Have you noticed your dollars aren’t stretching as far as they used to? The economy is dealing with a one-two punch of rising inflation and long-lasting effects from a global pandemic. As a result, more people are cutting back on unnecessary purchases and making lifestyle changes.
But, living frugally doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up all of your favorite things in life. You can continue enjoying some surprising indulgences if you’re smart about your approach. Here are four luxuries you can still afford to buy even in tough economic times.
1. A Vacation Home
You’re probably surprised to see a vacation home in the list of things you can afford in a downturn economy. Many families are cutting out vacations altogether to try to save cash. But there are ways to enjoy all the luxuries a vacation home offers without paying the full price. One of the best ways is through co-ownership.
This option is a fiscally responsible way to fully enjoy your dream vacation without draining your savings account. It’s the process of sharing the costs of a vacation home with other members of a group. All members of the group get to enjoy the vacation home on their own time, according to a predetermined schedule. That means you get all the benefits of owning a vacation home for a fraction of the cost.
You can co-own a gorgeous vacation home with friends, members of your own family, or even strangers. Monthly expenses shared by the group include maintenance, repairs, utility, mortgage payment, taxes, and insurance. You may also wish to invest in cleaning services together, so your vacation home is always pristine.
2. A Luxury Car
Just as you can co-own your dream vacation home, you can also take this approach with a luxury car. To do this, you’ll simply purchase the car with another person. Both of your names will appear on the title. You’ll share all the costs associated with the initial vehicle purchase, as well as maintenance and repair costs. You’ll also need to set up a schedule to ensure both owners can use the car as agreed.
Most people prefer to co-own a car with someone they know and trust. Co-owning a vehicle is not the same as co-signing on a vehicle. In the former situation, both people own the vehicle. In the latter situation, the co-signer does not claim ownership of the vehicle and is not listed on the title. However, they do claim responsibility for the loan if the primary signer fails to make payments.
You should know that if you own a vehicle with another person, any big decisions regarding the car must be shared. For example, if you decide to sell the car, you’ll need to make sure your owner agrees with the decision. Then, you’ll need to split the profits of the sale. Becoming a co-owner is a great way to affordably own the luxury vehicle of your dreams.
3. A Meal Delivery Service
Having fresh ingredients delivered directly to your home may seem like an indulgence you have to give up in tough times. But before you cancel your meal delivery service, it’s important to crunch some numbers. You may find out that the service you’re receiving now is more affordable than eating out or even making your own meals. The average family of two spends between $402 and $798 on groceries each month. That translates to between $100 and just over $199 per week.
Keep in mind that this number doesn’t include any extra costs associated with eating out. If your family eats out regularly, the total amount of money you spend on food each month could be $1,000 or more. Contrast that with meal delivery services, which can range between $8 and $15 per meal in most cases. If you receive two-serving dinners five days per week, you can expect to pay anywhere between $80 and $150 per week. That translates to between $320 and $600 per month.
You’ll still need to purchase groceries for breakfast, lunch, and two other days of the week, if you’re just getting five dinners delivered. But if you’re frugal, you can still save money on your monthly food costs while enjoying restaurant-quality meals. You’ll also save money by eating out less frequently. To decide if a meal delivery service is something you can comfortably afford, you’ll need to crunch your own numbers. Some families may save money by buying their groceries, while others may find a meal delivery service to be more affordable.
4. Smart Home Technology
Years ago, smart home technology was just emerging on the scene. Back then, many families couldn’t afford to put smart fixtures and features throughout their homes. But, as is frequently the case with new technology, it becomes more affordable once it’s been on the market for a while. If you thought you couldn’t afford to have a smart home — especially in a downturn economy — think again.
From smart thermostats to smart home assistants, you can find a variety of affordable devices to make your life easier. Two of the most popular options on the market are the Amazon Echo and Google Home. You can get either device for under $200. These devices can help you check your bank account, play music, and even order an Uber with a few spoken commands.
As you can see, you don’t have to give up all indulgences in life just because the economy isn’t ideal. You can still have your dream vacation home, a luxury car, and so much more with a little ingenuity. If you’re tired of giving up your wants to make sure you can afford your needs, hit the “pause” button. Take time to look at the list of affordable luxuries above and decide which options you want in your life. You’ll soon discover that you can still have little luxuries in your life, even if the economy continues to tumble.