Try these finance hacks to start your 2020 in style

Just because you are living on a budget doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the good things in life. Luxury doesn’t have to mean coughing up truckloads of cash. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy the niceties of life without blowing all your money.

Travel

Do you love to travel and stay at fancy hotels? Who doesn’t? You might think that staying in a 5-star hotel is beyond your reach if you are on a budget but think again. You simply need to know where to vay-cay.

If living the luxe life tops your list, consider vacationing in a country where the Aussie dollar has a high value. Asian ports such as Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia offer great opportunities for Australian travellers to stay at 5-star hotels at half the price or less than in their homeland.

Those looking for a holiday closer to home should consider a mystery room or secret hotel deal. Websites such as lastminute.com.au often offer secret deals at 5-star hotels at a heavily discounted rate. The catch is you won’t know which hotel you are staying in until you have completed your reservation. The bonus is you will get luxury accommodation for the price of a three-star venue.

Another way to get more bang for your buck is to consider travelling off-season. You will be able to secure far better deals than if staying during peak season.

Fashion

They say you can tell the cut of a man by the cut of their cloth. While that may not be exactly true there is no denying that keeping up with the latest fashion trends can cost a bomb. If you’re tired of being a slave to fashion and want to save some money to boot, then you need to change a few habits.

Canny fashionistas understand that bespoke pieces and tailored clothes are the keys to looking stylish. One-off accessories can add a sense of pizazz to an ordinary outfit. Tailored suits, shirts and classic dresses will also all look so much better on you as they are made to measure.

One person’s trash is another one’s treasure. Become a frequenter of second-hand stores. You may be surprised by what you find. Another tip for the thrifty minded fashion lover is to rent a dress for a special occasion. Online stores such as glamcorner and thevolte offer fantastic designer options that will satisfy even the fussiest fashion fan.

 Food

Groceries, takeaway and eating out are one of a household’s largest expenditures but there are still quite a few ways to save on food and still eat like a royal! The first tip may seem obvious but it’s one few people do. But in bulk. Luxury food items are often cheaper if you buy in bulk. Sign up for a Costco or Campbells account and take advantage by buying some of your favourites in large quantities.

When it comes to fresh produce, nothing beats organic – and when it comes to organic – what’s better than growing your own food? Ok, you may not have room for a full-blown vegetable patch but even the smallest of balconies can accommodate a vertical garden, which is perfect for growing fresh herbs. Another tip is to visit your local grower’s market of a weekend towards pack-up time, where you can usually snap up a bargain at the end of the day.

If dining out is more your bag, then apps such as Eat Club offer big discounts for people on the hunt for delicious food in the local precinct.

Entertaining

Australia is blessed with some of the best festivals, galleries and museums in the world, many of which offer free elements within their programming. Think Sydney Festival’s concerts in the domain, and Festival First Night as prime examples. When it comes to museums and galleries we are also spoilt for choice. Entry is usually free or by donation to the majority of the cities general exhibitions so there is no need to fork out all your hard-earned to get your fix of culture.

If you really must have a taste for the latest greatest theatre, consider investing in a subscription, not only will you get discounted tickets you can feel happy in the fact you are supporting the arts! Or if you’re in the mood for some spontaneous fun there is always the option of halftix – which offers low-cost tickets to that night’s performances.

And there you have it. Living the high life doesn’t have to empty your wallet as long as you’re prepared to think ahead.