A villa in Spain, Bordeaux wine of the finest vintage, shopping in Singapore, designer charm bracelets (price on request), caviar facials....not in this economy! Come March 31, everyone’s tightening their belts, but life without luxe would be grim indeed. The good news is, you don't have to give up altogether on those lifestyle extras. There are many wonderful, life-changing experiences that your money can stillbuy. Open your mind to new plans and a different perspective on good living, and you can have your cake and eat it too! Here's how you can have it all, with a slight twist in the tale.

Incredible - and in India! So your grand plans to go to South America have gone out the window. Never mind- India has more than enough travel options for even the most avid traveler. Spas or houseboats, rustic retreats, golf holidays or plush plantation hideaways, it's all right here! Take a trip to a Buddhist monastery in Lahaul and Spiti rather than going to Thailand, visit the rainforests of the north-east rather than heading to Malaysia, swap out a snorkeling holiday in Andaman for its Australian equivalent. Can’t visit Versailles? Visit the amazing UNESCO World Heritage site at Hampi (right here in Karnataka!), the ancient temples of Tamil Nadu, the palaces and forts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and of course, the historic Delhi/Agra circuit.

The Best Things in Life: Are free, yes. Material things, nice as they are, don't make up a life all in themselves. That park next to your home may not have manicured lawns, but that doesn't mean it isn't good for a picnic. Sit in that verandah you insisted on having when you got your house. Verandahs are also great for al-fresco dining…enjoy the spring breezes as you sip your morning coffee! Or go for a walk outside your apartment block and admire the flowering trees. Come twilight, any wooded area has a fairly peaceful ambience - you don' have to head to deepest Africa to get in touch with nature!

Eat Local: Trolling the supermarkets hunting for bottled salsa and ready-to-cook lasagna? Thai red curry and sushi are not the only options when it comes to eating something different! Go back to the good ol’ days by eating your way through a gigantic masala dosa at the popular neighborhood darshini instead of ordering in pizzas as usual. Visit a clean South Indian thali restaurant to rediscover forgotten favourites from your childhood. Explore the finger-licking legacy of typical Kannadiga chutneys and unique vegetable preparations. The USP of these places is the super-fresh food made from natural, wholesome ingredients, quite apart from the fantastic value for money!

When you look back on your existence, it's the good times that should stick out in your memory. You may not be dressed in Gucci at the moment, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be having a great time! Having fun really isn't a function of how much cash you blow. Just throw your doors open to adventures and good times – they'll come.