Just because you don’t make as much as someone else doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to enjoy the same things they do. Things like education, home furnishings, and working out can still be enjoyed by you regardless of your income. It just takes a little creativity. Keep in mind that it is not about the thing so much as it is about the result. For example, I can listen to music on a $299.00 64G iPod Touch or I can listen to it on a $30.00 mp3 player. Regardless of the kind of player I use I still get to listen to my favorite music.
Here are 19 more ideas.
Cars: The rich – buy a brand new corvette. The frugal shopper – buys a 10 year old Camero for less than book value. Everyone – drives a sports car.
Editor’s Note: Actually, the new Camero is really nice. Wait a year or two, and there will be plenty of used ones for sale.
Entertainment: The rich – go to the new casino that just opened. The frugal shopper – organizes a poker game with your friends at your home. Everyone – enjoyed a night of gambling entertainment.
Movies: The rich – can buy a newly released movie each week on Blu-Ray or DVD for $25.00 each. The frugal shopper – rents movies online via Netflix for $2 (about $8 a month) and gets unlimited access to thousands of new and older movies. Everyone – gets to watch new releases each week.
Landscaping: The rich – hire a crew to cut the grass, trim the hedges, fertilize the yard, and plant new flowers for $2,000. The frugal shopper – did all the same things for $200.00 on the weekend with materials bought on sale. Everyone – has a good looking front yard with curb appeal.
Home Furnishings: The rich – buy from art galleries. The frugal shopper – buys art work at clearance prices at the furniture store’s going out of business sale. Everyone – has artwork hanging in their homes.
Education: The rich – live on campus for four years at expensive universities. The frugal shopper – received a grant, works part time, and goes to the community college. Everyone – receives a college education.
Internet: The rich – have high speed wireless internet for their home laptops. The frugal shopper – uses the library’s computer center to get online. Everyone – has the same access to the wealth of knowledge and answers that can be found online.
Books: The rich – have all the latest books mailed to them through their book club. The frugal shopper – borrows all the latest books at the library. Everyone – has read the latest books, magazines, and newspapers.
Gym: The rich – go to the swankiest gym in town. The frugal shopper – gets all the same exercises done using their body weight and objects found at home or the park. Everyone – gets a workout.
Food: The rich – buy organic vegetables and fruit at a specialty health store. The frugal shopper – plants a garden in your back yard. Everyone – eats healthy, organic food.
Specialty Clothing: The rich – buy $200 football jerseys at the team’s retail store. The frugal shopper – buys an exact replica at an online auction for $40. Everyone – wears a new, high quality football jersey.
Television: The rich – buy a 42” flat screen plasma TV for $900. The frugal shopper – bought a 27” box TV from Wal-Mart for $188. Everyone – gets to watch the same shows.
Clothing: The rich – may buy the newest summer fashions in June and winter fashions in September at full retail price. The frugal shopper – plans ahead and buys this year’s summer fashions right after Labor Day and this years winter fashions around Valentines Day at 75% off. Everyone – owns new, fashionable clothing.
Home Accessories: The rich – may buy cooking utensils, candle sticks, vases, and other miscellaneous household accessories at specialty shops. The frugal shopper – makes those same purchases at the dollar store or auction. Everyone – has equipped and decorated homes.
Holiday Decorations: The rich – can buy their new Christmas decorations in November at full retail. You buy your new Christmas decorations marked for clearance on December 26. You both have a stockpile of beautiful Christmas decorations in your home.
Alcohol: The rich – have no problem paying $2-$3 a beer at the bar. The frugal shopper – pays 75 cents for every beer bought at the distributor. Everyone – gets to drink, but the frugal shopper can buy beer for two of his visiting friends as well for the same amount the other guy is paying at the bar for just himself.
Lunch: The rich – go out to a restaurant for lunch everyday. The frugal shopper – goes out to lunch as well, but takes a packed lunch to the park. Everyone – went out for lunch.
New Car Look: The rich – achieved a new car look by purchasing a new car. The frugal shopper – spent the afternoon washing, waxing, sweeping, scrubbing, shining, and detailing her car. Everyone – has a glistening car sitting in the parking lot at work.
Baby Clothes: The rich – buy brand new baby clothes every three months for their infants. The frugal shopper – uses hand me downs from friends, co-workers, and “the rich”. Everyone – has their babies in cute clothes.
What else can you think of? If you see someone doing or purchasing something that you believe would bring enjoyment or value to your family’s life ask yourself how you can replicate the same result within your own means. When you think outside the box, explore, research, and ask questions, you will be pleasantly surprised at just how many things you can have and do as well without going into debt.
This is a guest post from Mike, who runs BowmansMoneyCollege. You can also connect with him through LinkedIn.