Well holy hell, this week has kept me on my TOES. I just wrapped up my final Queen Sweep Master Class call, taught an advanced class to my EFBA clients on money and wealth and expansion, and opened the doors to a secret society I can’t tell you about with an epic hour-long video tour of my home!!! We’ve got a birthday this weekend, date night tonight, family photos next Monday, and this is the kids’ first full week back at school. Life is good, and it is FULL. And that’s why you’re getting this Friday afternoon instead of morning! #lifeiscomplicated #declaredominionanyway
Talking to my EFBA clients this week about taking ownership of their own financial lives got me thinking a lot about what it really means to live a rich life.
I once read that someone who makes $12 and spends $13 is poor, while the one who makes $11 but spends $10 is rich. That little parable exploded into my consciousness with the light of a thousands suns…and kicked off my notorious love affair with the budgeting software, YNAB.
(If you don’t have a handle on your cash flow, and you want a gorgeous life, you really do need to get fierce about your financial dominion and check out YNAB’s free classes. I’m not an affiliate, just a huge fan.)
But living a rich life isn’t just about money.
I know people with oodles of cash who live parched, pinched, skimpy lives– while some wise spirits can live gloriously, gorgeously, and lushly, even on a budget.
It’s all about figuring out what really matters to YOU. I love Veuve Clicquot and diamonds and ocean views, but I also have no qualms about garage sales, floor model appliances, and glass sparkly earrings from Claire’s. I will drive my car and my laptop into the ground. I still carry the handbag I bought more than a decade ago. In some ways I’m downright thrifty.
But there are some small luxuries that make me feel positively rrrrrich and bring me extravagant joy, all out of proportion to how much they cost.
Here are some little things that help me live large without breaking the bank.
- Flowers on my table. Cost: $3 – $15. The truth is, I can blow $100 in a flower shop faster than anyone you know. But a grocery store bunch of tulips (or even a snip of a geranium bud) brings me immense joy at a fraction of the price. For my best tips on getting the most out of your flowers, read this.
- Having extra tea around. Cost: less than $9. I can drink an inordinate, extravagant, ridiculous amount of tea. And my fear of ever being caught withOUT tea is huge. (Stash’s double bergamot earl grey is my favorite.) Having 3 extra boxes of tea in the cabinet makes me feel confident that I could weather any Downton Abbey zombie apocalypse you could throw at me with a stiff upper lip.
- Making my bed every single day. Cost: $0. True confession: walking into my bedroom and seeing my bed prettily made up makes me feel like a classy dame. If ever I should need to throw myself across it in a dramatic faint, I’ll be able to do it in style. Bonus: since my bedroom is also my office, making my bed first thing in the morning means I’m not distracted when it’s time to get down to work.
- Having a signature scent. Cost: less than 50 cents a day. I’ve been wearing the same perfume– Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle– for years, and it makes me feel elegant and sexy and powerful and grounded. It’s part of my own personal “bare minimum” daily ritual, which includes a spritz of scent and earrings, no matter how lazy I’m going to be that day.
- A fresh Ted Baker iphone case each summer and winter. Cost: $8 a month. It’s so much less than a new outfit, but I see it all day every day, and having a little burst of beauty on my most functional piece of work-life-everything equipment (especially one that changes with the season!) brings me endless delight.
Now here’s the important part. My delights won’t work for you.
Your delights will be different…probably VERY different. We aren’t just talking about things that feel like a good value, or that you enjoy. We’re talking about little tiny luxuries that thrill you so much it’s almost scandalous, the things that make you cackle with glee because they’re so good you feel like you’re getting AWAY with something!!!!
It might be the extra-thick name-brand garbage bags. Or the special pink salt from Trader Joe’s. Or the expensive jeans you wear 362 days a year. Or eating off of your grandmother’s special china. Or lighting candles in the twilight or putting fresh lemon in your tea.
These things are highly personal.
My beloved’s things are parchment paper, green spiky plants, an ironed shirt, and the ingredients for a gourmet sandwich.
These don’t do it for me at ALL. But who cares? They bring @epicdanger SO much joy, and they cost me very little!
And together we feel mighty smug and like we’re winning at life when we play hooky on a work day and go out for a $7 Greek pita, or we eat a cheese board at home, or we admire our new $12 cutting board.
None of these things are going to drive us into penury, but they are little grace notes that make us feel satiated and grateful. They make us rrrrrich.
And that is how we declare dominion over our gorgeous lives, one little decision at a time.