Monday, June 15, 2009

Extreme Self-Care: Self-Care on a Budget

This is the fourth in a ten part series called, Extreme Self-Care: It’s Not Selfish!

In this economy, times are tight. People are losing jobs and desperately trying to hold on to what they’ve got. As belts tighten, a lot of life’s luxuries are the first things to go. But as we’ve discussed, self-care isn’t a luxury but a necessity.

So what can we do to continue to take care of ourselves when money is a big issue? Here are some things to consider.

Find Free Resources: Like books? Bypass Borders and head for the local library. Libraries also have DVDs, CDs and Books On Tape available for free or at low cost. Make use of the public park to walk and take the kids outside to play. Most cities offer free concerts and the like, check the newspapers to find those free summer festivities. Most museums also have free evenings or at least offer discounts on certain nights.

You Can Still Eat Out: You might not be eating at Ruth Chris or McCormick and Schmick but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy an evening out. Look for restaurants where kids eat free. For instance, here in Charlotte, McAllister’s Deli offers a 'kids eat free' evening every Tuesday night. Also take time to find some nice local hideaways.

Use Coupons: You use them for groceries but you can also find coupons for local restaurants and even amusement parks.

Be Creative: Can’t afford the spa? Invite a friend over and do your own nails and facials. Spend a romantic evening in and cook a nice meal together. Have a game night. Get your partner to give you a massage.

Barter for Babysitting: Can’t afford a sitter? Find a friend and offer to care for their children one evening if they will do the same for you. Use your childless friends too, offer to do something for them in return for watching your kids for an evening.

The point is that while you can cut corners, cutting out your self-care is not an option. You can still take time for you without taking a big bite out of your budget!

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