32. Go to expensive, beautiful places and do beautiful, inexpensive things.

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had champagne taste on a beer budget. This has presented me with many ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????dilemmas in my life, not the least of which was my credit card debt situation when I was in my 20s. Most of that $13,000 debt could have been attributed to me going out to nice restaurants and paying for all my friends who couldn’t afford them. Um, neither could I. But here’s a fabulous trick I’ve learned over the years – go to a really expensive, beautiful place and have a glass of champagne (or an old fashioned or a rum and coke, whatever). You might be out $20 but the experience will stay with you for a long time. Some of my favorite places to practice this principle:

The Montage (where a room is $795 a night), Laguna Beach

$10 for a glass of champagne and an ocean view to die for.

Walk their gorgeous grounds and sit on a bench overlooking the ocean. (Free.)

http://www.montagelagunabeach.com/?gclid=CI-Bjqnu47YCFUOe4AodpCQAcw

Mastro’s Steak House, throughout the U.S. (where a steak dinner a la carte will cost you about $40)

Sit in the bar and order their house chardonnay for $9 and split the enormous portion of their gorgonzola mac ‘n’ cheese for $11 and munch on their insanely fabulous FREE bread.

http://www.mastrosrestaurants.com

Take a walk along the beautiful cliffs and beaches of Corona Del Mar, California. (Free)

Then have breakfast at Café Panini where you can have a Mediterranean omelet that comes with Greek salad and bread for about $11. And don’t forget the champagne! Or better yet, pack a picnic and sit on the bluffs after your walk.

http://www.mypaninicafe.com

I know these are all in my backyard (and a beautiful one it is!) but can you think of places where you live that you don’t go to because you think you can’t afford them? You should actively seek these special places. Because even if you don’t have a lot to spend, for an hour or two, you’ll feel positively rich.

Word to the wise: The appetizers can be just as satisfying as the meal. Even more so if you’re at a five-star hotel with an ocean view. Or whatever it is that makes your backyard special. Life’s too short not to enjoy it.

What are some of your favorite places and do you know how to maximize your experience without doing major damage to your wallet? Please share. Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

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About Eva Finn

Eva Finn is an award-winning marketing copywriter, advertising instructor and life expert. She started the blog, Wise Before 25 so young women can avoid making the same mistakes she did. This blog will become a book of the same title, which will include contributions from readers. She was also published in a book about the subject of hair– the good, bad and the ugly – called, fittingly enough, Hair Pieces, by the Cary Tennis Workshop. As a copywriter for more than 20 years, she has written ads, brochures, direct mail, radio and television for clients that included In-N-Out Burger, Bank of America, Toyota and Ingram Micro. Eva has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education. She has taught advertising classes at The Art Institute of California-Orange County and California State University, Fullerton. And she has had plenty of hard knocks from the school of life.

12 responses »

  1. Eva like aways such an insightful post. I agree it’s all about the experience. For me I like to go to the Hotel Del Coronado on a nice day and sitting on the patio bar and having a drink.

    • Oh Gary, we do have so much in common! I love the Hotel Del. What a great spot. Got to get there soon for a day trip. Also love George’s in La Jolla. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • I would, if I were you. I went on a group tour to Italy a couple of years ago and it was fabulous! Check out globusjourneys.com. Or if you have a little more dough to spend, tauck.com – they have an 8-day South of France/Paris tour that looks amazing! When the going gets tough…Hope you’re feeling better soon, my online friend 🙂

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