Relaxing on a budget

If you are like me, and currently very broke, you would be one of very many people who are broke… or very broke. Sigh. Many things can lead us down the path of “brokedom”.

Perhaps you are like me and just closed your eyes and leaped into a career change and it’s going slooooowly, or you are a student, or life hit you with one of its curve balls, perhaps you got fired or retrenched, or your car broke down and you’ve had to cough up a fortune to fix it.

Whatever the case, being broke is stressful enough without having to stress about how to relax, and we all know that stress (of the negative variety), is just plain bad. If you are like me and you get cabin fever, you need to get out sometimes and that can cost.

It’s especially frustrating or sad when you can no longer enjoy the things you used to because they no longer fit your budget. You just need to be more creative about it. Here is a list of budget-friendly things to do, some being free, some requiring a little cash. Hopefully, I’ve mentioned something for everyone:

  • Long baths with or without candles.
  • Bubble baths (I enjoy a lovely soak while reading a good book).
  • Bubble baths with wine (there are some good cheap wines out there).
  • Rent DVDs instead of going to the movies (sometimes homemade popcorn tastes better anyway).
  • Instead of going out for coffee, make your own.
  • Meeting friends for coffee instead of meals.
  • Going out for breakfast instead of lunch or dinner (often there are a lot of great specials out there and depending what it is and where you go, breakfast is the cheaper meal of the day).
  • Go to clubs that don’t charge an entrance fee.
  • Stick to one or two drinks only (it will save your liver as well as your pocket).
  • Go for a hike.
  • Go for a walk (in the park, the beach, or the garden if you have one).
  • Spend time with your kids, playing or baking cookies, have reading time.
  • Play with your pets (pets are known to be soothing and are super cute).
  • Make your own pizza at home instead of going out to get some.
  • Massage yourself (not as nice as when someone else does it, but better than none at all).
  • If you have friends willing to do this, massage each other, great for tight shoulders.
  • If you have a significant other, massage each other, it can be romantic.
  • Download and play free games.
  • Get books from the library, it’s free and reading is like going on a holiday.
  • Look out for specials on books online and in stores.
  • If you play a musical instrument and have one, do it, it’s for expressing yourself and just having fun.
  • Same with if you enjoy painting or drawing.
  • Why not try your hand at writing?
  • If you are not struggling with internet access or cap, watch YouTube, there is a lot of funny and interesting content on there.
  • Watch series.
  • Go to the beach if you have one near you (you don’t need much there).
  • Instead of buying cakes or other desserts, bake your own if you can bake or have fun learning.
  • Instead of going out for an entire meal, just go out for dessert (sharing is even cheaper and keeps the waistline trim).
  • Groupon!
  • Daddy’s deals!
  • Sit outside on the balcony or in the garden and just relax (if you enjoy the sun like I do, use sunscreen and a hat).
  • Try meditation.
  • Exercise (not everyone may agree with this but it can be relaxing and even fun. It makes you feel better afterwards too).
  • If you enjoy housework, do it (I find sweeping relaxing sometimes… when I’m desperate :p).
  • Listen to good music and dance your tushy off!
  • Paint your nails or experiment with your make up.
  • Dress up and act like a celeb at home.
  • Swim if you have a pool, but if not, go to a friend or look around for a public pool, these can be quite affordable.
  • Instead of playing a game of golf, go to the driving range.
  • Go bowling, I found that it costs less than a lot of other things.
  • Take advantage of your student card, lots of places offer student discount.
  • Same if you are a senior citizen, there are often places that offer discount to senior citizens.
  • If you aren’t working during the week, some places charge less during the week than on the weekends to eat at or visit.

It’s worth mentioning that there are some surveys that you can do online that pay out in vouchers for places to purchase goods from or to go to movies or get takeaways and even support charities. The two that I use are The Panel Station, which I believe is international, and Enlighten which is just for South Africa if I’m not mistaken.

There may be a few more out there that are legit and may offer different things. This could help you pay for a night out or some necessities so that you can use the money for something else. Giving to charity is also a great way of giving back to the community and helping someone else who really needs it. Also, retail therapy is a thing.

I hope there was something for everyone in there. Being broke might suck, but you can still enjoy life 🙂


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