The economy may be tight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the good things in life. All it takes is a little creativity and planning. Here are some ideas to help you.
BE BEAUTIFUL FOR LESS
• Spoil yourself with a beauty treatment for less at a beauty school or training institute near you. These schools often have special ‘student days’ where you can have a manicure or pedicure done as part of their practical training for far cheaper than at a beauty salon or spa. The standard is usually high and the students often perform the treatments under supervision.
• Similarly, hairdressing schools or some salons offer haircuts, colour and treatments performed by trainee stylists at reduced rates.
• Time for a holiday? Try taking a break for a few days during the week rather than the weekend.
You can often get some great midweek deals at hotels and resorts that aren’t geared towards the business traveller.
• Book holidays, including airfare and accommodation, well in advance. You can save a lot of money this way.
• Ever tried apartment swapping? There are many websites that allow travellers in different cities to trade homes for a week or two. Usually, you can register on the website for free for a set time, or choose to upgrade your listing to, for example, include photographs of your home at an extra fee. Go to www.homeexchange.com
• Consider fractional ownership, which consists of several people co-owning and dividing up use of a holiday home, to cut down on upfront costs. It’s also cheaper than renting in the long run. Fractional property ownership shares are widely available at many safari and wildlife estates as well as exclusive golf, country and wine estates.
DON’T STOP SHOPPING
• Fit in a little retail therapy by setting out on a bargain hunt. Explore factory shops and second¬hand or vintage shops for bargain items.
• Before you buy an expensive item of clothing, calculate how many times you think you’ll wear it and then divide the price by your answer. This will help to put the price of the item into perspective.
ENJOY A GREAT READ
Love books? You don’t have to buy them to enjoy them. Whenever possible, borrow your books – from the library or a friend. If you read plenty of books and don’t want to borrow them, consider buying electronic books such as on Amazon Kindle or on your tablet – e-books are often cheaper than the paper versions. Also, you can sample books on Kindle (the samples are sizeable, so you get a very good idea of whether you’ll enjoy the book or not) for free before you buy.
SAVE WHEN EATING OUT
Who doesn’t enjoy dining out and avoiding a sink full of dirty dishes? Going out with friends and family is fun. Here are some good ideas to make it more affordable.