One thing I’ve learned about sticking to a budget: You’ve got to treat yourself once in awhile. Here are some fun ways to avoid feeling deprived without completely derailing your financial goals.
JOY RIDE: I drive a 2003 Honda Civic, so I’m not exactly the authority on luxury cars. But I do know something about sticking to a budget… and so do the folks at AutoXotic Exotic Vehicle Rentals in Sarasota. The company rents high-end vehicles by the day, week and month. Cruise around in a Ford Mustang for $75 per day, Go joyriding in a Land Rover Range Rover (my husband’s been eyeing this) for $459 per day, or rent a Lamborghini Gallardo for $1,350 per day for that special occasion.
‘STEAK’ YOUR CLAIM: A meal at Tampa’s famed Bern’s Steak House can easily ring up into triple digits. But you can sink your teeth into that same high-end meat at the restaurant’s bar, where the steak sandwich with vegetable medley costs a measly $11. It’s not on the menu, but trust me on this.
TAKE THE STAGE: In October, the Florida Orchestra announced that it would start offering on-stage seating. This is your chance to literally be surrounded by music as you take in a musicians’ eye view of the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg. As a lapsed violin player, I see this as my chance to once again say I’m “in” the orchestra. Tickets are $75.
SEA : Become your kids’ hero when you treat them to dolphin photo op at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Prices start at $140 for a photo with Winter herself or $40 for a pic with one of her lesser-known friends.