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Champagne Lifestyle on a Lemonade Budget.

edited 11 November 2018 at 12:35PM in Old Style MoneySaving
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  • Working_MumWorking_Mum Forumite
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    An interior designer friend once told me that you should have the most expensive things closest to your skin - so high cotton count bed linen, throws etc and cheaper curtains!! I follow this mantra!

    Following an awful divorce I chose to live a life where I'd have no regrets, a gift for my "future self" so whilst I don't splash the cash wildly I do not scrimp in certain areas i.e coffee and butter!!

    I have built a really good social life on pennies really, by scouring the local websites, newspapers etc for events I see what is on and I plan well enough in advance to budget for it. I love going to the cinema and the Odeon local to me has recently been refurbished and recliner seats are £5 per film!!

    I pared down my wardrobes to something resembling a "capsule" and I buy in the sales and after I have saved up for it!! This means my clothes are nice quality and last a while, I have finally worked out what suits and what doesn't!!!

    I live in an old house which is up for sale but I have found myself being creative and updating it on a budget by checking out Pinterst etc for inspiration and then scouring eBay for bargains. I've then been brave with my style - I dyed a sofa which bought for £200 (£4k if new) and it looks wonderfully expensive (accessorised with throws and faux fur from TK Maxx etc). You certainly sound creative enough to do this kind of thing. Since I divorced I have found a freedom in exploring what the "mid century" me really wants her place to look like!!

    I think the biggest thing is planning ahead and having a clear idea of what "luxury" means because you can waste a lot of money trying to find it!!


    Oh and the Japanese have the word "irusu" for when you want to be home alone and pretend not to be in when people call!!

    .
  • TowserTowser Forumite
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    lessonlearned I am interested in what you are doing to make your house more luxurious as I have tried to make every aspect of my life?

    I have been freecycling for furniture. Painting and changing the carpets.

    Anybody else what do you do to make your house more luxurious on a lemonade budget? As OP is doing up her house.
  • cherryblossomzelcherryblossomzel Forumite
    500 posts
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    This thread sounds like the place to be. I'm not retired, but I am in the process of buying a flat that will require quite a bit of renovating so will have to start paying attention to my spends to save money. I've gotten a bit...lazy with it recently. Not wasteful, just not putting much thought into saving the pennies. That said, like you I don't want to have to live a miserly life to get it done.

    I might pick your brain on the renovating from - how do you go about buying things like bathrooms etc - do you have any secret to saving money there?

    I am also sorry about your husband. I lost my dad recently and though it didn't affect me financially, it does leave a hole in your heart.
  • edited 12 November 2018 at 5:48PM
    lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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    edited 12 November 2018 at 5:48PM
    Hello everyone....so many nice friendly faces. I think this thread is going to be fun......:D

    So many great ideas too.

    Buildersdaughter ...back in the day I used to volunteer at our local assembly rooms. I used to do 2 or 3 nights a week. I got to see all the big names of the day, comedians, bands, orchestras. It was fab. Unfortunately it has closed down now but you have given me a great idea. I am going to keep a look out for something similar.

    Workingmum and Cherryblossom. Yes I will be happy to share my renovation and decorating tips with you. Many years ago, I decided to go back to school as a mature student to get a degree. I was 40. I studied something called Visual Cultures.....art, design, fashion, architecture. I loved it. I also worked for years for various property developers and builders so I have learned a few tricks. :rotfl:

    Later I fancied a change so when I got a nice tax refund I invested in myself and trained as a beauty therapist so I learned a few things there. I still have a keen interest in complimentary therapies, skin care etc.

    So without wishing to appear too conceited I do have a bit of knowledge and some practical skills I can use to "cheat" and appear more wealthy than I actually am.

    Anyway. About a year ago I set myself a challenge. "A Year to change My Life" In that year I have lost 1 stone....still need to lose more. I did a second course in Complimentary Therapies (Level 2) and I moved house. Phew!! No wonder I'm tired and need a holiday. Lol.

    So now I'm ready for the fun stuff, to,take it up a notch or two. I am ready for some gloss and glamour, some luxury and a champagne lifestyle. Ha, ha.

    But I'm skint.......so I need to be inventive and canny.
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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    Anyway.....I have a Project Book. It's divided into sections so tonight I am going to go back over the ideas and links you have all so kindly provided so far and jot them down.

    Then after Christmas I shall get down to business. :D.

    This afternoon I have been having a paperwork sort out and getting all my holiday stuff together. I need to have a trying on session and decide what clothes to take. I would imagine the Canaries and Morroco will be around the 20 mark and northern Spain and Lisbon could be quite chilly. So no real searing heat and a bit of a mix of temperatures. That's fine by me I don't really like it too hot. As I expected the Amazon was hot sticky and uncomfortable. I'm glad I went. It Was fun and a once in a lifetime thing but I did struggle with the heat.

    Re the bathroom. I am going for very simple white sanitary ware. I decided against fancy fitted units and anything that smacked "statement". It's just too expensive. I shall bling it up by adding nice fancy taps. I think of the sanitary ware as a LBD (little black dress) and the taps as the jewellery. :rotfl: you can easily change taps if they get a bit shabby or dated.

    I am also going to choose a nice mirrored cabinet with lights and shaver/toothbrush charger pint. I did this in the last house and buyers were blown away by it and yet it didn't cost much. It made a real statement way beyond its actual cost.

    The money I save on the sanitary ware will be spent on underfloor heating.......now that will be luxury.

    So my advice on luxury bathrooms on a small budget is to save on the sanitary ware, keep the tiles fairly neutral and add the bling with the accessories. Taps, mirrors, nice towels etc. and if you have enough in the budget do consider underfloor heating.

    Ask your plumber to recommend suppliers. Mine orders it all for me and lets me have the trade discount. Only use fancy showrooms for ideas. If you buy from the big retailers you will pay a premium for their overheads.

    We need the money more than they do.......

    Right time for dinner. A nice piece of salmon, mediteranean style roast vegetables and asparagus. Healthy and delicious, followed later by strawberries.....in November, how decadent. :rotfl:
  • mhagstermhagster Forumite
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    All sounds familiar. I was widowed last year aged 47. Moved back across the world from Australia to Scotland and have spent the past year living very simply whilst spending money on renovating my house. It's now (so nearly almost) exactly how I want it and I see it as future proofing ( in as much as I can). It's how I want it but also designed to be saleable if needs be.

    I buy all my clothes ( bar undies) in charity shops. And have some good ones in our town. My favourite is the £1/ an item one and they get nice things in.

    I'm currently doing my main shop in lidl as I have £5 off vouchers but find we haven't liked everything so have to do a top up elsewhere. But I can get a lot more there for £25 than elsewhere! I'm trying not to do the pop in for milk come back out with £30 worth of stuff.

    I've taken the past year off as my 'gap year' but have just returned to work part time. And have an interview for a job tomorrow. I don't want full time just now. If I continue to live simply and reasonably quietly I can continue to have a nice balance of life / work.

    I would like my own business but after spending what I have on the house I've decided now is not the time and to continue working for someone else just now.

    I don't drink alcohol so champagnes not an issue...but I do like a nice candle or three!
  • suki1964suki1964 Forumite
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    Anyway.....I have a Project Book. It's divided into sections so tonight I am going to go back over the ideas and links you have all so kindly provided so far and jot them down.

    Then after Christmas I shall get down to business. :D.

    This afternoon I have been having a paperwork sort out and getting all my holiday stuff together. I need to have a trying on session and decide what clothes to take. I would imagine the Canaries and Morroco will be around the 20 mark and northern Spain and Lisbon could be quite chilly. So no real searing heat and a bit of a mix of temperatures. That's fine by me I don't really like it too hot. As I expected the Amazon was hot sticky and uncomfortable. I'm glad I went. It Was fun and a once in a lifetime thing but I did struggle with the heat.

    Re the bathroom. I am going for very simple white sanitary ware. I decided against fancy fitted units and anything that smacked "statement". It's just too expensive. I shall bling it up by adding nice fancy taps. I think of the sanitary ware as a LBD (little black dress) and the taps as the jewellery. :rotfl: you can easily change taps if they get a bit shabby or dated.

    I am also going to choose a nice mirrored cabinet with lights and shaver/toothbrush charger pint. I did this in the last house and buyers were blown away by it and yet it didn't cost much. It made a real statement way beyond its actual cost.

    The money I save on the sanitary ware will be spent on underfloor heating.......now that will be luxury.

    So my advice on luxury bathrooms on a small budget is to save on the sanitary ware, keep the tiles fairly neutral and add the bling with the accessories. Taps, mirrors, nice towels etc. and if you have enough in the budget do consider underfloor heating.

    Ask your plumber to recommend suppliers. Mine orders it all for me and lets me have the trade discount. Only use fancy showrooms for ideas. If you buy from the big retailers you will pay a premium for their overheads.

    We need the money more than they do.......

    Right time for dinner. A nice piece of salmon, mediteranean style roast vegetables and asparagus. Healthy and delicious, followed later by strawberries.....in November, how decadent. :rotfl:

    Definitely go small on the budget when it comes to bathrooms

    We done the upstairs bathroom a couple of years back and we bought sink, loo, shower from a plumbers merchants which cut the cost by at least half of a showroom. added to that we bought end of line tiles and Lino for the floor. My bathroom looks as good as any showhouse for a fraction of the cost


    Right now we are putting in a kitchen extension. Its costing more in groundwork then we envisaged as we have back filled land so we have no option but to Pile the extension. But what we spend underground will be clawed back in finishing as the auction rooms will get hit for the furniture

    Already one major decoration which should cost £500 has only cost me £10 as I found it in a charity shop

    I know I am very fortunate that I do have a husband that is a builder and there is very little he cant turn his hand too. Im not as good hand wise, but I can hunt a bargain down, And whilst we are at it, another evenings entertainment for next to nothing ( auction houses are great fun )
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
  • cherryblossomzelcherryblossomzel Forumite
    500 posts
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    "A Year to change My Life"


    I like the idea of that. Maybe I should do that for 2019. I'm buying this place and it'll be a bit of a project, moving to a new area, try some new stuff, meet some new people. Probably a good time to shake things up a little.
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
    13.3K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
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    I like the idea of that. Maybe I should do that for 2019. I'm buying this place and it'll be a bit of a project, moving to a new area, try some new stuff, meet some new people. Probably a good time to shake things up a little.

    Definitely. Go for it.

    Sometimes we just have to step out of our comfort zone and shake things up a bit.

    I did lose my confidence a bit after losing my husband but I think that's quite common for the newly bereaved. But I think change can be a positive force, if we approach it with an open mind and a brave heart.

    It's very easy to fall into a rut and then bemoan our fate because we are bored, unhappy or dissatisfied with our lives. Sometimes I have to give myself a stern talking to and remind myself that if I want things to be different then I am the only one that can make the necessary changes.

    No one is going to do it for me. :rotfl:

    Mhagster. Australia to Scotland.....that's what I call a change. :D

    Well done you. And for taking a gap year. Sorry to hear that you too are widowed but well done for picking up the pieces and making a fresh start. Its tough but sometimes it's the only way, just grasping the nettle and getting on with it. Good luck with the new job.

    A nice day here. I am off for acupuncture in a minute. Dodgy knee.:rotfl: hopefully the car behaves itself. I'm taking it in on Thursday so not driving too far at the moment, dont want to push my luck.

    Also been getting a bit of a twinge in a tooth. Have made an apt for Monday.

    See you all later. Have a great day.
  • edited 13 November 2018 at 11:15AM
    moneyistooshorttomentionmoneyistooshorttomention
    17.9K posts
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    edited 13 November 2018 at 11:15AM
    Bereavement of any description can take a hard knock at one's confidence I've found LL. Bereavement, by now, is a term I would use more widely than the common usage (ie about being bereaved of people).

    So, from my experience of bereavement (of a different variety - ie loss of a place) and I think my own confidence was starting to come back after about 3 years at a guess (ie it had come back enough that I'd realised I'd lost it for a while). 5 years later and I think most of it is now back. Am bargaining on having it all back at this rate by, say, a year or so time (ie 6 years living in this area).

    The Welsh have a term for it that they use for "losing living in Wales (not by their choice)" - hiraeth (loss of THEIR place/homesickness/losing bond with their own area).
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