7 luxuries you can probably afford -- even if it feels like you can't

Rich Fury/Getty Images)Treat yourself.

Luxury doesn’t have to come with sticker shock.

In fact, between experiences and physical products, you can probably afford more luxuries than you realise.

Here are seven things (plus one bonus item) to start with:

1. Good sheets


High-quality bedding doesn’t have to break the bank, and it may last longer than less-expensive options. Brooklinen’s Luxe Collection is one of the best affordable, luxury sheet sets on the market. A queen set costs $US150, but will give you years of “soft-as-the-clouds” comfort.

Source: Business Insider

2. A virtual assistant


2018 is the year of the smart-home device. Buy one of the two best options on the market, Amazon Echo ($US100) or Google Home ($US130), and play music, get directions, order an Uber, check your bank account balance, and get answers to your most pressing questions. The smaller versions of both devices are just $US50 – a small price to pay to never feel helpless in your own home again.

Source: Business Insider (1,2)

3. A monthly pedicure

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

The average cost of a basic salon pedicure in the US is just $US33. Having your feet scrubbed clean and nails polished while you relax in a massage chair will leave you feeling pampered and looking put together.

Source: Statista

4. A travel rewards credit card

Breslavtsev Oleg/Shutterstock

The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is just $US95 (compared to $US450 for the Reserve), and it’s waived for the first year. The card gives you points for spending money – extra points for travel and dining purchases – which you can use to book travel at a discounted price. You’ll be encouraged to travel more when the trips are virtually free.

Source: Business Insider

5. A weekly meal out


There’s something about dining out at a restaurant with friends or family, or even alone, that leaves you feeling satisfied. Even if you’re sticking to a budget, a meal out once a week won’t derail you. If possible, keep the cost to under $US40, or around $US150 a month. And don’t forget to indulge in dessert.

6. Comfortable headphones


Whether you’re on a long flight or in deep work mode at the office, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones are a true luxury. Bose sells a pair for $US180 – both Apple and Android-compatible versions – with ear cups so comfortable and plush it feels like your ears are wrapped in suede. Or check out the Beats version for $US130.

Source: Bose, Beats by Dre

7. A new(-ish) wardrobe


Shopping can be a slippery slope if you don’t have much disposable income. Avoid the temptation and sign up for a monthly clothing subscription like Rent the Runway. For $US159 a month (plus tax) – which includes shipping, dry cleaning, and insurance – you can rent up to 4 items at a time from high-end brands and designers. Business Insider’s Lauren Lyons Cole rents about 18 pieces a month, meaning each item costs her under $US10.

Source: Business Insider

Bonus: An essential oil diffuser


Candles are so yesterday. Create a spa-like atmosphere any time of day with an essential oil diffuser. For less than $US100, you can get a top-notch diffuser that fills your home with health-enhancing aromas and runs for several hours with automatic shut-off. Splurge on a 10-bottle collection of different oils, from lavender to a blend called “joy,” for $US200.

Sources: Young Living, Amazon (1,2)

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