Champagne on a Beer Budget

There is a lady in my life who taught me the phrase above and I absolutely adore her to bits. She is super successful and earns tons of money. She can afford anything that she wants and says and does the most inspiring things. The reason she maintains her champagne lifestyle is because she shops like she is on a beer budget. The biggest problem with most of us is that we want to have the champagne lifestyle at no budget at all, fastest way to poverty and debt headaches.

Zimbabwe is going through a lot of challenges right now but does it mean we don’t want the good things. We definitely do. A lot of Facebook groups have people living in developed countries showing us their houses and their to die for walk-in-closets making us drool all over ourselves. I say that needs to stop, we can also have these lifestyles on a small budget.

1. Clothing

Like every other girl, I dream of a walk-in-closet covered wall to wall with enough clothes to last a year without the possibility of repeating for even one day. Got to Zimbabwe and found most shops, even the boutiques here, sell cheap Johannesburg clothes at ridiculous prices. So with my little budget, the walk in closet was left to be a dream again. Then a friend of mine invited me over to her house on a day she was opening a dress bale, second hand clothing. I always thought I was in a class that didn’t wear that but I got an eye opener on that day. I found the most exquisite clothing in there, that are new (factory rejects maybe) at ridiculously cheap prices. So you imagine yourself a classy someone, there is nothing wrong with checking second hand clothing, second hand wedding dress shops, the treasures you might find there….and you don’t have to tell anyone.

2. Restaurants

Are you used to eating gourmet meals when you leave the country? Or is it something that you think it’s for the super rich in Zimbabwe. I have learnt an interesting sad fact. Sad…Labour is cheap here. Interesting, we train some of the best chefs on the continent and they are all looking for jobs. Why not hire out a chef on Facebook for the night to come to your house and make you a five star meal worthy of a king. To top it off, they can even bring a waiter to serve you for the night. Ooh…the experience…and guess what, you don’t even have to drive home afterwards or do the dishes.

3. Deals

Warren Buffet’s House

Has anybody ever observed that the truly wealthy people always look like they are dressed in rags, whilst the ‘rich’ are dressed from top to bottom in “Expensive” (assuming it’s a shop, for the purposes of this article). I once read an article that mentioned that Warren Buffet stays in his house that he bought in 1958 for $31 500 and now, he is worth gazillions of dollars and he hasn’t moved. I say, always look for deals, deals don’t always mean buying cheap but buy something you can afford that can also last you for a long time without the need for replacements. The secret is to buy quality you can afford.

4. Food

Was watching a film the other day where there is a mishap and this rich girl is forced to drastically scale down, she cries, “Oh, now I am going to have to eat carbs all the time”. As is popularly known, the higher up you go the less carbs you eat, the more protein and the more vegetables you eat. Who says that’s a life for the rich only. When I first came back to Zimbabwe after 10 years, I would get into Bon Marche and would go to the vegetable section, the prices were shocking there. I kind of resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to teach my kids about vegetables via YouTube. Then by some stroke of luck, a friend of mine told me about Mbare, a popular vegetable market in Harare. Vegetables are so cheap in Mbare I could weep and if you go early enough you can even meet the farmers. Vegetables so fresh and cheap…uhh, what my dreams are made of.

5. Cars

I have noticed that there is a misconception that cars from everywhere but Japan are reliable. And what is that unreliability measured from, from the fact that Japanese cars are cheap. I feel that is the best thing about Zimbabwe as far as champagne lifestyles are concerned, you can drive any car you can dream of, at a quarter of the price that you will buy it for in the developed countries. And from personal experience of having bought two cars from Japan in the past, now on my third, the cars are very very reliable.

My stepdaughter has a wisdom nugget that I love, “the rich are rich because they live like poor people…and the poor are poor because they live like the rich”

What are you doing on your beer budget?

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