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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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  • doingitanywaydoingitanyway Forumite
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    I hope you don't mind me joining you. I've been lurking but would like to join in?

    I am due to go on a sabbatical from January to April and after that I'm not sure but considering taking a middle-aged gap year to pursue a creative project. I won an award for my project, but it covers me for 3 months only financially. I'm wondering if I could survive for a whole year by being inventive. I have a good job and it feels scary to consider walking away.

    For now I am squirrelling away as much as I can.

    Lots of good ideas here already.

    I have just bought the B00ts star buy as I like Clinique and consider it luxury. It had £114 worth of goodies for £35 and includes moisture surge (£36 alone!) It felt lovely to unpack and use.

    I have also booked a facial at my local beauty college for £12

    I am a fan of luxury but I don't have the funds to live luxuriously without being inventive. I also love simplicity and not too much faff so my luxury probably won't be yours.

    Thank you for starting this thread lessonlearned :)
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  • SiebrieSiebrie Forumite
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    I just lost my fulltime, wellpaid job (new boss, and we didn't click; I don't really mind, as it had gotten really stressful and I'm ready for a change) and would like to make the 11 months severance pay last as long as possible. Now that I am at home fulltime, I can actually do the thing sI could only dream about when working: good homecooked meals (instead of pasta, again); gardening, with resulting fruit, veg, and flowers (organic fruit, veg, and flowers cost an arm and a leg here; flowers are expensive anyway); having a good clean house; a proper sitdown breakfast every day.

    These small things are luxuries for me now, but I hope they will be normal soon, and then I will look for the bigger price luxuries. I would love to go to the theatre and to lectures again.
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  • bexster1975bexster1975 Forumite
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    Hello all

    What a great idea for a thread.

    I'm not sure I always have a lemonade budget - I suppose that's relative, but I do have champagne tastes.
    I terms of interior decor, I'm a big fan of making my own cushion covers, tablecloths and even curtains on occasion! I have a range of throws from a variety of places from TKMaxx to car boot sales and charity shops. I keep a few to change the colour scheme. My mum us always replacing soft furnishings too so I often inherit those. I have bought a Persian rug from eBay this year for £15, one of my most recent buys was a silk pillowcase from John Lewis still in its packaging for £3.99. I buy my luxury on offer. I think the key is to know what you won't scrimp on ( coffee seems popular on here and I concur) and buy the best you can for the least you can pay. I saw the free entertainment thread bit. I think it depends where you live and what constitutes entertainment to you. I am in a city and there is quite a bit of free entertainment to be had, or at least low priced. Many of the interests I have cost little anyway, and quite a few are productive ( growing my own fruit and veg, sewing projects etc.). It all depends what a " good lifestyle" is to you. I've been reading a post recently where thecOP spends £12,000 a year on holidays for two people. Whatever floats your boat I guess.

    Bexster :)
  • doingitanywaydoingitanyway Forumite
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    Siebrie wrote: »
    I just lost my fulltime, wellpaid job (new boss, and we didn't click; I don't really mind, as it had gotten really stressful and I'm ready for a change) and would like to make the 11 months severance pay last as long as possible. Now that I am at home fulltime, I can actually do the thing sI could only dream about when working: good homecooked meals (instead of pasta, again); gardening, with resulting fruit, veg, and flowers (organic fruit, veg, and flowers cost an arm and a leg here; flowers are expensive anyway); having a good clean house; a proper sitdown breakfast every day.

    These small things are luxuries for me now, but I hope they will be normal soon, and then I will look for the bigger price luxuries. I would love to go to the theatre and to lectures again.
    So much of your post resonates with me.
    I can identify with looking forward to not having the stress of an organisation!
    As well as my creative project I too am most looking forward to long walks, organic veggies, gardening, decluttering, theatre and lectures and getting fit and healthy :)
    Wishing you good luck in your new venture
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  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
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    Money you are right......bereavement as a concept can also apply to jobs, houses, loss of previous good health etc. - not just losing our loved ones.

    A change in circumstances, when that change is forced upon us against our will, can be difficult to deal with. But, as the old saying goes, we have to play the hand we are dealt.

    Siebre.....yes I read in another thread about the way you were "let go". Not nice at all. I am glad you did at least get a decent severance package.

    Loving your ideas for the changes you are going to make. A simple life can be a luxurious life I think. After all what greater luxury in life is there than time to pursue our own interests and hobbies.

    doingitanway. Good luck with your sabbatical. Sounds like you have lots of creative ideas. I think that when we really want something then that's when we get creative and find all sorts of ways to not only cut costs but also find the resources we need to bring our ideas to fruition.

    If we just "dig deep" into our own resources and also share our pool of knowledge and expertise then we can help each other to achieve our goals.

    I have learned loads from you lovely people already. :D
  • humptydumptybitshumptydumptybits Forumite
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    I'm going to a nearby city for a Christmas Market, it starts this weekend. I don't buy anything other than a hot chocolate but it is nice to wander round and enjoy the atmosphere and music. I live on the coast so I always go to things that are put on in the summer for the visitors, firework displays being a big one in the summer and lots of regattas. A summer evening sitting watching the fireworks and again enjoying the atmosphere with maybe a bag of chips on the way home.


    I don't drink alcohol but I do enjoy a meal out and I use loyalty cards and vouchers.


    Days on the beach with grandchildren are also good but tend to end up costing me a fair bit with parking, ice creams etc. Worth it though.
  • happydays89happydays89 Forumite
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    Can it be done.

    Well I have decided I am going to give it a jolly good try.

    And I invite you to join me....Please share your tips, experiences, deals, bargains. :rotfl:

    For those who don't know me.....a little background.

    I am a widow, aged 67. My husband died four years ago after a long illness which wrecked our finances and which changed my financial landscape, hopefully not forever. I am working on it. ;)

    At one point I thought I would have to go bankrupt but with the help of Martin Lewis (All Hail) and the collective knowledge, wisdom and support of the lovely people on these boards I pulled myself back from the abyss and am now financially stable.

    Not rich but I have "enough".

    Now a confession ........although I am very content to live a simple and now thankfully stress free life I do have a penchant for a little luxury.....and .........before I get too old and decrepit, its time for some fun. Time to finally reap the benefit of all my hard work.

    I have just moved house. It's a money pit and I love it. Doing up old houses is my idea of fun. I love rescuing old wrecks and turning them into elegant, comfortable homes and then when I sell ........hopefully they end up a profitable investment.

    I did well on the last one, which I bankrolled and project managed.i gave all the profits to my son who put in all the sweat equity and hours of back breaking work. I was happy just to break even on that one and give him a leg up.

    However .......as we all know "all work and no play makes Jill a very dull girl". So, whilst I am fully committed to making this new house a stunner And hopefully make a nice little profit I want to

    a) do it on a tight budget and
    b) not put my life on hold in the process this time.

    So......my plan is to live off my income of £12,000 and use some of my capital as my war chest for the renovations and hopefully at some point start up a small sideline business. No idea what yet.

    So how to streeeeeetch that £12k, until, in the words of one of our dear chancellors, I think it was Nigel Lawson ....."the pips squeak". How to extract every ounce of luxury and fun.

    I am in the process of reviewing my budget. This is always an ongoing process for me. I am constantly refining my budget to make the most of what I have. Sounds a bit anal but I do it at least once a month.

    This week I had to change my mobile phone but although I now have to pay an additional £5 per month I am happy with the deal. I also have to take my car in for what I hope will be a minor repair.

    My car is getting on a bit and so far has cost me peanuts to run but it's on notice. If it starts getting too expensive then its days are numbered. :rotfl: I can live without a car if I have to, at least as a short term measure. We have good transport links here. I have a free bus pass and a senior railcard. A taxi into the city centre is reasonable.

    I have good practical skills, love charity shops, and make most of my own lotions and potions.

    What I really need to do is learn now is how to get the fabulous entertainment, hotel and travel deals that I know are out there. As a solo there is often a premium to pay for the privilege of travelling alone......

    So now it begins......my quest for a champagne lifestyle......

    I am sooooooo worth it. Lol.


    Hi,for cheap holidays check out Airbnb and booking.com they do homestay holidays where people rent out rooms or flats at very cheap prices.
    We have sectioned off part of our home and let people stay with us they have 100% privacy and so far we have great reviews.
    Because it’s seasonal we have reduced our prices to £32 a night.I want to go to Falkirk to see the Kelpies and there are some amazing Airbnb’s starting at £22 a night,so before you book a hotel check out Airbnb first.
    I did the flat up on a very tight budget and 90% is charity shop or was given to me.
    We also go Tesco at 5.30pm and pickup the deduced bits,we are very lucky our local Tesco still reduces by 95%.Fruit at 4p a pack and meat for pennies.Our food bill for 4 adults is about £20 a week. Good luck.
  • edited 14 November 2018 at 9:37AM
    jackieblackjackieblack Forumite
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    edited 14 November 2018 at 9:37AM
    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).

    I couldn't agree more with this.
    My husband didn't die, he had a massive mid-life crisis. He just woke up one morning and decided that he didn't want to be married, he wanted to be 'young, free and single' with no responsibilities.
    Overnight, he became a person I didn't recognise (and didn't much like), he ditched his old friends (married men, similar age, with children a similar age to our daughter) and started going out with a new group of mates, mostly 20 years younger, single. He started drinking heavily and staying out all night - 'my mates are having a party' - and bought himself a ridiculous, enormous motorbike!

    TBH, it was a relief when he left a few weeks later.

    He didn't die, but my old life did. Our plans for the future did. I was on my own and my best friend of 24 years was gone. Our daughter had gone off to uni a few weeks earlier and I went from a family of 4 (daughter's boyfriend had been practically living with us before they went off to uni) to living alone. I felt bereaved.

    In financial terms, it would have been simpler if he had died. His life insurance would have paid out, the mortgage would have been paid off and I would have had a nice cushion for future security. I wouldn't have had to spend months doing battle with the local council over council tax discount (because he refused to tell them where he was living) and student finance. Instead, I faced losing my home of 15 years (and would not have been able to buy or rent anything else in this area).
    To my everlasting gratitude, my wonderful parents offered me a big chunk of their life savings ("an advance on your future inheritance"), to pay off ex-husband and, by doubling the remaining term on the mortgage, I was able to persuade our mortgage lender to let me take over the mortgage by myself (we'd only remortgaged on a 5 year fixed rate with huge early repayment penalties a few months earlier. At the time, the ERP wasn't an issue as this was our 'forever home' :cool:).

    I felt completely in limbo for the almost 2 years it took to unravel our 23 years of marriage. The Decree Absolute was issued exactly one week after what would have been our 25th wedding anniversary.

    Two years on, I feel settled again, and content.
    Our daughter (and her boyfriend) graduated, and she started her dream job two months after graduating and they got married earlier this year :)
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  • edited 14 November 2018 at 10:46AM
    moneyistooshorttomentionmoneyistooshorttomention
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    edited 14 November 2018 at 10:46AM
    You are right - ie about what happened to you JackieB - that was a form of bereavement too.

    It's like one could define bereavement as = the loss of the Life one expected/was reasonably entitled to expect to have.

    That term could be applied both in the more conventional sense, losing a marriage & way of life sense, losing one's own home area, losing a fulfilling and well-paid career and having to take a poorly-paid job instead. A variety of ways....

    On the other hand - "bereavement" isn't a word I will use "come the time" re my parents - as they are very elderly/very ill/"have had enough" and my own Life will carry on much as it does now when presumably....

    We ought to have a word in the English language to use for what I mean by bereavement - but I don't think we have one in our language - so we have to use the word "bereavement".

    Those books that talk about the different stages of bereavement do us all a big disservice when they only apply it to death of a person - because I think all those emotions (anger, bargaining, etc) all apply to any form of bereavement.
  • buildersdaughterbuildersdaughter Forumite
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    You are quite right - I'm not sue what books you have read, but when I have studied child and family therapy, we have talked about 'bereavement' applying to a lot of situations, just as discussed here, including the loss of 'future plans'.
    And yes, I did not felt bereaved in the conventional way when my parents died - they were both ready, as my dad said 'to say thank you and good night'.
    One of the great strengths of the internet - and this forum is a very good example - is being able to get support from people.
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