Household expenses 1

The Most Common Luxury Household Expenses

21st January 2021

There’s nothing wrong with being house-proud. In fact, the wish to have our living spaces be as comfortable, welcoming and aesthetically pleasing as possible is hardly a notion many would disagree with. There is, however, a balance that needs to be struck too, as costs can easily stack up and fly way above your budget.

Interior design is going through a real renaissance at present, with designer brands proving more popular than ever, and that has infiltrated through to the common consciousness. With countless Instagram accounts, dedicated blogs and vlogs, the obsession with décor has skipped past being a fad and is now an industry of its own. This is one of the biggest reasons why so many people have started spending so much at home and ballooning their household expenses.

That said, what are people spending so much money on? Which items are costing the most, and why? Also, most importantly perhaps, what can be done to achieve the same end goal but at a much more affordable – and perhaps financially responsible – price.

What Carries the Cost: Most Expensive Household Items

While decorating a house is never cheap, there are some items that cost more than others. Rather than listing the obvious pieces of large furniture – as they tend to be long-lasting, one-off expenses that can be paid back affordably over time – there are other, common pieces throughout that home that can add up.

One of the most popular items now is perhaps the luxury candle, with brands often selling small, individual items for over £50 per piece. Full of organic ingredients and providing a powerful, perfume-laden aroma, their expense comes from the materials used and their superior brand value. It has now become fashionable and an act of status to have certain branded candles prominently displayed at home. By their very nature, these candles don’t last forever and will need replacing – and that’s how, before long, costs start to climb.

Another item that can end up costing significant amounts is bedding. Again, with fashionable brands getting their message across about how much more comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and desirable their high-quality sheets and covers are, people are willing to pay high prices for what could be a better night’s sleep and an improved interior design. Usually needing more than one set – regular washing and changing is encouraged, no matter the price of your bedding – these can be hundreds of pounds per set, and there’s the possibility that they’re being used in more than one bedroom, too.

More commonly, the costs that can cause the most consistent financial burden include supermarket shopping for food, drink and toiletries. Cheese, chocolate, coffee and alcohol are especially guilty here, as well as premium toiletries. Fashion items – such as new clothes, shoes or bags – also tend to be amongst the worst culprits for spiralling costs. With so many upmarket food shopping options now available and the desire to eat well and healthily costing increasingly more, even buying essentials can be a burden. Similarly, with toiletries, products from named, higher quality brands will quickly add up, and they will need replacing with some regularity, too. When the additional cost of designer clothing and accessories is factored in on top, it’s not hard to imagine just how quickly people can burn through their wages.

Finding Alternatives: How to Keep Track of Household Expenses

There are, of course, far smarter ways to manage your household expenses than simply spending unsustainably to keep up with fashion and the expectations of social media. For all the items listed above, there are alternatives available, which perform just as well, whilst costing significantly less.

While they may not have the same brand value – which, by the way, is the lion’s share of what you’re paying for with most premium products – buying the same thing from lesser-known companies is the fastest route to easing household expense. The candles will smell just as sweetly and the bedding will be just as soft, and you’ll feel better knowing you didn’t spend over the odds to obtain them.

Similarly, when it comes to food and drink shopping, buying new clothes and stocking up on toiletries, you can be more sensible here too. Rather than buying an entire food shop of named goods, try a few of the store’s own-brand alternatives and see which ones you prefer. Maybe alternate between a premium supermarket brand and one that is known for being more affordable, too. With clothes and toiletries, wait until there is a sale or offer on, and treat yourself then, rather than paying full price on a regular basis.

Work to a Budget: Affordable Luxury is Still Luxury

It’s important to remember that, despite what we see being advertised and scroll past on our social media feeds, we’re not in competition with anyone else or how they live their life – especially if trying to keep up is costing us more than we can afford.

There are amazing products available at all price points, so we needn’t always overstretch for the most expensive option. Luxury is an objective notion, so if you’re being financially responsible and buying products that you enjoy, there’s no reason to spend more than you need to.

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