How I Travel, Eat and Live Fabulously While Being Frugal

You can be on a budget and still live the good life.

We all love the finer things in life. However, as most of us learned early on in the adulting game, the finer things don’t always fit into our budget. Between making sure you have a roof over your head, a car to drive, food to eat, no threatening letters from Sallie Mae and, of course, the all-important Netflix account, it can get tougher and tougher to live fabulously.

Once the reality of adulting set in for me, I realized I had to make some changes. I had to figure out a way to enjoy the finer things in life while also being frugal and building wealth. Here’s how I do it.

Read More: Follow This One Tip to Be Financially Successful

Travel Hacking

First, let’s talk about how I travel. Traveling is one of my all-time favorite things to do (besides eating, of course), and I am known for taking amazing trips for the low-low. I do it by “travel hacking.”

A major key to saving money while traveling is to be flexible. As you are booking your flight, be sure to check out the Google Flights calendar search option and find the dates that are cheapest for your ideal destination. I also often look for flights that leave on a weekday, as prices are typically lowest then.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dominique Broadway (@dominiquebroadway) on

To give you an example, a few years ago for my birthday, I decided to do a solo trip to Las Vegas. I wanted to experience the side of Vegas that wasn’t all clubs and day parties. My trip was Monday through Friday, leaving from Washington, D.C., and it cost me $50 round trip. Yes, you read that correctly. I caught this flight deal on Twitter, as I follow all of the major airlines and immediately hop on the sales when they share them via social media and email.

Accommodations

Once I got to Vegas, I stayed at the Planet Hollywood for about $60/night. It was priced lower since it was during the week and in January. You can save hundreds of dollars by traveling off-season.

More on Non-Peak Travel: The Financial Perks of Off-Season Travel

Dining

While in Vegas, I was determined to eat like a queen but keep to my a budget, and that is just what I did. This takes a little bit of strategizing. I first made a list of the restaurants I wanted to visit. Then, if they had a happy hour, I would check it out during that time. Alternatively, I would go during lunch, when prices also tend to be cheaper. You can sometimes save up to 70 percent just by going to a restaurant during happy hour, or lunch instead of dinner, and still have a very similar dining experience. Trust me, I ate well and was able to meet tons of awesome people during those happy hours.

I also do this in my own city to help save money when dining out.

Check Out: Biggest Vacation Expenses and How to Get Them for Less

Entertainment

Since I was in Vegas by myself, I didn’t plan on doing much partying, but still wanted to have fun. I wanted to see some shows and visit some tourists attractions. So, before my trip, I researched the places I wanted to visit. The Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon were on the top of my list.

I then checked out Groupon and Viator to compare excursion prices. Once I found the excursions that I liked the best, I placed them in my cart as if I was checking out, and then I left the site. Sounds weird, right? Well, within hours I had coupons in my email inbox for 25 percent off or more to come back and finish my purchase.

Living Fabulously

Vegas is just one example in which I’ve used these techniques to save money and still have an amazing time. I do this all the time, as traveling is a huge passion of mine. However, you can do these same things in your city on a daily basis. The biggest lesson I have learned when it comes to living this fabulously frugal lifestyle is that all it takes is just a little planning, flexibility and resourcefulness.

Read More: Real People Share Their 28 Best Money-Saving Travel Tips

More From Our Smart Money Squad:

We make money easy. Get weekly email updates, including expert advice to help you Live Richer™.