If you love to treat yourself, you’re not alone. It can be fun to do something nice and special for yourself whether that means going to get a massage and manicure, splurging on a nice dinner, or buying something for your car that you’ve had on your list for a while.
While it can help lift your spirits and be a way to reward yourself for a job well done, treating yourself often requires spending money. Plus, it’s easy to overdo it and overspend.
After graduating college, I treated myself to a new car and an expensive vacation that I couldn’t really afford. That decision added thousands of dollars to my debt total.
On the flip side, I’ve realized that there are quite a few things you can do to slow down and treat yourself without overspending or spending money at all. Here are 11 great ways to treat yourself without spending any money.
1. Go For a Walk
This is an easy but effective way to treat yourself if you feel like you’ve been working too hard and need fresh air. Treat yourself to a change of scenery. Go for a scenic walk around your neighborhood just as the seasons are changing, or use the gas in your car to drive to somewhere quiet and walkable.
Focus on being present and taking in the sights, smells, weather, and overall experience.
2. Read a Book
Reading is a great way to escape and relax. I set a goal to read one fiction book over the summer and didn’t get around to it, unfortunately. Being able to set aside time and get into a good book can be invigorating for some people.
3. Visit an Old Friend
Have you ever had a friend who you don’t see as often but when you do get together, it’s just like old times? Treat yourself by going to visit a good friend or inviting that person over.
You can catch up, watch movies, and enjoy each other’s company.
4. Go to a Museum Free Day
Most museums have free admission days. Too many people take advantage of this and either forget or don’t make an effort to go. If you want to treat yourself for free, consider marking one of these free admission days down for your museum of choice.
You can pack a lunch or even make it a date day/night by inviting your partner to come with you.
5. Binge Watch Your Favorite Show
Have a favorite Hulu show that you’ve fallen behind on. Take a few hours (or the whole day) off and binge watch episodes to catch up. You can also rent new series from your library for free or borrow a few movies instead to create your own movie day.
6. Have a Family Game Night
If you’ve been feeling too busy to be present when spending time with family, a relaxing family board game night may be in order. Head to the closet and pull out your favorite board games. You can even create a competition by seeing who can win the most rounds at different games. Maybe the winner will have no chores to do for a night.
Put together a meal or snacks from the food you already have in the fridge or cabinets.You don't have to spend money to take care of yourself! Click To Tweet
7. Go to a Free Art Gallery
Whether you’re a huge fan of art or not, going to a free local art gallery should definitely be on your bucket list as it’s a great way to treat yourself to an outing. While most galleries aim to sell the pieces, many will allow you to browse.
If you’re attending on the night of an event, you may even be able to meet the artist and ask a few questions.
Yes, it’s not the most exciting way to treat yourself, but your body probably needs it. When was the last time you slept in or took a nap? Dim the shades, put on your PJs, and treat yourself to some much-needed rest.
Don’t bother setting an alarm. Allow yourself to naturally wake back up when it’s convenient for you.
9. Have a Bubble Bath
Bubble baths can be super relaxing especially if you add in any special bath bombs, bath salts, and light some candles. Use whatever you have on hand. If you get a ton of Bath and Body Works products and gift cards for the holidays like I do, you may already have plenty of inventory to work wit.h
Turn on Pandora and either create your own station or find one that fits your current mood. Then, stay as long as you like!
Treat yourself to a good workout. A gym membership is optional because there’s a ton of ways you can get fit for free. You can take a jog around your neighborhood or ride your bike. Or, you can download a free app with exercise routines or watch a follow a workout video on YouTube.
Whether you’re looking for yoga, HIIT workouts, or dance fitness, you’ll find something to match your current mood and exercise preferences.
11. Discover a Great New Podcast
Podcasts can be super inspiring and there are shows that cover just about any topic. Listening to an episode can motivate you, provide education, and give you some actionable steps to take to improve your life.
Whether you’re looking to learn how to knit or want to hear someone discuss the latest Game of Thrones plot theories, you’re bound to find a podcast that interests you.
As you can see, it doesn’t cost anything to treat yourself from time to time. You deserve to be treated to nice things in life that help you feel relaxed, motivated, inspired and refueled. However, you don’t deserve to accumulate debt by overspending on these things.
Adding on more debt will only get you the opposite results and hinder your financial success.
What’s your favorite way to treat yourself?