Luxury Is a State of Mind

The word luxury brings up an image of wealth and elegant living of the very rich and famous. Yes this is true but one can obtain a luxury lifestyle at affordable prices, it may take some work, research, budgeting, and discipline but it is doable.

Like everyone I look for ways to enrich my life with quality, beauty, convenience, and comfort. I have found my greatest “luxury” pleasures are artistic décor and items in my home, listening to jazz and classical music, film, theater, art, gourmet cooking, wine, hiking, ballroom dancing, golf, skiing, literature, and writing. Living a simple and non-extravagant lifestyle helps me attain what I truly want.

If you happen to know any wealthy people notice how they spend little and are not flashy or showy about their wealth. They invest, save, and spend on their favorite leisure activities.

Investing Magazine surveyed 200 rich and famous people on their interests and hobbies These are what rich and famous people do:

  • Creative- painting, sculpting, crafts, interior design, fashion, knitting, photography, cooking, reading
  • Games – poker, bridge, chess, video
  • Collecting – art, antiques, collectables, stamps, cars, wine
  • Musical – playing musical instruments, singing, dancing
  • Outdoors – horses, dogs, gardening, farming, beekeeping, foraging, hiking, bird hunting, fly fishing
  • Fitness – gymnastics, pilates, yoga, cycling, climbing, martial arts
  • Sports – golf, tennis, boating, sailing, skiing, equestrian, sky diving, scuba diving, fencing, surfing, flying planes, auto racing, baseball, volleyball, soccer

Luxury magazines rank the top luxury goods and activities, which include: high-end real estate, luxury cars, sports cars, high fashion, yachts, airplanes, watches, jewelry, travel, resorts, spas, fancy restaurants, furnishings, antiques, fine art, wine and spirits, gourmet foods, fine cigars, horses, scuba diving, golf, tennis, skiing, sailing, upland bird hunting, fly fishing, and many others.

Most of these are expensive and out of reach for most people, but there is obtainable luxury available. It depends on what you determine to be luxurious and what luxury goods and services you really think you want and need.

Luxury Is a State of Mind

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What in life is considered luxury?

In surveys of what people really want in a luxurious lifestyle the expensive material products and services are not the primary means of happiness. The answer goes deeper into what do these objects represent and what is to be attained by them.

The issue is achieving happiness is a very subjective matter. Ultimately being loved, recognized, and accepted are the primary drives that shape human behavior and personality. According to psychoanalyst Karen Horney, all people are driven to attain “surrogate love” through three distinct personality types: the need to attain material possessions, need for social recognition, and the need for power. Luxury can satisfy all three of these personality traits.

Surveys have shown that today a luxury lifestyle is less about ostentatious displays of wealth. Being showy about having more is not always a sign of luxury, rather it says more about the person. Of course many people want this and many can afford it.

Comfort and Convenience are usually high on people’s luxury bucket lists. Being able to have what is needed, do more with less effort, avoid lines and long commutes. Focus on little comforts, peace and simplicity. A location to raise children in comfort and safety. Maintaining an expensive lifestyle is not always convenient nor comfortable.

Experiential Lifestyle is often more important. Experiencing life and all it has to offer. Enjoy what you already have. Slow down and create free time to relax and do new things. Some want more spiritual quality and others want to do social activities to improve society. High tech is high on many people’s list. Others want to pursue art, music, dance, writing, the outdoors, gardening, sports, hobbies, travel, or whatever. It is a personal journey of fulfillment, quality of life, ultimate happiness — this is true luxury.

Luxury on a Budget

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First look at what you want and need, then determine how you can attain what these items provide materially, emotionally, and psychologically. Don’t spend money on things you really don’t need, even if you can afford them. Determine what luxury lifestyle products and services you actually want and need. It is very doable to attain elegance and enjoy luxury on a budget. Be realistic and prioritize.

Think quality over quantity. Quality is a prudent investment, it lasts longer. Many items are really not too expensive. There are many obtainable things for the home, clothing, appearance, leisure, food, drinks, pampering, entertainment, and so on.

Establish a budget of income and critical expenses, don’t forget saving. This may not provide much so cut costs, use cheaper items elsewhere, and do away with things that are not really important. Then be smart in your spending. Save to get the luxury items or activities you really want.

Buy at discount stores and warehouses, wholesale, used and second hand stores, use coupons, buy online.

Avoid these financial traps – paying interest, late fees, impulse purchases, splurging, lottery tickets, extended warranties, autopay, prepaid cash cards, high-end brands.


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Luxury or not, this is important. Clothing, appearance, and personal health and hygiene are critical socially and for self-esteem. You never see wealthy persons in shabby clothes, bad hair, cheap make-up, or dirty with bad habits.

Grooming is critical for both men and women. Do a make-over – wardrobe, hair, make-up, diet, exercise, and hygiene. Stop bad habits, especially unhealthy and unattractive habits. Go to a salon, spa, or hair stylist. See a style expert on your apparel. Use moderation in diet and drinking.

Go formal – women evening gowns and cocktail dresses; men tuxedos and suits with ties.

Build your own home spa, home gym, jacuzzi, indoor games, recreation room, pool, tennis court, putting green, dance floor, or other items. Try aromatherapy, essential oils, special baths, skin wraps, facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, and scented candles. Try yoga and pilates. Experiment with health, skin, hair, and beauty products.

Be Social

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Being social is critical to health and self-esteem. Get out and be with people – friends, family, make new friends, social gatherings, and events. If you want to try the singles scene at clubs and bars go for it. But many have tried and avoid the singles scene by attending other social functions to meet people.

Entertain at you home – brunch, cocktails, dinner, party, holiday get togethers, bar-be-que, potluck, other. Attend charity, social, political, or church functions. Go to dances, events, premieres, openings, galas, art showings, and fundraisers. Attend lectures and classes.


Get a pet or start a hobby, then attend social events around these activities.

Learn proper manners and etiquette, social interaction, speaking, listening, body language, smiling, eye contact, and self-confidence. How to be a gentleman or lady. Read and go on the Internet, watch videos.

Luxury At Home

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A clean, organized, and comfortable home is luxury in itself. It does not need to be extravagant and expensive. Give your home a make-over – do it your way, your lifestyle, your taste, your personality. Explore what you enjoy in your private space. Define yourself and express it. Obtain wall art, books, furnishings, vases, lamps, pillows, rugs, curtains, tapestries, linens, plants, accessories, kitchen and dinner ware, and more.

Plants, flowers, and gardening brighten up your home, both indoors and outdoors. It is good for the soul. Grow herbs indoors or outdoors. Grow your own fruits and vegetables.

Buy at discount stores and warehouses. Buy used and second hand, buy online.

Become a Connoisseur

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Experiment and discover new foods and drinks. Try different gourmet items, ethnic foods, spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meats. Try vegetarian dishes and organic foods. Seek fresh produce, gourmet foods, wine, spirits, coffee, chocolate, and cigars if you are inclined. Attend food festivals, wine tastings, wineries, breweries, orchards, farmers’ markets, and other. Take cooking lessons. Read cook books and magazines. Watch food TV shows. Grow food and herbs in a garden or indoors.



Foreign travel may be outside your budget or preference, but your local city, region, and state have much to offer, see, and do. Go on day trips, save for big trips or cruises. You can save money by booking in advance. Visit nearby art fairs, food festivals, music festivals, holiday events, museums, and more. Discover the best events, festivals, restaurants, bistros, cafes, resorts, spas, concerts, jazz clubs, bars, dances, galleries, theaters, and museums near you.

The Outdoors

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What do the wealthy do for recreation? They enjoy healthy activities and sports outdoors. Although you may not be able to afford yachts, luxury cars, or horses, you can enjoy outdoor recreation for very little money. A few affordable sports include dance, nature trails, bird watching, swimming, hiking, camping, racquet sports, cycling, paddling, boating, skiing, golf, tennis, climbing, skating, picnics, exercise, hunting, fishing, and more.

Enhance your soul, clear your mind, and get your body fit. Every city has community centers, gyms, parks, and nearby forests, lakes, rivers, and state parks. Some have nearby mountains and oceans.

Become an Aficionado

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Expand your mind to stay young. Enhance beauty around you to inspire your soul. Go to book and record stores or the public library to get books and videos. Go on the Internet.

Appreciate art, music, dance, photography, poetry, literature, history, theater, science, and more. Learn, study, take classes. Draw, paint, sculpture, sing, learn a musical instrument, write, photography, gardening, sewing, crafts, and dance. Read and study math, science, history, learn a foreign language. Go to a museum, art gallery, concerts, film festivals, art films, and the theater to see a play or musical. Try listening to classical music, opera, and jazz, you may like it. Take classes and attend lectures at libraries, high schools, colleges, museums, etc. Learn ballroom dancing.


Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood, founder of AOIDE Bruce J. Wood has worked on Wall Street in business finance and strategy, and has written hundreds of finance business plans, strategic plans, economic feasibility studies, and economic impact studies. Bruce has lectured on creativity and strategic thinking, as well as worked on the development of numerous publishing, film, television, and performing arts projects, along with downtown revitalizations, using the arts as an economic catalyst. As an aficionado of music, art, and dance, Bruce is also a writer and an outdoor enthusiast. He has written poetry, blogs, articles, and many creative project concepts. He lives in the Metro Detroit area and enjoys writing poetry, backpacking, and ballroom dancing.

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