How to afford more luxury for your money

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I have a somehow strange way of managing my money. I don’t mind foregoing every day spending in search of a greater reward. As such, I almost never shop for clothes, or I go to a thrift store. My latest find was a $150 pair of snow shoes that I paid $7 for, and a goose feather winter coat from Calvin Klein that cost me $3. Both were barely used and I couldn’t care less if someone wore them before. One wash and they’re just like any other clothes I used myself.

I hate waste, I’ll go crazy if you leave the fridge door open longer than necessary or leave the lights on when you exit the room, I’ll go through great length to reuse and recycle everything, food and leftovers come to mind, but I’ll also turn old clothes into rags or food containers into Tupperware.

Yet at the same time, I like to splurge on exceptional things. I own various luxury items that cost me a pretty penny, but give me great enjoyment day in, day out. I bought my last house cash. I travel the world for months on end and never think twice when it comes to experiencing a new restaurant, sampling a new beer or staying in a nice city.

I don’t know if my priorities are right for everyone, but they sure are for me. And when people start asking how I can possibly afford such extensive travels and leisure, I try to explain that it comes naturally to me to save on other things in life, because I’d rather travel the world in my thrift store clothes than stay at home in my brand new jeans.

These kinds of discussions are usually followed by a list of excuses why people can’t do the same. No time to look for bargains, or to cook after work, bla bla bla. I’m not here to convince you, and I couldn’t care less about how you spend your own money. You’ve earned it, you can spend it the way you want.

However, if you want to add a little luxury to your life, look at this infographic that Oliver’s Travels created. It shows how you could afford little or big luxuries by changing one habit in your life. Instead of buying seven lattes at Starbucks, you could buy an oyster and Champagne dinner. Neat, don’t you think?

3.5 months of cable amount to a nice dinner in a Michelin restaurant. 4 nights out in town could buy you a trip to Iceland to see the Northern lights. See how it works? Little amounts add up, and you probably won’t remember that random Friday night you spent at a bar, whereas that Iceland trip will leave you long lasting memories. So what will you choose? Luxury isn’t that expensive if you plan and save for it.

 

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Best Apps for Keeping Your Finances Organized

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It can often be challenging to stay organized with your finances due to multiple bills that need to be paid throughout the month. Many people lose track of their balance and can overspend due to impulse purchases. If you want to be in complete control of your money, there are a few apps that will help you to stay organized and avoid exceeding your budget.

Shoeboxed

You no longer have to worry about losing receipts or having difficulty returning items with Shoeboxed, which is an app that archives your purchases throughout the year. Users can store all of their receipts in one place and stay organized, which will avoid having to keep a folder or envelope of hard copy receipts that are easy to lose.

Mint

According to businessinsider.com, Mint is one of the top apps available for managing your finances and allows you to sync your accounts, bills, and credit cards to ensure that your money is tracked when you spend or save it. You’ll be alerted to unnecessary fees that you may be charged, which can add up to extra savings throughout the year. It’s easy to customize limits to how much you want to spend on your bills each month to ensure that you avoid splurges or unnecessary purchases. The app is free to use and will also monitor your credit score to provide you with lower interest rates and more borrowing opportunities.

You Need a Budget

You Need a Budget is an app that is designed to help you assign each dollar that you earn to various categories to avoid making poor financial decisions. You can break your habit of overspending with the software because the app evaluates your financial patterns and can help you make changes to your budget. Although it’s a budgeting program that is easy to use, you can also take advantage of online financial info that is provided, which includes written guides, newsletters, and tutorials that are provided each week.

Manilla

Manilla is a bill and account manager that allows you to monitor your household bills, travel rewards, healthcare account, and magazine subscriptions in one place. According to noodle.com, it’s an ideal tool to use for your personal finances or a small business. You can even add your television or movie subscriptions to ensure that all of your bills are closely monitored.

DailyCost

This app makes it easier to save money and avoid spending on goods or services that aren’t necessary. 160 different currencies are supported by exchange rates that are updated, making it easy to use if you travel or move to another country. The app prides itself on its simplicity that is easy to access each day to keep track of your expenses while on the go.

Spending Tracker

Spending Tracker records your income and expenses with the user-friendly platform while pulling reports on spending. Pie charts and an interactive bar will allow you to see the big picture with your finances and where you currently stand. You can view visuals of where you spend your money, which can make it easier to change your habits and save more. The app will even allow you to set a limit to how much you want to spend in various categories throughout the month.