Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | July 29, 2010

Live Frugally Without Downgrading Your First Class Lifestyle

Having been through too many recessions (I’m dating myself), I’ve learned my lesson and as much as I am a luxury devotee, I’m also the gal that expounds on the virtues of living large on a frugal budget. Before I whip out my trusty AMEX, I think twice.

Fashionistas – Some tips on how to save your income WITHOUT downgrading your lifestyle.

Yes – you can still purchase your designer handbags, and look like a first-class fashionista while saving money.

Exclusive Shopping Websites
I really hate clipping coupons – it’s a lot of paper and too much to handle. And scissors and me, well no bueno…it’s a dangerous combo. But I’m all about exclusive deals on your favorite clothes, handbags, and home and bath items. If you’re not already a member of the below luxury extravaganza wheeling and dealing sites…what are you waiting for Fashionista?

– Gilt Group – http://www.gilt.com
– Haute Look – http://www.hautelook.com
– Rue LaLa – http://www.ruelala.com

Organize your Needs and Wants
It may seem cliché, but figuring out what you need and want can help you prioritize and save money. For example, you need water, food, gas, and electricity; you do not necessarily need extra clothes, trips to the salon, and nights out. Take care of your needs first – the groceries, the bills, the insurance, the mortgage… then when needed, treat yourself to a “want” item. And by the way, by need I also include wardrobe basics; however, NEEDING a Hussein Chalayan coat when you could easily look fab in Banana Republic. Yes, darling, you know where I’m going with this.

Hussein Chalayan Autumn Winter 2010 | Photo Credit: http://www.husseinchalayan.com

Become a Fan and Follower
Social media isn’t just for finding your high school friends. Brands are uber leveraging these viral tools to promote special and exclusive deals. So follow your fave brands on Facebook and Twitter and wait for the deals to scroll in. Be on the lookout for flash sales, exclusive special offers and giveaways!

Change your Transportation
Rather than taking your car to the store across the street, walk sistah! You’ll save money on gas AND it is cheaper than the gym! And yes we do have a Metro in LA, albeit it doesn’t go to enough places but it does seem to work great for some locations. PLUS you don’t have to worry about keeping it to a one drink quota on a Friday night. If you leverage this strategy, don’t kill the money you just saved on gas by blowing it on bubbly, make sure you go to a place with Happy Hour!

DIY
I’m a big fan of do-it-yourself projects. From mani/pedis, to hand-washing delicate clothes in lieu of dry cleaning, to ironing (eeeh Gods, I’m so awful at ironing, good thing my hubby is better at it than I am) these things all add up to a nice sum which can translate to one rocking pair of heels in a month of saving…I’m just saying.

Last but not least, the cardinal rule of saving money…DON’T BUY IT IF IT’S NOT ON SALE!

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