Spending money for your well-being can relieve you of fatigue and anxiety amid the protracted pandemic, high inflation, and worry about what’s to come.
And, it doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars or put you in debt to feel happier.
Here are some ways to use your money, even if it’s limited, to bring a little more joy to your current situation.
Rest and relaxation
What can you do to configure your environment to be more restful?
That might mean investing in a new set of sheets, buying that mattress you know you need but didn’t want to spend the money on, painting your bedroom and office off-white like they do at a spa, change the blinds in your bedroom so that no light leaks in while you try to sleep or declutter your most used spaces.
For me, with a newborn on my hip and a two-year-old holding my other hand most of the day, I invest in two things; a meditation app I can use when my little ones are both sleeping and a sleep training program for my toddler so she and I can rest better at night…hopefully soon.
You know that. Moving your body five times a week for 20-30 minutes is directly linked to better health and better finances. The same discipline you use for your workouts is applied to how you approach money matters like budgeting and regularly reviewing your investments.
So what can you do to get the exercise you need?
For me, I bought an aerobics riser and a 10-pound weight set last week to supplement my modest home gym. The whole setup only cost $145 – thanks to the used fitness equipment market. For you, this could mean finally buying the Peloton you’ve been lusting after or using the Wellness Credit you have from work for some personal training. Or, if money is tight, you can commit to following a few fitness gurus on YouTube and doing their workouts for free a few times a week.
I hate to break it to you, but the cost of groceries and takeout isn’t going to come down anytime soon. Some economists actually believe that prices could rise further. But, you can still eat healthily and economically.
A few ways to cut costs and eat healthier are to not refine your diet (buy more whole foods with no added salt or sugar like raw oatmeal, fruits and vegetables, beans, and meat); in other words, buy less prepared foods. Incorporate more vegetarian dishes. Plan meals throughout the week to eliminate food waste (an average family throws away $1,200 a year in food). Minimize takeout or focus your orders on nutritious dishes. It might be a good idea to spend some money on boxed lunches if it helps reduce your stress and allow you to eat healthy.
Investing in a weight management program like Noom or Weight Watchers could also be a great use of your funds. If it leads to better health and a more balanced relationship with food, it might be worth it. And, if you don’t have a scale at home, this might be the purchase you need to make first on your weight management journey. Or consider investing in a nutrition coach or dietitian if you need additional support. Check with your benefits provider for coverage.
read and learn
Develop your brain by investing in books, courses, coaching, puzzle games, etc. Not everyone has the luxury of spending big bucks in this budget category, but you might be able to afford a cheaper version – even a library card or sign up to be a beta tester for creators. of online courses.
Plan your possible vacation
Just seeing yourself on a beach somewhere might be enough to lift your spirits. If you’re sure you want to travel in the not-too-distant future, you can start booking. For my family, we haven’t taken a vacation in almost three years, so we decided to book a kid-friendly getaway later this spring. Sure, there’s a chance it won’t happen, but there’s also a good chance it will…and just booking this trip has made me and my husband stronger. We have also cashed in our stock of travel points, which has significantly reduced costs.
It might be the best thing to spend your money on. What happens to you, your mood, your mental well-being will impact every facet of your life, from how you present yourself in your relationship, how you parent, your performance at work, the desire you have to train and eat well.
My advice is simple: don’t mess with your sanity. If you need advice, get it. If you need medication or other support, get it. Contact a friend if you are having difficulty. The good news is that across Canada there are amazing free or low-cost resources you can access if you’re strapped for cash.
Yes, a lot of happiness can be found for free, but you can probably grow it faster by spending a little money on what will make you happy. So cut spending in other non-strategic areas and refocus those dollars here.