Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tips for Living within your means in the Lap of Luxury Part I

The perception of luxury generally far exceeds the reality of luxury. Don’t believe me? Here’s an example: The Bugatti Veyron, nearly a $2 million dollar car compared with a Dodge Ram pickup truck, which carries a base price just a hair north of $20,000. In comparison, there at first appears to be no comparison. One is constructed with space-age materials, and the other is aluminum, plastic, and steel. One is held as one of the most luxurious cars on the planet, and the other can haul a boat. The perception is that the more “luxurious” car is, the better it is, but if you had to drive a
Veyron work every day, it’s flaws would show, and you’d probably wind up thinking that the spacious interior, great rear visibility and lack of speeding tickets offered by the big pickup truck would be the height of luxury. Luxury is perception.

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Living luxuriously, even with the trappings of that life isn’t difficult, particularly, because you might be surprised how affordable it can be if you’re smart about approaching the lap of luxury. It does require a change in thinking, though. Even that super-fancy sports car isn’t totally out of reach, if you know where to look, which I’ll get into in a few minutes. Check out these five tips for living in luxury that you didn’t even know were possible, and rethink how YOU perceive luxury!

The house-  One of the biggest misconceptions about the rich is that they all live in humungous houses on hills surrounded by 12-foot brick walls that harken to medieval nobility stockading themselves in great manor houses. Most millionaires don’t live in castles, though. While you can be assured that many do live in homes that exceed 2,500-square feet, The days of the Rothschilds and Vanderbilts living in meticulous 10,000-square foot mansions with great stone edifices are long gone. Today’s stylistic ethos is “less is more.” Take for instance, famously, Warren Buffet, one of the richest men on the planet, still lives in the same 6000-square foot home he bought in 1958. The man lives in luxury that exceeds the dreams of our most storied sports stars and celebrity pop starlets, but the home he chooses to live in isn’t really that far out of reach for most middle-class Americans. It’s value today? A recent article was published that put the Oracle of Omaha’s primary home inflation-adjusted purchase price at $250,000, with a market price today of about $700,000. In case you’re wondering, that would work out to about $4300 per month. With good credit, 10% down, and $200,000 combined income, a family with light credit obligations could easily make that work on a 30-year mortgage.

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The accoutrements- If you buy cheap junk, your house will be filled with cheap junk. Try this for a while : avoid purchasing shoes made in Asian countries. They’re mass produced, usually made with cheap, crummy materials, and usually only hold up for a few months, anyway. You won’t spend that much more for high-quality shoes made in the United States or Europe, and there’s typically more focus on craftsmanship, which usually equates to more comfort, style, and longevity. Additionally, these high-end shoes can generally be re-soled if you can find a good cobbler in your area. More than shoes, however, you can apply this ethic to everything you buy. Don’t buy much, buy high-quality stuff that will last a good long time, and take care of it. If you don’t mind saving up for a few things, then you’re golden!

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