It is really difficult to define what is luxury. For a person struggling to make one square meal a day, having three meals a day will be a luxury. For a middle class traveler staying in a budget hotel, a five-star hotel stay will be a luxury. So, the perception about luxury depends very much on what is currently affordable to one and what he/ she perceives to be something bigger, seemingly beyond reach in one’s current financial status. From this angle, it is alright to consider luxury “on a budget”.
One of the best practices for enjoying luxury is to intentionally reduce the frequency of enjoyment in a particular activity or a thing where you have love for luxury. Take for example: holidaying in an exotic resort.
Assuming that you have the habit of going on a vacation every year and spending your money stingily on your mode of travel (passenger class), hotel (cheap and affordable ones) local sight-seeing transport (public transport) etc. You have been taking holiday alright, but you are really getting frustrated with the “lower quality” of comforts and enjoyment, and the calculativeness behind every bit of spending.
What you can do now is to skip holidaying for 2 to 3 years and accumulate that saving to enjoy a luxurious holiday visit the next year. You can travel by a higher class, stay in more luxurious hotels and hire a private vehicle for local sight-seeing. Thus luxury that you love becomes affordable within your overall budget for 2/3 years on Holidaying.
When it comes to luxurious dress, a method followed by my daughter could be of help. She does not have much of attraction for very costly and exotic dress materials that she can wear only once in a while. But she spends half the amount on a variety of seasonal, and impressive dresses, never from prestigious brands, but from less known but equally impressive sources. What she cannot impress “prestige seekers” with costly ones, she impresses equally well with the stunning variety she wears day in and day out. She creates an image of grand affordability and carefree spending on dress, but what she does really is on economizing very costly stuff that her peer group tends to spend.
The next tip for enjoying luxury within budget is good planning. Plan well ahead is the mantra. Booking airline tickets far in advance can save you a lot of money. Visiting prestigious tourist places off-season can save money.
The next approach is to save money consciously on what everyone spends, but on which you have no personal attraction. For example, owning an Apple Mac is a lovable luxury to you but you have no attraction for the latest and prestigious cell phone models. In other words, you need not get swayed by what is the “in thing” and by not spending on such things, you can save the money on what is going to give you a satisfaction of luxury to yourself.
All said and done, life will one day teach you that it is not luxury that will get you long lasting happiness, but it is simplicity that will. Until that reality dawns, people can definitely run behind luxuries with a calculator in hand!