3 Ways to Enjoy Luxury Without the Price Tag

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I recently overheard a man say to someone, “I have champagne taste and a beer budget.” You might feel the same way, especially if you’ve seen your investments shrink or lost a job in the past few years.

Growing up in the 70s in a lower-middle-class single-parent home, my mom knew how to stretch a dollar ‘til it was nearly see-through. Those years taught me a few good lessons and a resourceful attitude around money that I still carry with me today. Here are my five favorite tips for enjoying luxury items without paying a high price.

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Buy Clothing Off-Season.

How do you snag a gorgeous $150 swimsuit for $70? Buy at the END of summer and not the beginning. How do you score a brand new coat at rock bottom prices? Buy at the END of winter and not in the fall. Retailers begin to discount clothing (and other seasonal goods) at the end of the season, so waiting until August to pick up some cute shorts or buying a fancy leather jacket in March or April is a smart money move.

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Consider a Pre-Owned Car.

I just bought a fully loaded Lexus ES350 and before you think I’m bragging, allow me to continue. Had I chosen a 2013 model with the same features my car has, it would have cost about $44,000. Ouch. Because I chose a 2007 model with 79,000 miles on it, I paid less than half what I would have paid for it new.

A brand new car loses (on average) 20 percent of its value the minute you drive it off the lot, and some models lose as much as 40 percent, according to the guys over at Fool.com. These statistics mean one thing: buying pre-owned can get you a lot more car for your money. Plus, if you choose a high quality carmaker such as Lexus or Acura, the miles already on the odometer really don’t matter.

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Never Buy Designer Clothing at Retail.

Financial pop quiz time! Would you rather spend $400 or $1,000 on a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes? Would you rather pay $165 or $500 for a Donna Karan skirt? If your fashion sense covets designer clothing labels but your wallet screams for Target, why not buy the names you really want at half off (or more) by shopping consignment stores? I know from experience you can find every designer you can imagine in consignment stores and most shops are very fussy about what they’ll accept, so your finds are sure to be in great shape and on trend.

What are your favorite ways to treat yourself to luxury lifestyle items without paying luxury prices?

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