Money

A Budgeting Guide For People With Champagne Taste On A Beer Budget

Feel like a baller but simply don’t have the funds to back it up? Me too, guys.

So I know what it’s like having to ask the waiter at the fancy restaurant for tap water or tell the retail assistant, “oh yeah, I don’t really like the fit” upon realising the jeans you just tried on cost more than your car.

Here are our tips on dealing with having expensive taste when you have, well… not much money.

#1 Avoid temptation

Consider this your intervention – in any other case, shaking a bad habit for good means cutting it off from the source, right? So stop looking at all the things you simply can’t afford!

This means: unsubscribing from mailing lists, unfollowing Instagram accounts and possibly even changing your route home to avoid passing by your favourite shopfronts – anything to stop you spending.

#2 Take advantage of freebies

Freebies are great – reaping all of the benefits while copping none of the price tag. You know those Friday arvo drinks that are supplies at the office? Savour them! Pour yourself the fanciest glass of wine your office has and give yourself a little cheers for the weekend. You deserve it.

Alternatively, you can access next-level freebies by letting all of your friends know that you’re available to be a plus one to events at any given time. If it’s a wedding, a Christmas party or work event, the chances of an open bar and a decent meal are very high.

Some events even give out gift bags at the end of the night: think of all those potential goods you could take home with you.

#3 Budget for a lux gift to yourself

It’s fine to treat yourself now and again, just be sure to make room in your budget to be sure it’s not compromising your savings or meaning you’re going a week without food.

It’s a matter of accommodating whatever it is that you value or what’s important to you. If you enjoy a really fancy meal once a month, it might mean cutting back elsewhere in your spending.

Planning ahead is what’s important here. Impulse buys are a real budget buster, and they can result in more than a few regrets. If there’s something you really want, figure out a savings plan. You might be tempted by other shiny things along the way, but just remind yourself of what you’re working towards. The rewards will be so much sweeter.

#4 Hang out at a fancy venue

One of the greatest ways to tame your incessant levels of being extra is to get dressed up and make your way to a fancy venue.

Now that you’re dressed to the nines and feeling yourself a little, it doesn’t mean you’ve got to spend heaps – buy one or two cocktails and boast in the lavishness.

#5 One in, one out

Re-sale websites are made for people like us. If you’ve got your eyes on a special something, but your budget is a couple hundred dollars short, round up some of the things you’ve fallen out of love with and put it up for sale.

#6 Realise that stuff is just stuff

At the end of the day, it’s important to realise that stuff is just stuff. There will always be more things you want to buy, and the solution isn’t to just keep purchasing everything your heart desires – it’s about remembering the other things that bring you joy.

It’s nice to treat yourself from time to time, but remember to not get caught up in what you don’t have and count your blessings with what you do have.


Bradley is a writer from Newcastle who enjoys travel, Tina Fey and is a connoisseur of cheap red wine.