Guest post by Dana Grove
How to live like the rich and famous with these 3 more reasonable substitutes.
1. Choose an Au Pair over a Nanny
Celebrity moms need their nanny to supplement their penchants for late-night, paparazzi-recorded, cocktail-induced outings, or their ventures overseas to help save the world. The working mom, on the other hand, needs some dedicated childcare as well and should opt for an au pair. These young, international caregivers work for room and board and a small weekly stipend and provide moms on-the-go with up to 45 hours of childcare per week. For busy moms who can never seem to find the time for that relaxing spa retreat, problem solved! Parents should go through an agency for secure screening and visa reasons. All fees and costs considered, an au pair from a leading agency boils down to about $7/hr or $320 per week per family. So for those hard working moms with two or more kids, an au pair is even cheaper than daycare. Visit AuPairCare for more information.
2. Shop for Designer Gear at Discount Prices
Shop strategically to get the same amazing labels for half the price. Everyone knows how celebrity moms have thousands of disposable dollars to spend on limitless Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, not to mention all those Choos! Unless you’re Carrie Bradshaw, we could all use a little more Vogue-worthy brands to spice up our closets. These luxury labels are not totally unreachable, if you know where to look.
The two best ways to get expensive looks at a markdown rate are to shop online and pay an occasional visit to discount retail stores. A great website to visit for bargain-seekers is Yoox.com which offers collection pieces for up to 80% off. Gucci, Versace, Marni and Roberto Cavalli are just some of the designers that can be found on this gem of a website. Discount retail stores that have some of the best hidden treasures are Nordstrom Rack and DSW. With new arrivals every week, and some of the best labels at as much as a 75% discount, look great without the guilt of buyer’s remorse. You don’t have to be a celebrity to dress like one!
3. Travel in Class Without Paying for First-Class
Just because non-celebrity moms don’t have a private jet and VIP status at 10 different Club Meds doesn’t mean glamorous vacations are out of the question. Who doesn’t want to trot the globe in search of new customs, settings, cuisine and fashion? Gazing out on a beautiful ocean setting that feels worlds away from your regular routine is not patented by the likes of Madonna and Nicole Kidman.
Most airlines offer low-fare calendars so you can sync your trip with the most affordable flights. Additionally, bargain packages can often be made through internet sites like Orbitz through which flight, hotel and transportation accommodations can be made together to save hundreds of dollars, and up to 50% of the vacation value.
If you have your heart set on a specific getaway, set up a daily alert on Kayak.com. You’ll get regular emails sent to you whenever flight prices change so you can find the most affordable flights while sitting at work! Perfect for a busy gal like yourself.
Vacation hotspots that are more affordable counterparts to places like Paris and London include Argentina, Honduras’ Roatan Island, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Morocco. Many of these locations offer lavish, exotic surroundings to cater to the sophisticated tastes of those without a celebrity budget, on less than $100 a day! Meals in places like these cater to tourists at prices that start at $2 and $3. Bountiful activities revolve around the natural, interactive settings, and include hiking, exploration and even lounging happily on a beautiful beach. Save big bucks by picking up unique items in local markets, free from the compelling urge to spend money in expensive shops and galleries.
Guest post Dana Grove. Dana attends the UC Berkeley and is currently residing in the Bay Area. When she is not working in the Financial District or perusing the blogosphere, she enjoys learning about food and wine, reading modern literature and acquiring new shoes.