Year of You: How to Live Large and Spend Small

Year of You: How to Live Large and Spend Small

When Michelle and I sat down to plot out how to make 2017 the Year of You, we knew we wanted to cover money, because, even though it’s not everything, it’s pretty undeniable that money matters when it comes to, I dunno, life.

Very little of our life can exist as is it without money. I don’t care who you are or what you do, having money makes life easier, and not having it isn’t really an option.

But when it comes to talking about money, the conversation always seems to circle back to one of 3 things: saving, budgeting, or paying down debt.

As a matter of fact, when I sat down with our editor, Michelle, to plan out our epic Make 2017 the Year of You planning calendar, our conversation went something like this:

Me: We have to cover money.

Michelle: Yeah. Savings?

Me: UGH, I am so tired about talking about savings. It’s the same crap every year.

Michelle: True. But what are we going to talk about then? Talking about money is your idea.

Me: FI-NE. Oh wait, I have this idea. What if we talk about how we choose to spend money as a way to save?

Michelle’s Face: ?

And that is how we got here. We’re not going to discuss savings, retirement, or paying down debt. We’re going to talk about how to make your hard earned cash go further than you ever imagined and help you live large while spending small.

Year of You: How to Live Large and Spend Small

Make 2017 the Year of You: How to Be Financially Responsible While Still Enjoying Life

Do you…

…like nice things

…consider yourself financially responsible

…want to save money without being a total scrooge

…all of the above

If so, you know how challenging it can be to enjoy the finer things in life while trying to be financially responsible. You know the pain of desiring that brand new set of couches while also clutching your pearls in sticker shock.

Living a financially responsible and moderate lifestyle can be a challenge, but there’s something sweet about finding a way to have your cake and eat it too. Otherwise, what’s the point? Why would I have cake I can’t eat? I digress…

As a financially responsible person who likes nice things, my spending mantra has always been “Be patient.”

You’d be amazed at how much money you can save just by being patient. It might not be as fun as being an early adopter, especially when it comes to having the latest iPhone, but you can bet your sweet bippy that, not only will I own it (eventually), I won’t be paying full price for it.

Here are my favorite tips for living large and spending small.

Buy Certified Refurbished

Why? Certified refurbished or reconditioned items are a fantastic way to have a premium tech products at a fraction of the price. These items were often defective items that have been returned to the original manufacturer for repair and are resold at a discounted price. They often come with the same manufacturer warranty as a brand new item and are in very good to excellent condition.

There are also sites like Gazelle, that buy used electronics and re-sell them to individuals at a deeply reduced rate. They are third-party, but still offer a warranty on the products they sell.

What I own that fits this category: Vitamix, Nikon Camera, Macbook, iPad, Nespresso Machine, PC Tower, Dyson Vacuum cleaner, Xbox 360

Buy Last Year’s Model or a Discontinued Model

Why? You can save a lot of money by buying a previous year or discontinued model of a product. I wouldn’t suggest buying discontinued tech, but a discontinued finish on a set of furniture? Yes, please. The best time to catch a sale of an old or discontinued model is in December-January and July-August.

What I own that fits this category: Car, iPhone, bedroom suite, dining room table and chairs

Buy a Floor Model

Next to “be patient,” I’d say my next mantra is “be persistent.” Don’t let someone tell you that they’re out of stock, especially if there’s a floor model lying around the store! Often, but not always, you can ask (or insist) to purchase a floor model at a discounted price. Be prepared with your desired discount in mind. I find that 10% is pretty standard, but don’t be afraid to ask for more.

Furniture stores mark down displays, which is exactly how we scored our long-admired-but-too-damn-expensive living room couches.

What I own that fits this category:  Sofa, loveseat, and 4 area rugs

How do you strike the balance between saving and splurging on something you really, really want? Tell us your best tips and favorite saving apps in the comments below!




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