Karina Chronicles

How To Live A Rich Life On A Tight Budget

Davinia Hamilton is a writer, actress, and student on mission to live a positive life.  She’s originally from Malta, but is currently calling Dublin home.  She writes about life, adventure, photography, and food.  Befriend her on Twitter or Facebook!

I’d love to win the lottery. Who wouldn’t, right? There are so many things I would do; so many things I would see; so many things I would buy…

Unfortunately, I’m not a lottery winner. I’m a student, living off my savings. There are bills to pay, rent, groceries. Everything else is secondary. But I’ve found that doesn’t mean I can’t still live richly – it just means I have to be a little more innovative about it.

Pick your luxuries
It may sound obvious, but when you’re on eBay at 1 a.m., it’s hard to restrain yourself. Vintage designer handbag? WANT. Bright red lippy? GIMME. Step one: stay off eBay. That’s what I do. Make a list of things you want. Which do you want more, the fluffy throw pillow or that gorgeous dress? Pick your luxuries. You can’t have everything but you can have some things. Decide what they are.

Make the most of what you have
You’re invited to a party, a wedding, a date, a dinner and you’re eyeing an outfit in a shop window when, really, you can put together something quite similar with the things you already have. Get creative. Mix and match things. Learn how to make your own accessories. Mix shades of eyeshadow to create your own new colour. Make the most of things you already have.

Special offers
Subscribe to discount sites like Groupon and Living Social and keep an eye out for special offers on clothes, meals, makeup, salon treatments, waxing, massages… My friends and I are going zorbing for €7 through one of those discounts.

Special occasions
Got a birthday coming up? Graduation? Engagement? Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Most people will be relieved they don’t have to rack their brains coming up with ideas, and you get exactly what you’re after. Win win.

New to you
Embrace second-hand. Embrace vintage. The thrill of retail therapy is still present when you thrift shop, and as an added bonus your item comes with its own history and character. You’ll get some great deals at charity shops and flea markets, especially if designer is what you are after.

Borrow, swap
Borrow things from friends, especially when it comes to clothes. Hannah and I do this all the time and it’s pretty great because it’s like having two whole wardrobes. You could even take it a step further and organize a swap meet. Fill a bag with clothes you no longer wear and invite your friends to do the same, then swap! It’s free.

photo by Irene Suchocki, for sale here

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