How to Live a VIP Lifestyle on a Budget
Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
There’s a saying that good meat isn’t cheap and cheap meat isn’t good—in other words, you get what you pay for. So when you’re on a budget, how can you enjoy the finer things in life without breaking the bank?
Fortunately, you can treat yourself and the ones you love to some VIP-style fun every once in a while, even if you don’t make a million dollars a year. Here are a few ways you can eat out, travel, and have fun on a budget:
Going out to eat is definitely a treat, and costs can quickly add up. Save money by not ordering drinks and instead only ordering water. Non-alcoholic beverages and wine are where restaurants make most of their profits.
Another way to save a little money while still being able to eat great food is to go out for lunch instead of dinner. The portions will most likely be smaller, but that means your bill will be smaller, too. You can also try a different day of the week. Many restaurants offer deals on slower-traffic days in order to drive more business.
Try vacationing in the off-season. You can find some great vacation packages by booking during off-peak months, and resorts and beaches may not be very busy during those times.
If you are flying, try scheduling your flight to leave and return during the middle of the week or booking flights with connections instead of non-stop or direct flights. It won’t be as quick, but it will be cheaper (and you’ll have some time to stretch your legs). You may also want to consider alternate means of transportation, such as bus or train, if time is not a factor and if your travel destination is only a few hundred miles away.
The finer things
If you love to be pampered, consider checking out the local beauty colleges or spa training schools in your area instead of pricier salons or spas. You’ll save money, and the person taking care of you will appreciate the opportunity to further perfect his or her craft. You can also try daily deals sites, such as LivingSocial and Groupon, which often have discounted prices for spa and salon services. But buyer beware: You can definitely wreck your budget if you don’t know when to say no to a deal.
If you prefer a good shopping spree to unwind, gently used could be the way to go.
Consider shopping at clothing consignment stores and online stores. You can find new and nearly new items for a fraction of the price.
Can you travel, eat out, and enjoy the finer things without breaking the bank? I think you can as long as you have some self-control, are able to budget, and remember that you aren’t a multi-millionaire. What are your tips for enjoying yourself on a budget?
Steve Repak, CFP®, is the author of Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.