There’s a myth out there in the world of lifestyle coaches and Instagram influencers. That myth goes something like this: if you want to make money and look stylish, you need to spend money on your appearance.
Sometimes called “putting up a front,” it’s the idea that only people who look wealthy can actually become wealthy.
This is bogus, for a number of reasons. For one thing, ostentatious appearances of wealth can ring as hollow and gaudy, like someone trying to hard to look like they’ve got more than they do.
For another thing, it’s a waste of money to buy an expensive watch and a Gucci belt when you’re struggling to pay your mortgage. Here are the best ways to look your best while also living in a frugal manner.
Forget About Name Brands
Designer brands might sound cool, and they might even impress people at parties. Alright, great, thousands of dollars on a pair of shoes to make some people you’ll meet twice think you’re hot stuff.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on shoes, invest that money in a slow growth account so you can reap the benefits down the line.
There will be plenty of people in forty years wishing they’d invested their money in something that wasn’t designer-brand handbags and sunglasses. Make decisions with your money that will pay off in the years to come.
It’s Okay to Buy Secondhand
There’s nothing wrong with buying used cars, secondhand clothes, and discounted electronics. No one expects you to go without buying anything: you need a car, you need clothes, and everyone wants entertainment. However, buying all of those things brand-new is often a poor use of your money.
The minute you drive a car off the dealership lot, it loses a huge chunk of its resell value. Electronics are the same way: expensive when new, dirt cheap when bought secondhand a few years later.
What’s more, new iterations of things like cars and electronics are often riddled with bugs, so letting other people pay a premium to beta test them for you is often the best move.
Go out to some fancy bar with your pals and buying $15 cocktails is all fun and games until the check shows up. Instead of going out on the town and spending tons of money, just make your meals at home and save that cash!
Take what you would have spent out in some overpriced bar in the city and invest in your retirement account. It might not be “sexy,” but it’s a smart money move, long term.