How to Live a Luxurious Life on a Not-So-Luxury Budget

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Like Coco Chanel, I love luxury. My heart does palpitations when I walk by the boutiques in Paris. A three-star Michelin restaurant evokes moans and groans. And, a fabulous handbag and a hotel staff that is constantly saying “My pleasure” at my every request makes me smile.

I even developed a luxury mastermind program where I have the honor of mentoring an amazing group of women while we travel to some of the most luxurious places in the world, such as Aspen and Monaco. I think it’s important that women learn how to infuse their businesses, lives and souls with luxury. (By the way, that pic is of us at our slumber party with a private chef at the Ritz.)

Call me vain, materialistic or whatever word you have for people like me. I don’t care. In fact, I understand. I use to feel the same about people living “the good life,” and you know what? It wasn’t because I thought they were bad people. Deep down, I was just jealous, because I wanted it too.

Here’s what may not know about me. I haven’t always lived such a luxurious lifestyle. In fact, I’ve been dead broke. I’m talking eating Ramen noodles, living in a double-wide, chasing down the K-mart blue light special and putting 25 cents worth of gas in my car broke.

I’m also not a money coach, meaning I don’t teach you how to make more money. I teach you how to tap into your desires, create health, follow your passions and live life full out. Money just seems to follow such a gal.

What I’ve discovered is that you must first learn how to be a luxurious person to attract a luxurious life, which is what “French Kissing Life” is all about – filling each day with joie de vivre, passion and desire – all of which can be achieved with little money in the bank. In fact, this method, not some money management system, is exactly how I attracted a most luxurious life.

I want to show you how to do the same, because I know deep down, you’d probably enjoy a nice bottle of wine or a night at the Ritz Carlton. And, there’s nothing at all wrong with you for wanting it. In fact, I say, “Go for it sista!”

Making it Obtainable

Very few people are fortunate enough to become overnight millionaires, but if you want to live a luxurious life, you must align your energy with luxury. So, what is a girl to do?

Well, you may need to redefine luxury to make it obtainable now, because if your current definition is fine yachts and you drive a Pinto, guess what? You’re screwed.

So, let’s think of luxury as this: quality people, experiences and things.

When I decided many years ago that I was fed up with the crap in my life, I started seeking quality. I was done with the junk foods, whining people and plastics made in China. I wanted more for myself, but I couldn’t afford Chanel at the time (and although I write about her like we’re best friends now, I still don’t own a piece.) I had to start showing gratitude for the luxuries I had to attract more of it into my life, and trust me, if you’re reading this, you have a computer. That’s a luxury.

Luxury is about quality and sometimes the most quality experiences are free. I can’t think of anything more luxurious than hanging out with my daughter on the sofa watching a really good movie or my morning cup of coffee on my back deck.

Instead of me giving you some woo-woo law of attraction guide on energy alignment to attract more money, I am going to share my real-life examples of how I began to experience luxury long before my first Ritz-Carlton stay (BTW, j’adore the Ritz). When I started doing the following things, the world of luxury opened its big arms and embraced me:

1. I stopped hanging out with complaining people who were always talking about how broke they were. Major luxury repellent.

2. I sought out quality relationships with people who were no strangers to luxury. I wanted to learn how to think like them.

3. I spent more time in nature. There’s nothing as luxurious as walking barefoot in the grass on a summer evening or a good hike in the woods.

4. Luxury abhors haste, so I slowed down and enjoyed cups of coffees and conversations with friends.

5. I stopped spending my money on the crap 2 for $20 shirts and saved up to buy the nice $100 one. Luxury is not about quantity; it’s the quality that matters.

6. I hung out in the lobbies of fine hotels and just experienced the world of luxury. They don’t charge you for lobby space.

7. I drove a junk car so I could splurge on good food. I still drive a less than luxurious car, but my life has not suffered one bit.

8. I followed my passion and attended sommelier school. The $500 initial investment opened me up to a whole different level of luxury where I was able to taste a $1000 bottle of wine and say something fancy like, “Hhhmm….I think it needs to breath for a while.” Major luxury moment. (By the way, by following my desire to learn more about the world of wine, I was asked to write restaurant reviews for a regional magazine and create a wine program at a country club, which led to more luxurious experiences that paid me. How cool is that?)

9. I dressed and walked like a woman of luxury, meaning I didn’t walk out of my house in baggy jeans and a T-shirt with my shoulders slumped.

10. I became a student of luxury, reading quality literature, watching classic films and reading Town and Country and Vogue.

11. I stopped listening to my thoughts that said things like, “Girl, you grew up in a trailer. Who do you think you are?” It’s just needless chatter.

12. I started fully engaging with my world and the people in it, asking questions, seeking answers and constantly putting myself out there.

13. I put fresh flowers in my home.

14. I visited my parents more. They always make me feel like a Princess, even when we lived in a double wide.

15. I sought out quality conversations that discussed the important stuff, like death, life, religion, fashion and food and wine. Well, at least those things are important to me.

16. I attended luxurious events, such as an orientation for women at Duke’s School of Business. Keep in mind, I was working as a full-time nurse and had never been in business. These events also didn’t cost me a dime other than the gas to get there.

17. I started walking through Saks as if I belonged there, not like some freak whose eyes were going to pop out of my sockets when I saw the price of a Louis bag. Nope, just a shoulder shrug like it wasn’t the bag for me.

18. I became mindful of what I put into my body and how I moved through the world. Yes, this means eating healthy and exercising.

19. I cleaned (and continue to clean) my world of low-quality people, things and experiences. Luxury does not co-exist with chaos, drama and clutter.

20. I believed I deserved a luxurious life. This is the most important of all. Many women are walking around feeling guilty if they invest $20 dollars in themselves. If that’s you, listen to me. You are not doing yourself or the world of favor by denying yourself of a luxurious life. The most giving people I know live the good life, which is how they are able to help so many others. You’ve got to clean this thought up to let luxury in.

Bonus: I remembered this one after I finished the article, so let’s just call it a bonus. One of the things I started doing was blessing those who lived a luxurious lifestyle, instead of judging and secretly hating them. By saying, “You go girl” every time I saw a woman rocking out her Prada dress, walking out of the massage parlor or sashaying into the Four Seasons, I was opening my heart to the Universe and saying, “Bring it on. I’m ready!”


write by Joshua Olin

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