How to live the sweet life on a budget
Are you like me? Are you fed up watching celebrities, politicians and socially awkward computer nerds live the sweet life while you’re home alone, elbow deep in a bag of no-brand tortilla chips? Are you jealous of rich people with their designer clothes and private jets and unreasonably hot partners? Are you tired of feeling poor and left out and like no matter how much you obsess about your hair it’s never quite as perfect as you want it to be? That’s exactly how I feel.
Don’t despair. I’ve got a few hints and tips that will transform your ordinary life into a life of extravagance and luxury. As an internationally-acclaimed, world traveling comedian (read: borderline unemployed vagrant), I know a thing or two about how to live the sweet life on a budget. There are plenty of things you can do to bring luxury into your life, right now.
Let’s start with fashion. There are lots of ways to get the hip, up-to-the-minute look you crave without shelling out big money. Only spoiled, unimaginative brats would pay £250 for a pair of designer ripped jeans. If you’re willing to think outside the box, you can get them for next to nothing. How? Find a homeless guy and steal his pants. Easy! Before you say that’s not a good idea, consider the benefits. If you’re lucky, you might get punched in the mouth. Celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Meg Ryan spend thousands of dollars enhancing their lips with surgery, injections and deals with the devil. (I’m not really sure how it works, but they’re definitely doing something shady.) Now, not only do you have new jeans, you also have that plumped up, kiss-me-quick-before-my-lips-explode look as a bonus!
If you have to spend money on clothes, shop wisely. The French high fashion house Hermès may sell £970 shoes, but they also sell £100 hair pins. A quick tag switch and you’ve just saved £870. Lest you think this unethical, consider these two points: One, some trust fund socialite will pick up and pay for a £970 hair pick without batting an eye, and two, you’ve just beaten up a homeless guy and stolen his pants. Is pulling a harmless prank on an overpriced luxury goods retailer really where you’re going to draw the line? I didn’t think so.
Rich people throw posh parties full of expensive foods, like caviar and champagne and fancy cheeses. If you can’t afford such luxuries, don’t fret. They’re easy to simulate. Caviar, as far as I can tell, is just tiny little gelatinous black blobs. (I’ve never actually seen caviar in real life. I’m basing this mostly on the scene in “Big” when Tom Hanks is as that party with the big buffet.) It’s easy to make tiny little gelatinous black blobs! Cut up some jelly beans or spray paint some ball bearings. No one will know the difference! Champagne is nothing more than bubbly wine. Get some wine, get some sparkling water, mix them together, and voilà. (Using French is also a great way to feel flashy in your everyday life.) As for fancy cheese, buy the cheap stuff and let it sit overnight in a running shoe. You’ve easily recreated the texture and smell of the finest artisan Camembert. If anyone asks, tell your guests the cheese was handcrafted in a very exclusive “chaussure de course.” C’est la vie douce!
No matter how well you’re economizing, there will be times when you have to spend money on something that doesn’t seem luxurious. If that’s the case, you can transform everyday situations into swanky experiences with the right attitude and a little bit of imagination. I recently went to the dentist. Sure, I could have gotten grumbly, walking out of there feeling like I wasted money. The way I like to think of it, however, I strolled into the dentist’s office and thanks to my celebrity status, got top notch service. I left the office with a complimentary cleaning, a complimentary check up, complimentary x-rays, and a complimentary moulded mouth guard. All for free. Also, while I was at the there, I chose to pick up a $500 toothbrush. Who do you know that has a $500 toothbrush? Unless you count Oprah, probably no one. I’m living so large, I’m on the next level with this stuff.
Another great way to live a life of luxury is to indulge in a day spa. If you can’t afford a full day of treatments, you can recreate sumptuous self-indulgence at home. Do you have a bathtub and a pile of dirt? Add water, and you’ve got yourself a magnificent mineral-rich mud bath. Your life just went from “eh” to “eh-mazing!” Remember, as you’re sitting in mud, sipping on watered-down wine, nursing the fat lip you got from a scrap with a homeless guy, there’s absolutely no reason to feel down. So what if you don’t have the four-to-five-figure income that everyone around you seems to have achieved so effortlessly? You have something else. You have insider knowledge on how to squeeze the most sweetness out of life.
What’s that? Are you crying? That’s okay! Let it out. Tears are wonderfully moisturizing, one of the best-kept secrets of the facial treatment trade. Tears not only hydrate your face, they give you the red-eye look so many jet-setting celebrities tote these days. And you didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get it! You may be crying, but you can tell yourself you look amazing. Some may call it delusional thinking, but Charlie Sheen and I like to think of it as “winning.” That’s what the sweet life is all about.
DeAnne Smith is a Canadian comedian. Her show, DeAnne Smith Living The Sweet Life is playing at The Gilded Balloon as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this AugustTagged in: budget, Edinburgh Fringe
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