10 ways to be a classy person without spending a dime

It’s a common misconception that to be classy, one has to have an enormous bank account, a wardrobe full of stylish clothes, and access to the most exclusive clubs. But that’s not true at all. In fact, you can be classy without shelling out anything! 

You see, real class is about how you carry yourself, how you treat others, and the little things you do to make life better for those around you. It’s about having a certain grace, poise, and warmth that people just can’t resist. 

Want to know how you can be a classy person without spending a dime? Read on and find out! 

1) Mind your manners 

I’ll start with the obvious – the importance of good manners. 

This sounds like a no-brainer, but trust me, you’d be surprised by how many people neglect the basics of good manners. 

Saying “please” and “thank you,” being punctual, and holding the door for others are simple ways to show class and respect for others. These small gestures don’t cost a thing but can make a tremendous difference in how others perceive you. 

Additionally, being mindful of your table manners, like using utensils correctly and not talking with your mouth full, will leave a positive impression on those around you.

2) Keep a clean and tidy appearance 

Part of minding your manners is practicing good personal hygiene. 

No, you don’t need to wear a suit and tie or a fancy dress every day to be a classy person. A person could be decked out in the latest designer clothes, but if they look like they haven’t showered in weeks, that’s still a definite turn-off. 

The opposite is true: you could be dressed in simple, inexpensive clothes, but if you’re well-groomed and neat, you’ll come across as a classy person.  

This means showering regularly, brushing your teeth, and maintaining a clean, well-groomed look. The effort you put into looking and smelling fresh will go a long way in making a positive impression on those around you.

So, establish a daily grooming routine, including skin care and hair care, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice from friends, family, or professionals if you’re unsure about how to maintain a polished look.

3) Maintain good posture and body language 

What else should you pay attention to aside from grooming? The way you move your body. 

Believe it or not, your posture and body language play a significant role in how others perceive your classiness. Standing tall, maintaining eye contact, and offering a firm handshake convey confidence and poise. 

On the flip side, slouching, fidgeting, and looking down at your feet can make you seem insecure and unapproachable. 

So, make an effort to be more mindful of your body language and posture – it’s a tiny change that can make a big difference in how others see you. 

I highly recommend incorporating daily stretches, yoga, or Pilates into your routine, as these activities can help you develop flexibility and stronger core muscles. You’ll get better posture and a more poised appearance.

4) Cultivate your knowledge

You don’t need to be a walking encyclopedia, but being well-informed on a range of topics is a classy trait. 

Stay up-to-date on current events, explore new hobbies, and take the time to learn about different cultures and perspectives. 

This will not only make you more interesting to talk to, but it’ll also help you understand and empathize with others on a deeper level. 

What can you do to boost your knowledge bank? Here are some ideas: 

  • Join a book club
  • Attend community events
  • Participate in online forums and discussions
  • Enroll in various free classes or workshops 

These activities can help you broaden your horizons and become a more informed, classy individual – without breaking the bank!

5) Master the art of conversation

Cultivating knowledge gives you another edge – it gives you more stuff to talk about with other people. 

I can’t stress this enough: knowing how to hold a conversation is key to being a classy person. Being an active listener, asking thoughtful questions, and genuinely engaging with others…these are all habits that give you a touch of class. 

The good news? 

You can practice this skill anywhere and with anyone, so there’s no excuse not to work on it. 

Plus, people will appreciate your genuine interest in them, making you a more likable and classy person in their eyes. 

To improve your conversational skills, try reading books or articles on various topics, listening to podcasts, or watching TED Talks (my personal favorite!). This will help you become a more well-rounded conversationalist, capable of discussing a wide range of subjects with ease.

6) Be gracious 

As I mentioned in the intro, a huge part of being classy is knowing how to put people at ease or how to make their lives better. 

That’s why classy people are always gracious. They know how to accept compliments gracefully, without bragging or fishing for more. They also know how to give compliments sincerely and without expecting anything in return. 

And when someone has hurt them? They extend grace – which means they let go of grudges and choose to think the best of others. 

Being gracious will endear you to others, making them feel valued and respected. It also requires a certain level of humility, as the next section shows…

7) Offer genuine apologies

Nobody’s perfect, and we all make mistakes. How do you deal with it is a reliable indicator of how classy you are. 

Here’s what a classy person does when they mess up – they acknowledge their mistakes and offer sincere apologies when necessary. 

They take responsibility for their actions and work to make amends, demonstrating humility and maturity.

I remember reading about how former president Barack Obama once glibly said that art history is one of his favorite subjects, but it’s economically useless. That offended an art historian who wrote him a letter to air her sentiments. 

You know what Obama did? He wrote back with an apology letter! And a handwritten one at that! 

What a masterclass in humility. Not everybody can do that, so if you know how to be humble, you’re already a cut above the rest.

8) Practice kindness and empathy

Just as important as grace and humility is kindness. In fact, I’ve always believed that kindness is the ultimate form of class. 

Being genuinely compassionate and empathetic towards others, even strangers, can have a profound impact on your life and the lives of those around you. 

So, offer a helping hand when you see someone in need, and practice empathy by trying to understand their feelings and experiences. These small acts of kindness won’t cost you a dime, but they’ll make you an incredibly classy person in the eyes of others. 

Here’s a lovely video of athletes practicing compassion. If you ask me, those are some really classy folks!

9) Be discreet and respectful 

Another thing that classy people really take to heart is the importance of respect and discretion. 

So, gossiping? Oversharing? That’s not their thing. 

Being classy means knowing when to keep a secret, respecting other people’s boundaries, and being tactful in your interactions with others. 

The next time you’re tempted to spill the beans on someone else’s drama, take a step back and ask yourself, “Is this really the classy thing to do?” 

And tell yourself this old adage: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”

10) Be genuine and authentic 

Last but certainly not least, being a truly classy person means being genuine and authentic in all aspects of your life. 

This means staying true to yourself, your values, and your beliefs, even when it’s not the most popular or convenient choice. 

People can sense authenticity, and they’re drawn to those who are real. Authenticity shows honesty and integrity, both of which are elements of class.

The people I treasure most in my life are those who have the courage to be real. For me, that’s real class; I know I’ll never have to worry about fakeness and insincerity when I’m with them. And I’m assured that they are as invested in our relationship as I am. 

Because that’s another thing about classy people – they nurture their relationships. For them, it’s always better to invest in strong, meaningful connections than in material things.  


I hope I’ve dispelled the myth that being classy is expensive. As you can see, it doesn’t even have to cost a dime. 

Remember, class isn’t about money or material possessions; it’s about how you carry yourself with grace and how you make other people feel – no need to take out your wallet or credit card!

All it takes is a little effort, mindfulness, and a commitment to being the best version of yourself. And who knows, you might just inspire others to embrace their inner classiness, too. 

Picture of Roselle Umlas

Roselle Umlas

I am a freelance writer with a lifelong interest in helping people become more reflective and self-aware so that they can communicate better and enjoy meaningful relationships.

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