There’s a big bunch pink and purple tulips on the kitchen island, a similar bouquet of pink and white tulips in my office, and a teeny jam jar next to the bathroom sink with the pink, purple, and white tulips with stems that were too short for my favorite vases. Well, to be honest, I kinda love that little jam jar nestled in the corner. Sure, flowers are a luxury. But I buy them because I need beauty in my world.
Seeing a big (or small) bunch of flowers in my home makes me happy.
I have had the privilege of staying at a five-star resort, the kind most folks think about when they hear the word luxury: a high-end hotel with impeccable service and a matching price tag. For that experience, of course, I’m grateful. Yet some of the most luxurious experiences I’ve had weren’t about the money, but how they made me feel.
A few years ago, I was coaching a client and we were talking about ways to tend life, to see life as beautiful, and treat yourself with kindness. An example I gave her was keeping fresh flowers at various places in the house on a regular basis. “Well, that sounds nice and I do love flowers. But they wilt and die so quickly what’s the point?”
That IS the point, actually: you buy them simply because you love them and they make you feel like y our life is abundant. So what if the flowers only last a week? (I can stretch them out to two usually.) If you do the math and see that the average bunch of grocery store flowers is from $10 to $20, then even if they last a mere week, you get 168 hours of beauty from the investment. A bouquet of flowers in the kitchen invite me to pause for a moment. That’s a win in my book.
The older I get, the more I understand that investing in luxuries is also an investment in the quality of life. I also have learned that most of the items and experiences I consider a luxury aren’t expensive.
But they are priceless in the way they feed my soul.
In addition to flowers, here are 25 other ways I add luxury to my life, most without spending a lot of dough.
- My favorite pens. I have always loved how smoothly the Uniball Gel pens write, and when they introduced their color tinted black inks, I was hooked!
- Beautiful journals. When I first read about bullet journaling, my research led me to the Leuchtturm1917 journal. Leather bound, hand sewn, numbered pages, and a pocket in the back. On the surface, it seems like a luxury, but I write more in my journal when I use ‘em than I did when I just used cheapie spirals. That luxurious approach, romancing my writing, is a reminder that I take my work seriously and that it’s important to me.
- A handwritten note. Writing a letter or note in a card give me the tactile experience of my thoughts flowing out with the ink on a page and then sending that to someone I care about. And is there anything lovelier than receiving a card chosen just for you?
- Strong boundaries. Boundaries by definition add a feel of abundance to your life because you’ve protected your time and yourself. Better boundaries help me say no – especially to myself! That feels like a luxury.
- I don’t do weekends. Well, I don’t do client calls on the weekends. Or the evenings. I know this means that lots of great folks are unable to work with me as their coach, but that time is dedicated to time with JB. Another kind of boundary, but one that gives me the luxury of more quality time with the man I love.
- I buy my favorite perfume. Not only do I buy it, I wear it. Daily. A spritz makes me feel alive and sexy, a luxury at any age. When I feel as if I need a little pick-me-up, I visit the perfume counter and try some new fragrances, just in case there’s something out there that’s just dying to become my signature scent. Which, of course, varies based on how I feel that morning.
- I don’t save my good stuff. Period. Not only do I not save my good perfume, I wear my good make-up, use the good skin care items, and carry a nice handbag every day. Using the good stuff every day is a luxury, I guess, yet I’ve discovered that my good make-up and skincare stuff lasts four times as long as the “cheap” stuff I used to wear. And that nice handbag? Looks great and makes me feel like life is full of abundance.
- Glass glasses. One of the first things I did when I got divorced from my first husband was to toss all the plastic glasses and stop using paper plates. Money was tight, so I went to the Goodwill Store and purchased some new plates and bought a $10 set of glasses at Target. I don’t like the feel of plastic against my mouth, so whether I’m drinking coffee, water, or wine, a glass against my lips feels like a luxury. What we serve our food in? It matters – to us!
- I tend the details. A couple of years ago, I started buying cute costume jewelry sets when I saw something on sale – or better yet clearance – that struck my fancy. Even if it only went with a single blouse or sweater. Even though I work from home, I get dressed every day, including a necklace and earrings. This attention to detail extends to other areas of my life, too, because often the tiniest of details makes a difference between feeling nourished, supported, and comfortable – or not.
- Cream in my coffee. This summer, one of my doctors suggested I add healthy fats into my diet, so I began buying pastured organic whipping cream. The tiniest splash of this rich, grass-fed milk in my morning coffee seems feels like a luxury vacation in my mouth. And a ½ pint lasts longer than the quarts of whole milk I used to use. Win/win!
- Time to drink my coffee. I stopped taking my first cup of coffee into the office in the mornings. Instead, I give myself the luxury of enjoying it in peace and quiet. Sometimes I journal. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I write a letter. Like good boundaries in other areas of your life, boundaries with yourself are a path to feeling more abundant. So, my new boundary with myself is the computer doesn’t get turned on until after my first (or second) cup.
- I ditch stuff. While hanging onto physical things, especially expensive physical things, seems like a luxury, I’ve discovered that regularly culling the stuff in my world provides a sense of space, which then translates to more mental space, less distractions, and less to take care of.
- Downy Unstoppables. The smell of the “scent booster” makes doing laundry more pleasurable. When every day chores are pleasurable, my life feels more luxurious and rich.
- Ditch stuff I don’t love. Speaking of laundry, pitching clothes I don’t love (or are worn out) opens another path to feeling luxurious: space. What’s the point of cluttering up my home, my cupboards, or my closet with stuff I don’t love, just to fill a space? An empty shelf in my closet or an empty drawer? Now that, my darling, is a luxury.
- Daily Wear Contact Lenses. I’ve worn contacts since I was fourteen. Last year, I asked the ophthalmologist about daily wear contacts. Yes, they are a bit more expensive to purchase. However, I’m not buying contact solution or messing around with cleaning and storage so budget wise, it kind of evens out. The bonus: when I get something on a contact (eye make-up, dust, etc.), I have a fresh, perfect contact waiting for me.
- Happy Hour. I’ve discovered that many restaurant happy hours have great deals on snackables – and full meals – at a reduced price. A way to enjoy an expensive restaurant – and people watch – without blowing the budget. A nice treat when you’re in the mood to go out, or traveling and have to eat out. Maybe not as fancy as a big steak dinner in the dining room, yet a meal in the bar still feels like a luxury when you don’t want to cook!
- I order what I really want. We don’t eat out very often, mainly because I think the food at home is better. Yet, when we do go out, I order what I want, period. Whether it’s a steak, a series of appetizers instead of an entree, or if I want dessert, I do it.
- Lingering in Hotel Lobbies. Sometimes when we travel, JB’s work chooses the hotel, not us. That doesn’t mean that if I’m in a big city like DC, New York, or Copenhagen, I can’t stop in a fancy hotel and check it out. You don’t have to stay in a five-star hotel to experience one. And, honestly, when you’re traveling and just need to get off your feet for a few minutes, having the luxury of a beautiful spot is a treat.
- Silence. There is nothing more luxurious than taking a deep breath in a quiet house. Sitting in silence to sip that coffee, read a book, or simply stare out the window is a luxury that allows me to feed my soul, rather than distract it.
- Enough Socks and Underwear. When we packed for our trip to Florida a couple of months ago, I realized I didn’t have enough socks or underwear for the trip. I have found ways to better love laundry, but dammit, you shouldn’t have to do necessities like socks and underwear more than once a week. So, I bought enough for my trip which also gives me a supply for two weeks, just in case I want to skip the laundry. Now, that feels like luxury to me.
- Pretty Lingerie. Speaking of underwear, I ensure that all the underwear and bras I buy are beautiful. Most days, I’m the only one who sees it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve something sexy and beautiful. Besides, beautiful lingerie is empowering.
- Cup. Sized. Swimwear. Swimsuit shopping is stressful for anyone, especially anyone that’s especially endowed. What has saved me? Discovering cup sized swim wear. Not only can I find a swimsuit that fits my body, I feel good in it. Feeling good in a swimsuit? That is a delicious luxury. If you are a woman who wears a cup size larger than a D, investing in cup sized swimwear with change your life. (Here’s a place to start shopping – not an affiliate link!)
- Stocking up. You know what feels like luxury? Knowing that if the toilet paper roll is empty, there’s a whole package in the basement. Same goes for toothpaste, laundry detergent, and canned tomatoes. If it’s something we use on the regular, I buy two. If you want your life to feel more abundant, buying something before you absolutely need it is a path to reminding you that life is good.
- I have two library cards. Recently I discovered that not only could I get a library card in my township library, I was also eligible to get a library card at the Dayton Metro Library. This gives me access to more books at no extra cost! Yes, I buy books still, especially the ones by authors I love. But I read more than 100 books a year, so having two library cards is more than just a little luxury to me. It’s priceless.
- Arriving early. I hate feeling rushed and sure don’t like to be late. If I leave early for any appointment, it means I have space to breathe. I’d rather sit in a lobby and read a book than arrive just in time. It feels like a luxury to remind myself that I have all the time I need.
These may not be your things, but most of these are truly little things that add a feel of luxury and abundance to my daily life. Sure, some things are more costly than others, yet what they do for my soul pays out tenfold. Sometimes, a luxurious experience does cost a lot of money, often it doesn’t. No matter the price tag, treating yourself to the smallest of luxuries is priceless in terms of how it allows you to curate a life you love. It feeds you: heart, mind, and soul.