Self-Care on a Budget

Hey, Warriors!

As a child, I had a pretty limited understanding of the value of money. I never really understood my mom’s excitement about a five-cent difference in gas prices at one station versus another or my dad’s jokes about how buying a new toy would have to “come out of [my] college funds.” I just sat quietly in the back seat of the car, ready to bust open a fresh pack of stickers or eagerly waiting to be home so my mom could cut the tag off a new stuffed animal.

Now that I’m older and have spent a few years in the real world, I’ve realized that money doesn’t grow on trees and everything has a price tag. When I consider making a purchase, a deciding factor is how many hours I’ll have to work in order to earn enough money to cover the cost. While I’m still learning the art of money management, I try to stay within a reasonable budget. Think about how you prioritize your budget. Car payments, housing payments, groceries, utilities, etc… Maybe there’s some room left over for social and personal spending as well. Do you ever invest in your own self-care?

The past few months have been especially taxing and it seems to have taken a toll on my body (Am I too young to wake up in the morning with a stiff neck and back? I think so!). While I was hesitant in doing so, I used a portion of my last paycheck to invest in my self-care practice. Even though I’d been wanting a massage for weeks and had the money set aside, it wasn’t until a few days ago that I finally decided to schedule an appointment. I wondered if paying for a massage was a waste of money that could otherwise be saved for the future. Yet somehow—in my mind—the $100ish that I spent on coffee and takeout food last month is easier to justify than an hour of much-needed self-care. I find it interesting how occasional self-care purchases can be seen more as a waste than an investment in oneself. I’m proud to have treated myself and I’m really looking forward to my massage next week! Now I just need to stop spending so much money on coffee (oops…can I make the argument that drinking coffee is self-care?).

Sometimes it’s nice to splurge on self-care activities. Other times, saving money and paying for life expenses is a higher priority. Regardless of your self-care budget, there are many ways to treat yourself. Luckily, there are a ton of budget friendly options when it comes to taking care of oneself. In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that I enjoy watching Netflix and physical activity. I also like writing letters, cooking, cleaning, and journaling. Now that the pool is open, I’ve spent a bit of time there enjoying the sun and catching some rays! What hobbies and self-care activities do you pursue in your free time?

Here are some affordable self-care ideas:

  • movie night
  • manicures/pedicures
  • baking
  • reading
  • bubble baths/warm showers
  • napping
  • kennel/pet store visits
  • bowling
  • DIY
  • crafts
  • drawing
  • photography
  • makeup/dressing up

What are some of your favorite budget-friendly self-care ideas?