Budget Conscious: Gifting Yourself
By Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA – Family Finance and Budget
Knee deep in the holiday season, most of us are trying to make our children’s Christmas wishes and dreams come true whilst also trying to ensure that these once a year purchases don’t sabotage our long term goal of creating well rounded kids with prepaid college savings plans.
It’s enough to make even the calmest person, go nuts. With this in mind I decided to devote this month’s column to you and ways you can carve out some much needed quality time for yourself on a budget.
Personal Care Services
When was the last time you had a manicure? Why not treat yourself to a manicure at a spa? With prices as low as $15, you can daydream while you relax for a few minutes listening to tranquil music as your hands are gently massaged and your nails are painted with your favorite hue one by one. Some spas also offer chilled water and the latest fashion and gossip magazines while you wait such a nice gesture for such a low price.
Read a Book, Take a Stroll
If manicures aren’t your thing, then take off work 30 minutes or an hour early this month to visit the library or your favorite bookstore and catch up on your reading or explore something new.
Going a step further, you could always go home and take a quick nap to rejuvenate yourself before you pick up with your regular routine of cooking, homework, and extracurricular activities. Or take in nature with a stroll through your neighborhood or near your office.
Can’t get enough of flowers, if you are fortunate enough to live or work in a city where street vendors sell flowers throughout the year, spend the $8 to $10 to brighten your home or office with a fresh floral bouquet. You could also purchase a poinsettia, Christmas cactus or amaryllis to add some color and festiveness to your indoor space that could last for a few months or more.
If you like scented candles, chances are you already have plenty around your home. So, why not jumpstart your morning by lighting one before you get in the shower? The aroma of your favorite candle can positively alter your mood on the most somber and gloomy morning. Get up a few minutes early so you can enjoy it, free of interruptions from your spouse and children. Lastly, don’t forget to blow out the candles before you leave the house.
Christmas can be one of the most cheerful, yet stressful times of the year. Trying to fit shopping, decorating and entertaining into an already busy schedule is enough to drive anyone crazy. This makes it all the more important that you take some time to recharge and refresh. Whatever you decide to do whether it is one of the low cost or free options presented here, do something nice for yourself. After all, a healthy, happy, relaxed you makes for an even healthier family. Happy Holidays!
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