Aussies looking to live large for less with little luxuries

With recent rises in inflation and the knock-on increases in mortgage repayments and rent, many Australians are looking to indulge in a thriftier way. The ‘Lipstick Effect’ is said to occur when discretionary income falls and consumers begin to look for affordable luxuries, like lipstick, over big-ticket treats, like new jet skis. New research from PayPal shows 80%[i] of Australians are being financially cautious at this time and many are looking for ways to spark joy without burning the budget. Our Consumer Shopping Expert, Dan Grant is sharing a few of her favourite low-cost luxuries.

Savvy Spa Selfcare

Checking out of your daily routines and into a serene spa setting may feel less affordable right now, but that the good news is, with a little effort and imagination, you can recreate that spa experience at home, and for a fraction of the price. The hardest part of this hack is just making the time to disconnect, light some scented candles, and cue up a calming playlist. The easy part is the treatments. For 23 years, Adore Beauty offers more than 12,000 products from over 270 beauty brands, and with so much variety, the retailer caters to a rage of price points, offering affordable treatments and products and countless helpful guides on the best ways to use them. Articles cover topics like  how to do a facial at home, top ‘treat yourself’ products for a cosy night in, the best affordable skincare products to try in 2023 and many more. Fortunately, the more you practice these savvy selfcare routines, the more you get out of them and the easier they become to schedule.

Swapping, not skipping, on style

Health experts advise that transitioning to a healthier diet can be achieved by swapping certain foods for others, rather than just trying to consume less. A similar strategy can be applied to slimming down your fashion spending. If rising costs are making it hard to justify purchases from your go-to shops and brands, this could be the perfect time to explore new and more affordable options. Eclectic Collection, for example, is a Canberra-based business offering an enormous range of affordable jewelry across all categories. While they stock sterling silver designs, why not try some of Eclectic’s stylish stainless-steel creations instead?  The owners have 15 years’ experience in some of the largest global retail companies and closely follow current fashion trends. With more shops venturing online for the first time during and since the pandemic, it has never ben easier to swap stores without sacrificing style.

Frugal Foodie

When restaurants were off limits during lockdowns, we all discovered new ways to elevate our home dining experiences, from virtual food and wine tasting to fresh seafood and cocktail deliveries. But the cost-of-living crisis calls for a different kind of innovation. If eating out and takeaway is off the table for now, you can still indulge your inner foodie at home with spices, salts, rubs, relishes and other exciting produce from the Buy From The Bush marketplace. With native Australian spices like Wattleseed, Lemon Myrtle and Kunzea for as little as $7.50 thanks to Saltbush Kitchen, you could taste your way through the outback until the economic clouds have cleared. The more culinarily challenged can still spice things up in the kitchen with some easier to incorporate elements like Banana Chili Chutney, Apple, Cinnamon and Date Jam, and Hot and Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles, all from Middle of Nowhere Creations for $9.95.

Wanderlust within means

International airfares are among the most expensive luxuries right now, but that doesn’t mean tourism and cultural exploration is out of reach. Australians are notorious for seeing the world before discovering our own backyard and Australia’s first Aboriginal-led not-for-profit marketplace, Welcome to Country, offers a huge range of incredible experiences led by First Nations people across every State and Territory. From bushfood workshops and cultural walks in your home city, to multi-day private charters through World Heritage natural wonders, there are experiences and adventures to suit any budget, whether you’re planning to take an interstate getaway or spice up a staycation.

Better Bargain Hunting

With most Australian’s (83%) looking for companies to provide promotions and deals, it’s encouraging to see most businesses (93%) have created more frequent or deeper promotions or deals in the past 12 months. i Whenever you’re looking for lower-cost luxuries, it pays to use deal-finding tools like PayPal Honey,[ii] which can automatically search for promo codes and apply any it finds to your cart at checkout.

[i] PayPal Evolution of Commerce Research, 2023

[ii] User must be 18+. Terms and conditions apply.

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