Sampling Luxury

We can all use a bit of luxury from time to time. A simple home-cooked meal is nutritious and tasty, but it’s not on the same level as a fancy meal at a five-star restaurant. Similarly, an economical sedan will get you where you need to go safely and efficiently, but there’s a reason why luxury car brands like Audi have a certain reputation: they produce good cars that are aesthetically pleasing and have top-of-the-line features. But what if you’re not at a point in your life where you can afford to buy a luxury product? There are still ways for you to get a taste of luxury without spending quite as much money as someone who buys a Mercedes-Benz with their annual bonus.

Renting and leasing

Not everyone is even aware that leasing a car is an option, but it’s out there, and it’s the right choice for some people. Leasing is a good option if you aren’t planning any cross-country road trips, can keep a car clean, and have a strong credit score. If you love cars and love to try out the newest models, then you’ll probably be drawn to leasing as well. Do you reside in a major metropolitan area? A young professional who wants to be trendy and hip is more likely to find good Audi lease deals in a city like Seattle or Los Angeles rather than, say, rural Iowa. Of course, a young professional interested in trends is also more likely to live in a big city in general.

What happens if you lease a car for two or three years and then fall in love with it? Well, your first step should be to check out the paperwork, since the purchase price of the car is often specified in the contract you signed when you leased it. Your feelings may change once you view the price of the car in black and white. There’s usually room to bargain and haggle when you’re purchasing a car at a dealership, but the same isn’t true of leased vehicles: The price is almost always set in stone. That may be a downside for some people who love to think they’re getting a special deal. On the bright side, purchasing a leased car means you’re buying a car after months or even years of driving it. You know it inside and out. That’s way better than the brief test drive most car buyers get.

Vacations and travel

Another oft-wished for brand of luxury comes via real estate. We read articles about celebrities with vacation homes in Montana or Hawaii and we think, “Why can’t that be me?” The good news is it can be you, albeit for a week or two instead of the rest of your natural life. Almost anyone can make a travel budget and take a trip to a dream destination. Focus on really soaking in the full experience, rather than dreading the flight back home. The best moments in life are often the ones where we get outside our own heads and just live. Get surfing lessons in Waikiki, HI or visit a dude ranch in Colorado. The memories will be yours forever, even if the beachside bungalow or mansion overlooking the mountains isn’t.