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Luxury on a middle class budget

March 19th, 2008 at 09:46 pm

I love finer things. Living in New York and walking often through stores with finest imports, I feel the difference, and I want luxury in my life. The problem is, I also want to be financially responsible.

The key to achieving this is patience and choosing quality over quantity.
My relatives buy things they want right away. That includes financing furniture/tvs and huge amount of so-so clothing "because it was 50% off".

I am using the approach "one amazing thing at a time". When we moved into our apartment, we "inherited" old furniture nobody wanted, old plates, cutlery, bedding. We were just starting out, and our income has increased dramatically in the last 2 years.

Instead of quickly buying slightly better version of everything, we continue using it, and replace a few items a month with really nice staff that I will want to keep around for years. I hunt for each item for a long time, keep an eye on one, look for deals, coupons for the store if applicable. But in the end I will choose a luxury item I really love over a so-so item that is on sale.

Each thing is selected and enjoyed, not lost in a pile of same things. I know people who have like 20 to 30 of $40 sweaters in their closet that all look the same! I think you are better off having 3 great DIFFERENT style $200 quality cashmere sweaters that you love instead.

I absolutely love our new appliances, our slowly acquired down comforter and pillow, softest beautiful sheets, etc. Every time I come to bed I feel amazing. But... I still have one more down pillow to get. (too expensive to buy 2 this month). A superb Abyss bath sheet will also have to wait till next month. I will enjoy it when I get it though.

So for now, we will keep our old couch and folding kitchen table and many other things until we can replace them not with something "a little better" but something we will enjoy for a long time to come.

So my apartment is an odd mixture of luxury and old and cheap. Far from a consistent "style". I know it does not project a "right" appearance, but I am doing it for our enjoyment and quality of life, not to "impress". So for now I am fine with living in a half "Bloomingdales showroom" and half "dollar-store worker apartment." I do sometimes wonder if guests ask themselves "wtf is going on here?"

2 Responses to “Luxury on a middle class budget”

  1. JanH Says:

    What a great way to discover your style! My big problem in the early years was figuring out what my style and preferences were. Come to think of it...I still have some areas where I'm still working on this!

  2. monkeymama Says:

    LOL. That is so totally my house. Hehe.

    I don't think we care much about a lot of the stuff. BUT dh of course has all his video stuff. I am sure people assume we spend so much on that, that we have no money for anything else. Probably true. Big Grin
    But a lot of our kitchen stuff started to wear out about 5 years after marriage (all the cheap crap we got for our wedding and stuff) so I went through and replaced everything in the kitchen with high quality stuff. Very slowly bur surely. Then on to our bedding and stuff like that.

    & believe me, I don't intend to replace everything in 5 years again. Gah. Likewise, we have electronic equipment and computer monitors, etc. around the house that are decades old. Which is probably more to the point why we have so much nice stuff. On an annual basis we don't spend much. We rather buy stuff that lasts forever.

    But yeah, most of the furniture is hand-me-downs. One of these days we will buy some nicer pieces. But slow and steady wins the race. & when I buy what I want, I will keep it FOREVER, indeed.

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