Rediscover the Joy (and Savings) of Little Pleasures
By Shannon M. Medisky
Great things come in small packages. The little things in life often mean the most. Never judge a book by its cover – or price tag. Need I go on? The same can be true of spending our money (or not) in correlation to our enjoyment of life. While admittedly having money can relieve a lot of financial stress and strain, fortunately, happiness needn’t be tied to it. In fact, choosing to not to frivolously spend money away and still find ways to enjoy simple pleasures and treat yourself can truly give you the best of both worlds – financial security without self-deprivation, a win-win for you and your wallet.
Learn to pamper yourself for a smaller price that better fits your bottom line. Rediscover the rejuvenating sanctuary that can be your bathroom courtesy of inexpensive aromatherapy products, plush bath towels and candle or dimmed light. Adequately (and inexpensively) fill your arsenal of beauty supplies so that you’re better able to give yourself beautiful manicures and pedicures, relaxing facials and moisturizing hair treatments. And do with out your favorite yummy coffee drink? Forget about it! Fill your tummy and soothe your soul while also keeping your wallet nice and fat by reinventing your own delicious beverages at home courtesy of special add-ins purchased at the store or your local coffee counter.
Get creative when it comes to finding enjoyment without emptying your wallet. Invest a bit of money and planning on “movie night in” to help make it as fun as “movie night out.” Special concessions, for example, courtesy of the grocery store for a fraction of the price to be enjoyed at home on the comfy couch can help elevate the experience. Or, consider signing up for a membership such as Netflix to help keep it fun, inexpensive and easy. Services such as Netflix enable you to “shop” for movies online that you can either watch on demand, streamed through your Internet connection or via DVDs sent right to your home through the mail for a low monthly fee.
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Other great ways to unwind and have fun while still saving money include exploiting your local parks for a change of serene scenery, taking advantage of free outdoor events and concerts sponsored by local parks and recreation departments and visiting your local library for a quiet break from the hustle and bustle. Tired of eating in, but want to avoid the cost of dining out? Fortunately, there’s ways around that little dining dilemma, too. Choose to dine out at lunch rather than dinner time for the same quality outing and food for a fraction of the price. Or phone a friend and invite him or her to take turns preparing meals for one another. You’ll both reap the benefits of the variety, the pleasure of one another’s company, half the work and the savings.
Pay for a little, enjoy a lot! Splurging on and enjoying a few little pleasures needn’t mean spending a lot of money. There are thankfully a number of ways to fork out as little as even a buck or two that can repay handsomely in the form of joy and stress-relief. Many sites such as Walmart.com, Amazon.com and iTunes.com, for example, offer MP3 music downloads for less than a dollar. Why fork out cash for an entire album which you may or may not love when you can buy just the track or tracks you know you’ll enjoy? Visit a local thrift shop to purchase an already-loved and carefully enjoyed book for a fraction of the price you’d spend for it new. Or, if you have the hankering to splurge on a sweet treat, opt for purchasing a single serving from the bakery case or select a small, cup-sized package of ice cream, for example, to satisfy your sweet tooth while still maintaining your money-saving ways.
Photo credit: Pentaprisma
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