Close your eyes and picture your dream life. Are you winding your way through cobblestone streets in Prague? Or maybe you’re in a modern, upscale apartment in NYC making dinner with friends? Whatever way you define your luxurious life, there’s one question you have to ask yourself: do I know how to get there?
Most times, this is the point where people give up, even though they never really started. The burden of trying to find a way seems to heavy to shoulder. You’ll never achieve that luxurious lifestyle with that attitude, though, so ditch it at the door.
If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels on attaining that dream breakthrough that will put you on top, below I have listed a step by step process on how to live that luxurious life.
Here are 5 steps you can take to getting on the right track:
1. Define exactly what you want
Life is full of choices, and most likely, you won’t ever be able to have everything you want. But with some planning and thinking, you can get some of your desires within reach. The key to finding a path to a luxurious lifestyle is to define what ‘luxurious’ means to you. Basically, it can be broken down into two basic categories: experiences and materials.
With experiences, you can’t hold them in your hand because they aren’t tangible. A backpacking trip to Europe would be the experience; the awesome coffee mug you buy to drink out of every morning as a souvenir would be the material. Knowing exactly what you want in life and what you define as a luxury item or experience will lead you to the next step.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer
2. Know what you can live without
As stated above, chances are, you’re not going to get everything you want. You’ll have to figure out what you’re willing to live without. You may really want that beach body for the next summer season, but you might not be willing to sacrifice your obsession for late night pizza binges. You have to weigh the pros and cons of your choices and suffer the consequences.
3. Get creative with money
You probably already know this, but most things in life aren’t cheap. If you haven’t already, assess exactly what your monthly budget is for all of your necessities, like rent, utilities and groceries. Maybe you find that a necessity can actually double as a luxury item. You’ll need a place to live, so why not pay a little extra to splurge on that luxury, fully-furnished apartment you’ve been drooling over?
You’ll always need food, so split the membership cost for a bulk food store like Costco or Sam’s Club with friends or family members. There are two ways to think of saving money: incentives and disincentives. If you’re driven by incentives, you’ll find it easy to put money aside just at the prospect of achieving your goal of a luxury item or experience.
If over six months, you save $1,000, set a reward, like grabbing coffee or lunch with a friend. Disincentives come in handy to put some extra pressure on. For example, if you plan to save $100 a month for six months to put toward a Mac Book Pro at the end of the year, make a bet with a few roommates or friends who also have goals in mind. If one or some of you fail to meet your goals, there must be consequences: trash removal for a month, cooking dinner for two weeks, or keeping the apartment spotless for a week.
4. Cut out the negatives
Envy and jealousy lurk around many corners. Don’t fall victim to their traps. If a friend repeatedly keeps telling you that it’s stupid to save money for a one-week trip to Europe, ask them to specifically define why. Unless you are paying for it all on your credit card and have no means to pay it back, find a way to deal with them or simply eliminate them from your master plan. As long as you are confident in your path to living that luxurious lifestyle and you have a game plan to get there without going into loads of debt, no one needs to be butting into your business.
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi
5. Stay focused
This last item may seem obvious, but staying focused on saving can be the most difficult part. One day, you’re shopping for essentials, and these shoes pop out at you from the clearance rack with a tag that says $29.99. You reach out to snatch them before someone else does, but then you feel something in the pit of your stomach: guilt. Listen to it. All it takes is one shirt or a new video game to derail your savings plan for the thing you really desire. Treat yourself to small things, like coffee at a local bookstore or a walk in the park, but keep them free or extremely low budget if your piggy bank doesn’t have that much fat to pull from.
Finding your way into the luxurious lifestyle may seem daunting, but with a few simple lifestyle and attitude changes, you’ll find yourself on the path to success in no time!