Money: is there any point in having it if you can’t unashamedly let the world know that you’re one of life’s winners, unfamiliar with little-people problems like energy bills and grocery shopping? Debatable. Is it insensitive to flaunt your sizeable wealth in the age of austerity like dick-swinger-in-chief Donald Trump? Yeah, probably. Would we like to give being flash a go, just to see what it feels like? You’re damned right we would.
Luckily for us, these days being a try-before-you-buy baller is easy. You see, getting on your filthy-rich flex can be a temporary identity, a disguise if you will. Today, you can rent everything from your own private island to an oligarch’s watch for a fraction of what they would cost to buy.
Yes, being a part-time playboy is definitely going to work out to be a hell of a lot more expensive than the average fly-and-drive to Alicante, but we imagine the never-ending stream of green-eyed gazes makes it all worthwhile. Andy Warhol may have famously predicted that in the future everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, but sod that, in the future, we reckon everyone deserves to live like Diddy (or whatever he’s currently calling himself) for a day.
Not sure where to start your transformation from unassuming civilian to Billy Big Time?
Here’s our guide to getting your not-so-humble brag on.
A flash car may be the universally recognised symbol of a mid-life crisis, but for those blessed with bulging wallets, they’re a way to get from A to B while letting motorists and pedestrians alike know that you’re a bona fide money magnet. Forget taking a sports car for a spin around a race track for a day, if you’re going to put your pedal to the metal, you need to go public.
That’s where luxury car rental service Turo steps in, bringing all of Uber’s usability while adding a catalogue of cars that make Jeremy Clarkson’s garage look like a bingo hall car park. In the market for a Mercedes Benz S Class, a Jaguar F Type or a Lamborghini Gallardo? Take your pick, because they’re all in the inventory.
Turo's communications director, Christin Di Scipio, says: “You can search by make and model, car hosts that offer delivery, even by colour. Our prices are also typically 35 per cent cheaper than traditional rental car companies, so you can book a Porsche or Tesla without breaking the bank.” That’s your ride for your high school reunion entrance sorted, then.
When the world needs to know that you’ve made it, there are few simpler ways to achieve peak big-timer than letting people see a Rolex. Sure, most owners probably don’t have a clue about the complex horology that’s gone into their expensive wrist decoration, but that’s beside the point – a luxury watch is as close as you’re going to get to conspicuously wearable money.
If you’d rather keep the lion’s share of your house deposit savings where it is, you need only dip into them to get some serious wrist candy. High-end horology rental company Eleven James offers a luxury watch subscription service that is undoubtedly more exciting than getting a weekly delivery of health (rabbit) food to your desk.
For a more short-term arrangement (or for a special occasion or big meeting), London-based haute horology service Mr Woolfe also has plenty of pulse-quickening hunks of metal to rent without a subscription requirement.
Eleven James’s CEO, Olivier Reza, says: “By providing our members access to a new timepiece every three months from brands like Audemars Piguet, IWC, Patek Philippe and Rolex, we’re repositioning luxury to be based around exploration, experimentation and experience – free from the traditional barriers of ownership and commitment.” By our calculations, that’s four different megabucks watches per year, and when you’re wearing them, nobody need know that beans on toast is the source of your sustenance.
Common wisdom dictates that private islands are only accessible to the Thunderbirds, washed-up celebrities seeking a second wind, Bond villains and Richard Branson. Mere mortals, meanwhile, should be grateful if their sun lounger is more than 2cm from the next profusely sweaty sun seeker. Turns out though, if you’d have stopped being stingy and cranked up the price slider on Airbnb, you’d be well aware of this fact.
Staying on a private island used to be reserved for the elite, but it is possible to rent one out at an affordable rate, says James McClure, Airbnb’s general manager for the UK and Ireland. The site sadly doesn’t list any hollowed-out volcanoes, but if you’re looking for castaway comfort in a rustic cabin in Canada, a cosy lodge in Belize or a decadent paradise in the Philippines, you got it.
Consider our minds blown and our bog-standard weekend breaks in Europe rendered pitiful in comparison.