Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t pamper yourself. In fact, I’d argue that self-care is one line item that should remain in your budget as you work to improve your finances. The importance of self-care—taking care of your physical and mental health—can’t be underestimated.
The truth is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to give yourself a little TLC. There are some frugal tips that you can leverage to pamper yourself on a budget.
So, although frequent trips to the nail salon may not fall into your financial plan, having manicured nails isn’t quite a thing of the past. You don’t have to ditch pampering yourself when you learn how to do it on a budget.
Pamper yourself as you improve your finances: why it's important
Pampering is usually just thought of as something that’s reserved for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or Mother’s Day. That shouldn’t be the case and, more importantly, it doesn’t have to be.
Pampering yourself is a form of self-care that is necessary for mental and physical health. One of the greatest benefits of self-care is that it also helps you handle stress.
Because money can be stressful, having a way to relieve those emotions while you work on your financial goals is incredibly important.
In addition, if you deprive yourself of opportunities to indulge in pampering, you may grow resentful of your financial journey. You should still enjoy life, even if it's on a budget.
25 Ways to pamper yourself
Now that you understand the importance of pampering yourself, let’s talk about ways that you can do it on a budget. Here are 25 ways to pamper yourself without spending a whole lot of money.
1. Give yourself a massage
Give your muscles some attention with a hand massager or on your own. Small things like giving yourself hand and foot massages can go a long way in helping you relax.
You can also find handheld body massagers for as low as $20. In addition, the great thing about this purchase is that it can be used over and over again for future pamper sessions.
2. Take a bubble bath
We live in such a fast-paced society that taking time out for a long, relaxing bath can be difficult. Make the time to soak for a while.
Bubble baths are also an inexpensive way to give yourself some quality time and care. Bath bombs and oils are also great, natural options to help you relax.
3. Give yourself a manicure and pedicure
Save a few dollars by giving yourself a manicure and pedicure. You only need a few tools to get the job done. So grab your nail clippers, a nail file, and polish, and have yourself a paint party!
You can even find an at-home foot spa for as little as $20 to really get the nail salon feel. Press-on nails are also an option if you want more of a professional look.
4. Buy yourself flowers
You don’t have to wait for someone else to buy you flowers. Buying fresh flowers is one of my favorite forms of pampering. A $20 bouquet of roses will not only lift your spirits, but it’ll give your space a chic vibe.
So the next time you go to the grocery store, pick up a bouquet for yourself. Don’t forget to budget for it ahead of time.
5. Give yourself a facial
Facials can be expensive, so doing it yourself can make them budget-friendly. You can create your own DIY facial scrub with a few items in your kitchen. You’d be surprised by which food items make for a great exfoliant.
In addition to a face mask, you can also take this a step further by trying out a homemade hair mask, too. In addition, you can make this experience into a spa day for extra fun!
6. Cozy up to a book and tea
Reading a great book is always relaxing. Couple that with some nice, warm tea and you’ll be in for a calming night.
You can grab a book on Kindle or also for free from your local library. Sites like Hoopla offer free digital books and audiobooks with your local library account.
7. Sleep in
Sleeping in may not seem like a form of pampering, but it is. Sleep is just as much a form of self-care and pampering as a massage. The great thing is that it’s completely free.
Giving your body time to reset and recover will leave you feeling refreshed and pampered. So simply pick a day to clear out your schedule and get some rest.
Make sure you’re wearing some comfortable pajamas and your favorite eye mask!
8. Light some candles
Fragrances have the ability to completely change our mood. So lighting a scented candle can create an environment that’s conducive to relaxation. If you’re not into candles, consider diffusing essential oils.
This healthier alternative provides the same results. Not only will you feel relaxed, but your home will smell great too.
9. Have a picnic
Picnics are always a fun, inexpensive way to pamper yourself. It allows you to get some much needed Vitamin D and fresh air. So make yourself a sandwich and pack a blanket, some snacks, and drinks, and head to your local park.
10. Have a candlelight dinner
Nothing says pampered more than good food. Have a fun night cooking your favorite recipe and enjoying it by candlelight. If you’re not much of a cook, you can add takeout to your meal plan for the week and order in.
In addition, you can make it fancy by serving it on your best china and pulling out your dark tablecloth.
11. Go out and order dessert
One great way to enjoy the day even when you're on a budget is to treat yourself to dessert. It's way cheaper to go out to a restaurant and only order dessert than to get a whole main course and appetizers.
But you still get the experience of going out to eat, and enjoying a special treat! You can also opt for going out for ice cream for a casual night out.
12. Take a free class about an interesting subject
Learning doesn't have to be expensive. Take a free class on YouTube about something you find interesting.
Anything from the stock market to cooking, just find a subject you care about and learn!
13. Do some yoga
Yoga is a great way to disconnect and pamper yourself, not to mention improve your well-being. So try out a free yoga class on YouTube, or simply practice some yoga poses you already know.
Even a few minutes of yoga may help you to feel refreshed, so this is something you can do even on a busy day.
14. Unplug from technology
If you're feeling anxious or you notice that there are often many distractions in your life, it might be time for a day without technology. It's probably best to do this on a day when you don't have to work and don't have many obligations.
Take a Saturday or a day off and enjoy reading, taking a long walk, journaling, or just enjoying the quiet without phones and social media. It can encourage a feeling of happiness in your life that you'll want to continue with.
15. Use positive affirmations
So try starting off or ending your day with positivity, to change your outlook on life.
16. Take the day off
It's good to take a day off once in a while. If possible, take a whole day to yourself on occasion. Don't do chores, go to work, and also don't fill the day with obligations.
Obviously, in many cases, this will take some planning. It will need to be a day that you don't have to go to work, etc. However, even if you can't manage a whole day, even an hour or two to yourself without responsibilities can be nice.
17. Spend time journaling or reading outside
If you enjoy writing or reading, make it extra special by doing these activities outdoors. You'll get some fresh air, clear your mind, and enjoy the weather.
Grab a blanket and a great book or notebook, and get outside!
18. Start your own garden
Another way to enjoy the outdoors is to create a garden. You can make one right in your own yard, or even join a community garden if you want.
Tending to the plants is a great way to meditate and do something to pamper yourself.
19. Buy a super comfortable pillow or blanket
To increase the quality of your sleep, why not buy something inexpensive that makes the whole experience better? Purchase a comfy blanket or a pillow that you love.
Not only is this budget-friendly, but you also will likely sleep better, helping your overall quality of life.
20. Go thrift shopping and put together a new outfit
Even if you're on a budget, thrift shopping is a great alternative to spending a lot of money. Take your friends with you and go check out a few thrift stores for unique finds.
You can put together a brand new outfit for a much lower price than it would cost to buy it new!
21. Play music
Listening to your favorite song is a great way to relax. Play some of your favorite music, have a dance party, and chill out. The best part is, it's totally free!
22. Spend time with friends
The main point is to enjoy the day with people you care about, and also take the time to relax.
23. Watch an episode of your favorite show
If there's a series you're currently obsessed with, take the opportunity to watch an episode or two. Or binge-watch a whole season, depending on how much time you have!
It's inexpensive and fun to chill out and enjoy a show or favorite movie once in a while, so find a free weekend and give it a try.
24. Try out a relaxed morning routine
One of the most underrated ideas for pampering yourself is to make it part of your regular routine.
You can do this by having a slow morning where you wake up a bit later, linger over a cup of coffee and a good book, meditate, practice gratitude, or whatever you want to include.
Your morning routine should be tailored to your lifestyle and it should help you to feel pampered!
25. Be creative
Last but not least, be creative. You can do this by painting or drawing something, making a collage, decorating a room, and more.
Take the time to enjoy a creative hobby or try something new. You'll be glad you did!
How not to feel guilty when you pamper yourself
Not every dollar that you earn has to go toward a savings or debt payoff goal. Leave room in your budget for an occasional massage or some other small treat.
When you put self-care and pampering into your budget, you won’t feel guilty about it. The money will already be set aside for whatever you choose to do.
So, if you do want to take a trip to the nail salon, simply add it as a line item in your budget to pay for it. Remember that self-care is necessary, so don’t feel bad about it once you’ve planned and budgeted for it.
Pampering yourself is worth it!
Being on a budget doesn’t mean that you should neglect pampering yourself. It’s ok to set money aside for self-care and also enjoy life. And, as you can see, it doesn’t have to be expensive.