A Reddit user created a post on the platform asking people to offer advice on never having enough money to spend on themselves. She said she wishes to treat herself now and then without feeling guilty or breaking the bank because living paycheck to paycheck is stressful.
Other people chipped in, and we have sampled some of the best responses from this conversation here.
Look for Free Stuff To Do
One user has found a way to have fun without spending much, “I go to the library a lot, walk around parks, go to the beach. The museums here have free days, and because I’m on benefits, tickets are like $3 on not free days, so sometimes I do that. I play a lot of video games. Everyone here likes to be like, ‘SELL ALL YOUR EARTHLY POSSESSIONS’ when you’re struggling, but I figure, honestly, keeping my game system has saved me money in the long run because instead of going out and spending money on something fun I can just fill time with games I already have.”
Get a Hobby That Does Not Cost You Anything
Another user urges the OP to find hobbies that will not dig into her pocket, “Find a hobby that doesn’t cost you anything. For me, biking, hiking, gym, even though membership costs me 30 bucks a month, I get to go whenever I’m bored. Go to the park and read.”
According to another user, one can get good quality stuff from a thrift shop cheaply. She says, “I also LOVEEE thrifting, and you can usually get a wide variety of hobby-related stuff and high-quality clothes for pretty cheap. Facebook marketplace and Craig’s List also can have some inexpensive or even free. It may take some searching and luck, but I think the hunt makes it even more fun :).”
Focus on What You Have
One user tells the OP to focus on what she already has, and she may find happiness is closer than she thought, “I try to focus on the stuff I already have. Being single certainly helps, and my gaming helps me more than it should.”
Find Your Ancestors
Another user offers a weird approach to this but swears it works on her, “Even when I was broke, I paid for my genealogy subscription every year for my birthday since 1999. I started researching in the 70’s as a kid. If you think your life sucks at any given time, find your ancestors! Bonus: you will NEVER EVER EVER be bored a day in your life. When I get stuck on one relative, I go work on another.”
Take Up Gardening
A user says gardening works well for her and is a cheap hobby, “Learning indoor and outdoor cultivation. Very therapeutic. And seeing plants flourish because of you is a special kind of feeling. All it costs is some seeds/spores/clones. Some water. And some time. Then once the fundamentals are down, you can experiment with techniques and theories. Ie. Music.”
If you are desperate enough, you can always make a quick buck donating plasma; according to another user, “I’ve heard the conspiracy theory about donating plasma, creepy as it is, but it’s $120 a week for me and my fam to do something on the weekends. If we stay home, it’s our weekly splurge on takeout. Right now, we’re leaving it alone so we can buy all new tires for our vehicle.”
Restore Luxury Clothing for Sale
One user has found a way to make extra money by buying used luxury stuff and restoring them, “I have started restoring luxury handbags that I got for free or used really cheap. I’m cleaning them up and restoring them to hopefully sell one day.”
Another user says satisfaction starts when we first appreciate ourselves, “Appreciate yourself. Praise yourself. Be kind to yourself. Buy a treat for yourself, and don’t share. Take an extra 5 minutes in the bathroom. Sit with yourself, and don’t answer every call or text immediately. Find a private time and place, even if it is for 20 minutes. Go outside and look at the stars.”
Replace Things With Experiences
“Replacing things with experiences can help. A common example is that most museums have a free day, or you can find free concerts in the summer. Feeling like you have a social life can make up for lack of stuff,” another user advised.
Take Advantage of Gift Cards
Although it takes forever, one user says that this could also work for the OP: “Different point values earn you in-store cash, so I will save up and buy a treat like ice cream or a steak. If I really save up, I can get a gift card to a restaurant. Yes, it takes forever to accrue enough points to get anything that feels “extra,” but it is nice to get something every couple of months.”
Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
One user goes through a similar experience but tries to remain strong. She says, “I cry in my car sometimes when I get off of work, in the parking lot. Then I remember. Nobody cares, and I need to stop feeling sorry for myself. I dry it up. Put on a big smile. Walk in the door and hug my kids..”
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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.