11 Women On The Budget-Friendly Ways They Buy A Little Happiness

By | Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Every once in a while, spending money on a luxurious indulgence for yourself can be a good thing. When you’re on a budget, and watching your expenses for an extended period of time, you can suffer from something called frugality fatigue. It comes with its own set of problems, and can sometimes lead to us “trading up,” even if when we can’t really afford to do so. Every week, I set aside time for myself to do something totally mind-consuming and luxurious feeling, so I am forced to slow down and focus on myself. Lately, it’s been drawing a salt water bath, watching House Of Cards, and making myself a cosmo to sip on as I watch. *cackles* Other weeks, it’s the rare manicure, or even a shopping trip where I pick up a new shirt for myself.

Everyone should have their weekly indulgences to reward themselves and help them unwind from the stress of daily life. It’s important to celebrate little milestones and focus on creating ~positive vibes~ for yourself. I reached out to my group of friends and acquaintances to see what their weekly “treat yourself” regimens look like, and here’s what they said:

1. “Every Saturday AM, I get a pedicure at this small little nail salon near me. It’s not expensive, and they have a 15% off special for students with college IDs. It feels supremely luxurious to get my feet done after a long week of work, class, homework, etc. I’d obviously give the habit up if I needed to, but it feels so good to indulge in that specific part of my body.”  — Lia, 26 

2. “I don’t spend a lot of money on my hair, but I did invest in a bottle of this intense deep-conditioning hair mask treatment from a fancy salon I always walk by. Once a week, I’ll set aside an hour to rinse my hair, put the mask on, pour a glass of wine, and grab a book. It stays in for about 25-30 minutes, and it’s the perfect chunk of time for me to sit and chill. I’m a bit of an obsessive emailer, but once a week, it’s nice to be forced to slow down and go offline.”  — Erica, 24

3. “I’ll definitely order a dessert every time I go out to dinner on either Friday or Saturday night. It feels like a special way to end the only meal I eat out all week. I pack lunch for work, and I rarely have time to do nice sit-down dinners with my boyfriend. Our weekend ritual is sacred, and I always opt for a dessert that is really rich to enjoy at the end of our meal together. To me, it’s $10 tacked onto the bill that feels well worth it.”  — Jackie, 28

4. “I don’t know if it happens weekly (maybe twice or so a month), but ordering a cocktail at lunch is definitely special and a bit ~naughty~ feeling (I’m technically on-the-clock when I do it). My work BFF and I head out to a 40-minute sit-down lunch, and we’ll grab a martini while we’re there. Sometimes, it feels like the ultimate ‘fuck it’ indulgence that we get to share during super stressful work weeks.” — Laura, 31

5. “l’ll get a blowout, not every week, but definitely every other week. They can be expensive, but they are so worth it, in my opinion. I have thick hair, so I can go without washing it for two-to-three days afterwards, which allows the blowout to last for a long time. I’d love to learn how to do them myself, but I just can’t seem to master the flippy technique they do at the bottom.  Also, I simply don’t have the patience to pin up layers of my hair as I go. Plus, it’s really nice to feel pampered.” — Michelle, 27

6. “I actually try to end every night the same way: with a few cups of tension tamer or sleepytime tea and some dark chocolate. I’ll watch an episode of Real Housewives or Vanderpump Rules, and it’s a great time to spend unwinding and resetting myself after a long day.” — Rachael, 25

7. “Frozen yogurt for sure. It’s sounds so basic, doesn’t it? But, there’s this place called Frozen Peaks by my office, and it’s like, I prefer running there after work for a treat rather than running to the bar. It’s so damn good. For $6, I can feel like I indulged in a totally satisfying treat that I can enjoy as I read trashy magazines with glossy fashion photos. I don’t indulge in my guilty pleasures often, but when I do, I go balls out, gossip salon queen status.” –– Danielle, 28

8. “I live in relatively close proximity to a Trader Joe’s, and going there is my once-a-week ritual. I’ll pop into the store and pick up my favorite snacks to stock up on. I always grab a coffee before I go, and I leisurely stroll through the aisles with my headphones on and zone out. It’s so zen feeling, and it’s honestly like therapy for me. Once, I was tapped on the shoulder by a woman who let me know my scarf fell off and was dragging underneath my shopping cart. I must have looked like I was in a trance, because I was so visibly shaken when she disturbed me. Hah. I also make sure to go ONLY during off-peak hours, so I don’t have to dodge people.”  — Zoe, 25

9. “I take a ~restorative~ yoga class every Saturday AM (which is sometimes difficult to get through because of the drinking I do the night before), and I really do see it as a ‘treat myself’ activity. The class is $15 bucks, and I get to connect with the group of girl I know in the class. They’re acquaintances, but it’s fun to chat with a group of women I don’t work with. It’s the only hour of exercise I get all week, and it’s nice to enjoy some light conversation, and the occasional smoothie (!) from the place next door afterwards.”  — Erin, 23

10. “Shopping for things like new socks, underwear, and bras is my ultimate indulgence. There’s nothing that feels more luxurious to me than opening up my drawer of intimates and seeing a fresh new pair of clean socks. It might sound lame, but it’s something that makes me feel irrationally adult-like and like I have all my shit together. I’m also a firm believer in having underwear and bras that fit well and make me feel sexy. I’ll treat myself to a shopping trip out a few times a month just to pick up a new item, and my intimates drawer has a high rate of rotation because of it. But, I make sure that I budget accordingly to take care of that important part of my life.”  — Jess, 29

11. “Baking! I make sure I set aside time to bake every single Sunday. I always put on a podcast or the news to listen to as I do it. I’ll tackle a new recipe if I’m feeling adventurous, or I’ll whip up a tried-and-true favorite if I want something I’m certain will turn out right. It’s a wonderful feeling to get away from the computer, and I love working with my hands to make something delicious. Baking is a total ‘me’ moment, and I wouldn’t let anything get in the way of that very special time I set aside for myself.” — Kate, 30

Image via Unsplash

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