn’t feature. It’s just not my style — I’m more of a Pimms girl.
Besides, if you want champagne on a lemonade budget you should probably compromise with prosecco. Anyway, I digress.
Sticking to a low budget is really hard. Especially at first, and when you have some spare ‘cash’ in the budget — it’s oh-so-tempting to dip into it and spend it on those luxuries you’ve recently put on hold in order to reach your financial goals.
But will splurging on a dinner/outfit/watch permanently curb that craving to spend? Probably not.
However, allowing yourself some little luxuries will make frugal living much, much easier. Not in a ‘oh I can go and drop a few hundred on some sunglasses’ kind of way, but in a ‘I miss doing that so how can I recreate it’ way. They add some thrifty cheer into your life — with the added bonus of being kind on your bank balance too.
Brunch is definitely one of my favourite things. Fried breakfasts, waffles, continental, pancakes… however its served, I love it. But, it’s also expensive. For all of us to go out and enjoy a nice lazy Sunday brunch (who am I kidding? I have a Small Human…) we can easily kiss goodbye to the best part of thirty quid. Nowadays, we have a lazy Sunday brunch with homemade pancakes, served with bottomless coffee and orange juice. I reckon it probably costs us £4 max — and as we only make them when we have a surplus of milk and eggs, they help us reduce food waste too. Does that make them technically free? I like to think so.
Whilst I’m not a regular at the ol’ beauty salon, I am partial to the odd facial/massage/mani-pedi every now and again. They’re not compatible with our new slimline finances though, so they’re resigned to history. Instead, I’ve converted to home treatments. Facials are now a warming mineral mask and my attempts at mani-pedis have been given a semi-professional makeover thanks to some great budget beauty products including this nail polish top coat, a pack of orange sticks (thin wooden lifesavers!) and a totally-unsexy-but-very-necessary foot-file. Oh yes.
My luxuries seem to revolve around food, which I think says a lot about me. I’m okay with that. Before our budget cuts, we didn’t have takeaways often — maybe once a month — but they were expensive. Easily £35 or so. It’s an almost painful realisation that one meal equals 90% of our weekly food budget. Now, I recreate them at home. I’ve almost mastered Pad Thai, Wagamama-style, and I’ve found a great recipe for Chicken Bhuna that I want to try next (along with home made flatbreads). Not only are we saving money, but I’m also rediscovering a love for cooking too.
Holidays aren’t on the cards for a while — not least because flying with two small humans would not be a pleasant experience. Instead, we’ll be having staycations and explore the immediate world around us. Just because you’re at home, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some luxurious treats — during the last ‘babymoon’ staycation we had, we went on a day spa trip which cost £100 for the two of us. Plus, as it was on a Wednesday we had the whole spa to ourselves. Absolute heaven.
What are your go-to DIY luxuries?