Enjoy Luxuries for Less: 4 Ways to Indulge Without Overspending

by Melanie Lockert · 7 comments

Everyone deserves to be pampered once in a while. Self-care and relaxation are a key part to rejuvenating our often over-worked selves. But let’s face it; luxuries often come at a hefty price, making them seemingly out-of-reach for most of us. Or if they are in reach, they will take a serious bite out of our budgets.

Don’t let this small roadblock hinder you from enjoying the little luxuries you so deserve. I’ve found a few ways to indulge for less.

So, if you want to live the good life without shelling out hundreds of dollars, use these tips to take care of yourself and save money.

1. Paying for Haircuts

I know that haircuts can be a particularly sensitive topic for some people, especially women. After all, dealing with a bad haircut can be devastating — even if we know in reality it will grow back again. But if you’re flexible and okay with getting creative, you can stop paying $50 or more for a haircut.

In order to save money on haircuts, I go to a local cosmetology school that trains students to be professional hairdressers. It costs $10 to get a haircut that turns out surprisingly well. In reality, you wouldn’t know the difference if I spent $10 or $100. They wash it, cut it, style it and dry it.

The only thing to consider is that it may take a little longer than a normal haircut. The students are senior level students, but they do have a teacher around to help guide them to make sure things are on track. If you’re nervous about having a student do it, know there is always a teacher around!

Also, if you’re bold and brave, you can teach yourself how to cut your own hair using online tutorials via YouTube or various websites.

I typically only cut my hair once or twice a year, but this year I decided to get bangs. I knew it would be mean more upkeep than my traditional routine, so I learned how to cut them myself by watching videos. In addition, the local barber cuts bangs for $10!

I could spend $120+ a year just to get my bangs cut, so teaching myself has definitely saved my budget. Now I “splurge” and spend $10-$20 per year on getting my hair cut via a cosmetology student.

2. Getting Spa Services

After discovering the amazing frugal world that is beauty school for getting cheap haircuts, I was curious about what other services they offer.

Personally, I love a nice massage, facial, or pedicure. However, because of my student debt load, it’s simply not in my budget. Massages can range from $60-$100, and pedicures and facials, between $25-$50 or more.

After doing some research, I found out that the same beauty school also offered pedicures for $12 and facials for $13. These services still offer the nice luxurious amenities as a spa does, it’s just a different ambiance. In this case, there weren’t teachers guiding them. These sessions help students get practice and allows you affordable spa services!

Aside from that, you can also get affordable massages at a local massage school. I found a local school that offers 45-minutes massages for $25. I booked my appointment and in this case, it wasn’t any different from the “professional” massages I had experienced before. There was a professional table, candles, and nice music. The only difference was that I took a survey at the end.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like a different person after a massage. We all deal with stress on a daily basis and it’s toxic for our bodies. A massage can help relieve tension and stress, as well as help build your immune system (it’s been proven)!

If you want to enjoy spa services on the cheap, start by searching for local beauty schools in your area. You can do some comparison shopping to look at prices and services. In addition, be sure to ask about hours. Some have limited hours, while others are open six days a week.

3. Relaxing With Yoga

Nearly all of my friends rave about yoga and how beneficial it is for your body. It helps flexibility, enhances your core muscles, and increases relaxation. So, a few years ago, I eagerly looked into going to a class. Much to my dismay I realized many drop-in classes are around $14 a session. I know some people say that you can’t put a price on health, but going to yoga regularly at that price was simply out of the question.

After doing more research, I was lucky enough to find a donation-based yoga studio that offered pay-what-you-can classes. This doesn’t mean I was a total cheapskate, but that I could pay an amount that was proportional to my budget.

You can also try bartering for classes in exchange for managing their front desk, working events, or helping with set-up or clean-up.

Lastly, you can always do yoga in the privacy of your own home using the power of the internet. There are online yoga videos, taught by experts, that you can watch for free!

4. Eating Out at Restaurants

Even though I love massages and the like, I of course can go without those things. They are indeed a luxury. But one area that I love to splurge on is eating out at restaurants. I love having delicious food over fun conversation. But going out to eat all the time is bad for my budget and my waistline.

This year, I am planning to eat out less and scale back a bit on my social outings. But when I do feel the urge to enjoy a nice dinner or go out with friends, I’ll stick my frugal and creative solutions.

The first place I look is on Groupon.com. Groupon offers coupons for nice restaurants and usually offers a discount of 30-50% off.

In addition, search for a culinary institute nearby to enjoy a gourmet meal on the cheap. The local culinary institute in my area offers a 3-course lunch for $9. You can’t beat that!

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In short, there are many ways to enjoy luxuries for less. You don’t have to save up half your paycheck to pamper yourself. Start by looking into local schools and coupon sites.

Enjoying yourself on a budget simply requires a little research and creativity — but the rewards are great, and you can put that extra money in your pocket to save for a rainy day.

What things do you indulge in without paying a lot of money? How do you enjoy luxuries for less?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • sofy says:

    Not a commen but a question, are those vacation packages advertised at low cost, ex; 4 day pack resort pack, or cruises as good as they sound?

  • Great tips Melanie. I try to cut my restaurant expenses by ordering water to drink or splitting an entree with a friend if I can’t eat it all. If they don’t want to split, I take it home and eat it later.

  • I need to go find a beauty school stat! My hair is in desperate need of a cut, but I refuse to pay a ton to get it done. Thanks for the tip!

    Your advice about yoga is spot on! I’m all about yoga and I work at the front desk of my studio and take out the trash once a week in exchange for free classes. It’s a wonderful system and, in addition to the free exercise I get, I enjoy being part of the yoga studio community. It’s really an all-around win for me.

  • dojo says:

    My hair is VERY thick, so I can’t just cut it short myself, since it has to be styled even more to make it less thick. I don’t have any other ‘luxuries’ other than this though, so, even if the cut is costly, since it’s done 2 times/year, it’s OK

  • I once had a haircut which cost me over $50. I nearly choked when they rang me up but served me right for not asking. I’ll stick to my barbershops and although they may cost me $20 per cut it was definitely cheaper than going to a “salon.”

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