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A Little Bit of Luxury Goes a Long Way

June 8, 2008

Times are hard for everyone right now. Gas prices are unreal. Food prices are going up. What hard earned income one does get quickly goes just to sustain a semi-comfortable way of life. Some are worse off than others, some have enough income to make the tough times barely noticeable. But I don’t think there’s one person – well, maybe a bizillionaire – who can’t say that they haven’t noticed the pinch.

Since I’ve been unemployed, or self-employed, or freelancing, or contracting, or whatever you want to call it, I’ve felt the pinch more than usual. I’ve gone from having a very comfortable income to almost no income at all. Anything I do earn goes straight to necessities: mortgage, utilities, Internet access (because I make my living off it), food, and gas. 

Still, I go out of my way to get one item of luxury for myself. Triple-milled, imported from France bath soaps.

Lepi de Provence Soaps

I get these from a little gift boutique in Mill Creek, Washington, Belle Provence. (Click the link to see their website.) Their staff is friendly, and if I had unlimited funds, I’d decorate half my house with their lovely pillows, blankets, furniture, and scrumptious accessories.

Still, these bath soaps cost me $5.95 plus tax, and one bar lasts me about two months, maybe more. They are generously sized, too. One bar is about 5×4 inches. And, unlike many of the scented soaps I’ve tried, the scent isn’t too overpowering, and it lasts – clear up to the last sliver of soap.

My favorite scents are Ocean and Sea Mist. Right, maybe you could have guessed that seeing as I love to decorate my house so it feels coastal. Still, for $12 I have a bit of a spa retreat in my master bath every day. When it’s gloomy outside (as it still is here in Seattle) and I can’t afford gas to drive to the ocean or for a day trip to a real spa, it’s a small price to pay to feel good and build the endorphins.

When times are tough, and you don’t have money for luxury, what do you do?

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14 Comments
  1. June 8, 2008 10:40 am

    I never have the money for anything though I think my daughter would buy me anything I wanted if I asked but I don’t like to ask.

    I play loud classic rock music and light candles. Wendy from Life with Buck sent me Mexican candles and I love to light them in my room at night.

  2. June 8, 2008 12:37 pm

    a little daily indulgence can make the tough times seem a little easier. imho, $3 a month can hardly be considered a “splurge.”

    teri

  3. VeeDogKnitter permalink
    June 9, 2008 6:15 am

    OHMYGOD woman, i hear you on the soaps!! I have a (mild) obsession with soaps. In fact, one year a friend got me a year-long subscription to home made soaps. One bar in the mail every month, it ROCKED!! Will send you the link if you want.
    Archipelago Botanicals made my fave soap, Bergamot and Tobacco, which they have since discontinued.

  4. June 9, 2008 8:05 am

    I think everyone, no matter how tight their budget, needs to treat themself to at least one little luxury. Mine is having someone else wash my car…

  5. June 9, 2008 8:10 am

    @Joan, I like candles too. I put them all around the place. They have to be scented – like vanilla or ocean breeze.

    @mermaids – you’re right. $3 a month is not really a splurge, but it seems like it to me right now. I could have reasonably bought Dial soap. Ewww. Sorry Dial fans.

    @VeeDogKnitter – A soap of the month club? Wow. I’ve heard of rose of the month or flower of the month, but not soap. How cool is that. I’ll have to check out that company you mentioned.

    @TheVinylVillager – when you find that person, send them my way. I haven’t been able to wash my car in… well, I won’t say how long. It’s pretty silver color is now grunge gray. Although I wonder how many WW Activity Points I’d earn for washing a Kia Sorento? LOL.

  6. June 9, 2008 10:49 am

    Those soaps are beautiful. At the website I fell in love with the round ones. Lately I’ve been using the vanilla and lavender body gel from Origins that my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day.

    When times are tough and I don’t have the money for luxury I stay in bed and cry. Seriously, that’s what I do. I call it being down “the Rabbit Hole” because putting an Alice in Wonderland spin on it makes it feel less crazy. I spent the entire summer of 1996 down the Rabbit Hole, when my first book was rejected. People hate it when I’m down the Rabbit Hole. Sometimes I don’t even know I’m down there and it takes someone else to point it out to me. Joan’s sister Barbara, for instance, will look for me if I’ve disappeared for too long and then she’ll write or call and demand, “ARE YOU DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE?!” which usually makes me laugh, because I can laugh even when I’m miserable.

    Have a cheery day everyone! 🙂

  7. kaylee2 permalink
    June 9, 2008 3:12 pm

    Oh beutiful……………

  8. June 9, 2008 6:43 pm

    Little Miss…
    Ive got him! He comes to my office every other week and washes it inside and out. Best money Ive ever spent.
    As for points, I bet its worth a LOT. I got bird bombed a week or so back and washed the car myself…I’m tellin you, it was better than any gym workout. I was sore for three days.

  9. thegirlfromtheghetto permalink
    June 10, 2008 5:39 pm

    Never tried designer soaps … every time I see them I think of that scene in Fight Club …

  10. June 10, 2008 5:40 pm

    Um, what scene is that? I think I skipped that movie.

  11. June 13, 2008 1:52 am

    I, too, love fancy soaps. Except I buy mine at Home Goods, TJ Maxx or Marshalls where they are discounted.

    A few months ago I found Linda of Country Cottage Soaps:
    http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZcountrycottagebylinda

    OMG…they are simply YUMMY! Check them out!

    My other indulgence is Trapp Scented Candles:
    http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?from=R40&_trksid=m37&satitle=trapp+candle
    My very favorite is Fresh Cut Tuberose.

    With friendship,
    Lisa

  12. June 15, 2008 7:13 am

    I’m a maniac for “smell goods,” and I’m with Wendy- the round soaps are beautiful. I wrote to the company to find out if there was a retailer near here.

    My low-income indulgences are looooong hot baths, curling up with great books, listening to music, and checking out DVDs from the library. Oh, and Theo the Wonderdog, he’s a luxury, but so worth it.

    Lepi de Provence should make you a spokesperson– they could pay you in soap.

  13. June 15, 2008 7:22 am

    @Wendy – I forgot to respond! Vanilla and Lavender – combined or separate? Sounds like a heavenly concoction.

    @Kaylee – They are beeyuuteeful.

    @MB – I wonder if my writing business license would qualify me to buy wholesale. Har har. Seriously, I want to try some of their foaming bath stuff because, like you, I love long HOT baths. So good for the achy bod and sore back. I could be a paid blogger for Lepi de Provence, should they want one. And I’d welcome being paid in soap. I’d share with all my pretty soap-deprived friends.

  14. June 15, 2008 7:23 am

    clarification on poor writing – “pretty-soap deprived friends” meaning they don’t have any pretty soaps, not that I wouldn’t give soap to ugly people. LOL.

    Need. More. Coffee.

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