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How to live like a star on a budget

A dream lifestyle doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Whether your idol is a Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber or Amal Clooney, there are plenty of dream lifestyles around that many of us would love to copy. Of course, most people don’t have pop star millions or family wealth to support all those shopping sprees, exotic holidays and luxury homes.

However, even if you’re not a social media star or a famous actress you can still emulate the lifestyle you crave in small ways and just for a while forget debts, the interest payments on bad credit loans and your static income.

Dress the part

From Bella Hadid in Dior, to JLo in Versace, enviable outfits are all part of living the starlet’s lifestyle. However, with the cost coming in at several thousand for a single dress, most of us are priced out of the market. But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story if you’re desperate for designer. Sites like Girl Meets Dress have opened up the market for designer frocks, giving you access to the best labels that boast the hottest celebrity fans for a fraction of the normal price. How? Well, instead of buying the latest Roland Mouret or McQueen you can hire it. Sign up for an account, choose your pieces and you’ll get them to wear the next day – all you have to do is return them when you’ve finished with them.

Michelin starred dining

You don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy Michelin starred dining. Websites such as bookatable and lastminute.com regularly have offers at some of the best establishments in the world where the bill won’t leave you feeling queasy. For example, you can enjoy nine courses at Yauatcha in London, including dessert, tea and a cocktail for just $40. If Gordon Ramsey is your dream top chef then visit Petrus with champagne, canapés, a matched wine and four courses for just $64. Typically, even the best restaurants can be enjoyed at a cut price if you opt for the set price menu – same chefs, same food, just less to pay at the end of the meal.

VIP hotel bargains

Even the most expensive hotels still have to fill their rooms – the methods they use mean bargains for those savvy enough to track them down. Booking at the last minute, for example, is a sure fire way to get a heavy discount. Hotels would rather discount their rooms than see them go empty so you can save significantly if you wait. Booking as part of a package with flights or an experience also brings VIP rooms down to every day prices. If you can’t book at the last minute – and you don’t want a package – then booking early also means accessing some great discounts. Or, choose ‘off peak’ months e.g. October and November to see prices fall.

The benefits of membership

If you want to travel like a VIP there are memberships and passes that will enable you to do it for a fraction of the normal cost. For a VIP experience at the airport, for example, don’t wait out in the terminal with everyone else, enjoy the peace, quiet and freebies of a VIP lounge instead. Airline lounges tend to be reserved for first class or business passengers but airport lounges are available whatever your ticket via sites like No 1 Lounges or Loungepass. When you’re flying, if you want to get that elusive first class upgrade, then having an airline loyalty card helps. Make sure you also dress the part, experiment with travelling at times premium business travellers won’t (e.g. bank holidays) and look out for emails that offer seriously cut price upgrades on the day of travel. Many airlines overbook and so offer an upgrade for virtually nothing on the day – but you’ve got to be quick to get it.