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Just because I’ve made a career out of penny-pinching, doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally get swept up in the fantasy of a luxury lifestyle. If you’ve ever made the rookie error of signing up for one of those supposedly “secret” hotel websites, you probably know what I mean. It’s easy to be lured in by their daily e-mails and spend hour upon hour scrolling through photographs of exclusive beach resorts. I sometimes imagine what it must be like to indulge in a frosty cocktail while enjoying the ocean view from a private pool. I’ve even been tempted by the advertised prices to click through to read the details of the “deal.” Sigh! But you know me. I haven’t fallen off the thrifty wagon yet.

JanClaus / Pixabay

Fantasy shop ‘til you drop

In a similar vein to my imaginary holidays, I like to do something I call “fantasy shopping.” That’s when I meet a girlfriend in one of the more shi shi areas of town and, after a congenial lunch or coffee and cake, we take in the window displays of some of our favourite boutiques. Sometimes we even allow ourselves to meander inside and coo over high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets that we can’t really afford. Once or twice I’ve even splurged on some unnecessary (but, to me, affordable) indulgence, like $8 rose-scented pillow spray. Other times we might feign interest in some really expensive designer makeup until an obliging saleslady offers us a collection of small samples.

Spare the budget, spoil yourself

If you’re a loyal Savings Room reader, you might recognise (and even practise) this “how to be rich” fantasy technique. While a huge amount of fun (especially with the aforementioned girlfriend or girlfriends), in all seriousness, there is very much a method to this madness. And it is this: saving can’t – and shouldn’t be – 100% about self-denial. You’ve got to keep living, and above all, enjoy yourself. While I’ll never be on the Forbes rich list, I’ve learned that by letting myself have little luxuries, I really don’t feel like I’m doing without. If anything, those minor splurges keep me playing the long game.

Chrispikeuk / Pixabay

Buy vintage for both style and price

You can even give yourself occasional permission to fulfil an actual big ticket item fantasy. There are always ways to buy luxury brands for less if you are willing to put in some extra time to look for deals. The savings can be particularly good if you don’t mind an older model. People who buy luxury brands tend to take good care of them. If, for example, you’re into Tissot watches, go vintage but don’t pay the hefty price tag. You’re still getting a quality product that has years of life left in it. Not only that, but your find is sure to spark interest. The same principle applies to fashion. You simply need to find a consignment shop in the right neighbourhood and your dreams of a Gucci or Prada purse can be a reality without the thousand dollar price tag.
Of course, if the price you find is still too dear, turn on your imagination! Fantasy vintage shopping, anyone?

Free-Photos / Pixabay

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Owning a boat is effectively the same thing as flushing your money down the toilet, but if you buy a boat you have the luxury of funding the boat mechanic industry before it goes down the drain for good. Of course, owning a boat does provide you with endless opportunities to create lasting memories with family and friends.
The process of buying your first boat is an exciting process which can cause you to overlook some major expenses involved with owning a boat. The most commonly overlooked boating expenses are boat taxes, moorage fees, having a marine survey, and hiring marine electric services to fix electrical issues.
When you buy a boat in Australia you will have to decide if you are going to sail it locally, or take it on the open waters. If you sail your boat to other countries you must understand that some places have extremely high boat taxes. In some U.S. states, you will be taxed as much as 10% of the value of your boat. To avoid these costly fees, you should thoroughly research your destination before you set sail.
One of the most overlooked expenses is finding a marine surveyor to perform an inspect on your boat before it hits the water. To hire an inspector to look at your boat will cost between $22-30 an hour. Keep in mind that an inspector is not a mechanic and will not be able to fix the damage they report.
There are a handful of mechanics that have dual credentials, but they charge between $95-125 an hour. If the surveyor reports that your vessel is unfit for the water, then you will have to fix all the required issues or risk a several-hundred-dollar fine for being on the water without the proper paperwork.
For a first-time boat buyer, you wouldn’t believe how much electrical work goes into a boat, and how important it is for your trip to run smoothly. Navigation is one of the most important tools for any boat. When you are out on the ocean with nothing but blue in sight, you can become easily disoriented and you will have to rely on navigational equipment to get you home safely. Don’t go cheap on your electrical equipment because it could leave you stranded in the ocean.
Storing your boat is the single biggest expense to owning a boat other than the initial purchase. For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to store your boat at home, you will have to find a storage facility to keep it protected from the elements.
It’s nearly impossible to find an open slot on a dock, so these high commodity spaces cost as much as $2,000 a year. If you can’t find an open dock slot, then you will have to store it in a dry dock. These ridiculously expensive facilities cost you upwards of $600 a month! Don’t be stuck paying these outrageous fees, and make sure you have a place to store your boat before you make a purchase.

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