Music Mondays – Fancy



I used to want to be fancy, or at least as fancy as the Joneses, and it was not only an exhausting exercise, but I also wasted a lot of money along the way. I like to drink champagne, and if it was anything less than Veuve Cliquot, then I turned my nose to it. I have never loved shopping, but when I did, it was always in higher end stores and never with a coupon. Every year I acquired the latest Coach purse style that I liked, and I may have a pair or two of Tory Burches in my closet.

The fancy didn’t stop with my clothes or food, though, I used to vacation at the Ritz Carlton and even got a picture with Wolfgang Puck while I stayed at the one in Beaver Creek. We owned a BMW for a period of time, and right before I saw the frugal light, I contemplated getting a Lexus instead of the Toyota I now drive.

Why confess the fancy past?

Why do I confess all of this? To let you know that I am someone who understands fancy. If I wasn’t a Jones, I definitely wanted to be one, but then I started to understand my money choices better, and I realized that there was more to life than trying to live fancy.

Now I consider myself Frugal Fancy, and I have to say that I am having just as much fun as when I was living Fancy Fancy, the only difference is that my bank account likes me a lot better. The key to living Frugal Fancy is to figure out how to replicate the fancy you want, for a lot less. I make it a game for myself, and I am always trying to top my previous performances.

Here are some of my Fancy to Frugal Fancy challenges:


The dress on the left is from one of my favorite stores, Black House White Market; the only problem with the store is that they rarely have sales or sales that make their clothes affordable. Fancy me purchased this dress for $129.99, and I thought I got a great deal.

The dress on the right is from my favorite store on the planet, TJ Maxx, and I purchased it because I needed a dress for a wedding. Frugal Fancy me purchased this dress for $39.99. I have gotten more compliments in the $39.99 dress than I have in the $129.99 dress.

Fancy Clothes


The shoes on the left are the Tory Burch shoes I purchased from Nordstrom for $250. The shoes on the right are shoes that I purchased from my second favorite store, Marshalls, for $19.99. Now I have to confess that I have gotten a lot of compliments when I wear the Torys; however, I get a good amount of compliments in the others and both are comfy.

fancy shoes


I didn’t have a bottle of Veuve on hand (since I don’t drink it anymore); however, for argument’s sake I am using this bottle of Moet Chandon. The only reason why I have this is that my publisher sent it to me as a gift for my book launch. It retails for about the same at Veuve, which is around $69.99. The bottle on the right is what you will see in my house for celebrations, it’s Gloria Ferrar, it’s a sparkling wine from California and I can usually get it for $12.99. I personally enjoy the $12.99 bubbles better.

Fancy ChampsChallenge Yourself to Become Frugal Fancy

If you are still living the fancy life and trying to keep up with the Joneses, challenge yourself to find Frugal Fancy replacements that you may not only enjoy more, but will save you a ton of money.

Remember that Lexus and Toyota have the same manufacturer, yes the Lexus may have some extra bells and whistles, but I get compliments on my Toyota ALL the time. Also remember that The Ritz Carlton and Marriott are part of the same company. I have stayed in a Ritz and I stayed in the Marriott last week for FinCon, and both beds felt the same to me. Before you go fancy, try to go Frugal Fancy.

What are some great Frugal Fancy hacks you have tried? Have you ever gone fancy and felt it was worth it?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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