… and you can do all of these for under $10 if you want to!
I’m a big fan of appreciating simple pleasures. Of finding ways to entertain and take care of yourself without spending a bunch of money.
Part of this has to do with the wisdom behind “money can’t buy happiness”…
Part of this has to do with forcing yourself to think outside-the-box and do more with less…
… but part of it also has to do with reducing stress as much as possible.
Ex: If I go spend $150 on theater tickets, I will LOVE it. I guarantee I will enjoy myself pretty much no matter what the show. But if I don’t really have that $150 to spend, it will only stress me out before, during and after-the-fact trying to figure out where in my budget I’ll have to cut back on.
And stress gives me a headache.
And when I have a headache, my heart is not happy ….
Here are some of my favorite ways to brighten up my own day.
And yes, you can do ALL five of these for under $10. Easily.
Take $2-3 to a goodwill, used bookstore or estate sale –
There is a used bookstore not far from me that sells ANY book for $1. Just $1. One of my favorite “dates” to go on with Andrew is a few hours at that store. Yes, it takes time to look through the only-barely-organized shelves. But the pay off? Immense.
The goal with this tip to make your heart happy is to leverage a couple dollars into something that may not be worth a lot of money, but worth a lot of happiness.
$2 of books can equal hours of reading and inspiration and learning.
$3 second-hand shoes can equal days, weeks, years of walking and playing and enjoying yourself.
Use your imagination and spend the time to find yourself a hidden gem that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on. The thrill of the hunt as well as the joy of finding such a treasure will certainly make your heart happy.
Take $2-3 to the grocery store and buy yourself a ”luxury” –
I buy a lot of store brand food. I tend to only buy the fruit and veggies that are on sale, and I am quite adept at talking myself out of things I don’t “need.”.
Once, when I was in college and on a tight budget, my future mother-in-law sent me a check for $20. Told me to buy something I wanted but didn’t need.
Just that permission to spend a little bit of extra money made my heart so happy.
It was SUCH a treat. Such a reward for sticking to my budget and being responsible every other hour of the day.
I bought myself ice cream and loved every second of it.
You might be surprised what just a couple dollars can get you at the grocery store: a whole gallon of ice cream, magical Honeycrisp apples (instead of the plain Red Delicious), whipped cream to add a little bit of amazing to your morning coffee….
Indulge in just that one thing that you’ve been denying yourself for weeks. You totally deserve it.
With a little creativity, your couple dollars spent at the grocery store can make your heart so happy.
Buy or “borrow” a pretty magazine at your local bookstore –
Borders and Barnes and Nobles have those comfy chairs all over their store for a reason.
Think about all the (technically) free resources that you can indulge in just by spending time in the store.
I am not a designer by any stretch of the imagination, but I love to pull a couple of fancy schmancy arty design magazines (you know the kind that are so incredible they only publish twice a year) and sit and just LOOK.
Be sure to take a journal or other means of noting ideas with you.
Especially if you look at magazines outside of your normal fare, just that little exposure outside of your every day will surely start the creative juices flowing.
And I know that always makes my heart happy.
Find or plan something to look forward to –
Travel, TV show, picking up a book from the library.
It could be anything.
Anticipating something fun always makes my heart happy.
Look at your calendar and remind yourself what events are coming up. Plan your outfit, even if it is 3 weeks ahead of time.
If you don’t have any already-scheduled fun things to look forward to, plan one!
Invite your friend over for dinner on Sunday night. Start looking at hotels in your hopefully-next-summer vacation locale. Schedule a day off work for no reason in particular.
Heck, even just check out what Netflix movies are due to mail soon and learn a bit more about them.
If you have something coming up in the future you are excited about, I’m sure that will make your heart happy.
Take coffee to your favorite park or beach or backyard and sit quietly –
Or apple cider, or a fruit smoothie or bottle of water. Fruit. Pretzels. Anything, really.
Andrew and I like to visit a local (Malibu) little corner of a state beach that is far less populated than the bulk of Southern California beaches … Plus we try to go early on a Sunday morning (you’ll find there are a lot less beach-goers before 11a).
I love (love) just taking a few hours out of the weekend to just sit on the rocks over looking the surf and watch. Maybe take some photos, maybe read a book, maybe take a little nap. But mostly just people watch and nature watch.
It is such a relaxing past time – I can’t recommend it more highly!
Maybe you have a park nearby to walk to. Maybe you can visit the beach on an early morning.
Just take some time to be quiet and watch.
It will absolutely make your heart happy!
Those are some of my favorite, easy, inexpensive ways I know to just remind myself what a good life I have and make my heart happy….
Try one of them this week!