It’s not easy living on a budget. Often it can feel like you’re constantly sacrificing the little pleasures in life for the sake of paying something boring but essential, like a mortgage or energy bills. But it doesn’t have to be like this way. Even if you’re tightening your belt out of necessity, there are still ways for you to enjoy yourself occasionally, as long as you’re smart about it and you don’t overindulge. Here are a few ways you can live simply while living large.
Reduce Your Bills
Sometimes you can put together some money for an extra treat by saving money on other bills. One of the easiest ways you can put some extra dollars in your account is by making your home green. Unplugging all your unused electrical devices, air sealing your home, or switching to LED light bulbs can reduce your energy consumption, saving you money on your bills and helping the environment. Going paperless and receiving your bills online can also save you a few dollars per month. All this adds up to a nice little bonus at the end of the year.
Sometimes things break around the house, or drains get blocked. If it’s nothing too serious, then save money by not calling a professional and doing your own home repairs. DIY isn’t just limited to fixing things around the house either. You can make your own cleaning products, which aren’t as harsh on the skin as chemical products. You save money on OTC medications by using home remedies for headaches or other minor aches. If you really want to treat yourself, there are many recipes out there for homemade face masks or hair treatments. Treat yourself to a spa day without spending more than a few dollars on the ingredients.
You may have to save up a bit of money, but there are plenty of holiday destinations to choose from that won’t eat your savings. You can save even more money on accommodation by booking with Airbnb or a cheap hostel. If you find a deal that seems too good to pass up, but you can’t afford it right now, you can get an advance on your payday with a quick loan, and you can make plans to pay it back before you go on your holiday.
Trim The Fat
Consider where else you might be wasting money. If you watch shows almost exclusively on your laptop, trim the cost of your cable bill by cutting back on the premium channels.
Cancel the membership, and see if you can motivate yourself to workout at home with the fitness videos available online for free. Take a look at that pile of magazine subscriptions you haven’t read yet. If you’re on the fence, cancel all the subscriptions and see which ones you really miss. The little things may not seem like much by themselves, but they all add up to more dollars in your account each month that can be spent on occasional treats.