You work hard. You give, give, and give some more. At the end of the day, what’s left in your tank? Sometimes, you just need a little treat for yourself to add some sparkle to a tough day, or dazzle up a blah one. There is an art to self-care—knowing when you need to restock and replenish your energy and being able to call uncle when that moment comes.
When we want a little treat for ourselves, it doesn’t have to be an all-day-at-the-spa affair (with a price tag that might just be an assault on your budget’s self care).
Here are 30 ideas to get you started:
- Cue up your favorite album and go for a drive (don’t stop until the last song has played). Need some ideas? Here’s a list of Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time.
- Buy the fancy cheese. Our in-house YNAB cheese expert recommends high-tailing it to your local cheese shop to pick up some Stilton to have alongside a mug of dark roast coffee.
- Buy a magazine at the grocery checkout line.
- Allow yourself to eat junk food. Need a recommendation? Where do I begin. Reignite your childhood love affair with Rice Krispie Treats. They might be even better than you remember them, especially when you make the carmelized brown butter version.
- Give yourself an hour of silence. Put your phone on airplane mode so you cannot be disturbed. And. Breathe.
- Have a glass of wine while you cook dinner. This may make you feel impossibly French and fancy.
- Take your dog on a date to Starbucks for a Puppuccino and your favorite beverage.
- Buy gourmet chocolate and eat it all in one sitting with zero shame and zero guilt.
- Buy new socks. At YNAB, there is a strangely vocal community around the wonders of DarnTough socks.
- Give yourself an at-home facial complete with sheet masks and cucumber water.
- Go for a walk and “forest bathe” in nature.
- Binge watch a show on Netflix (Yes, I’m still watching. Yes, I’ll still be watching an hour from now).
- Buy a new bottle of nail polish and give yourself an at-home mani/pedi.
- Give yourself a massage with a massage gun or at-home head massage.
- Create the fancy hotel experience at home. Wash the sheets on your bed, remake it, fluff up all the pillows, then turn down the corner and leave the room. Come back later, forgetting you did that, feel like you’re at a fancy hotel, and curl up with a good book.
- Take a moment to feel very alive. Step outside, take a deep breath, throw your shoulders back, and look at the sky for a minute.
- Create a spa at home. Pick up some lavender bath salts & a new candle and have yourself a spa-level bath.
- Special treat. Splurge on the slightly more expensive but better quality version of your favorite treat (gourmet ice cream, artisan chocolate, fresh pasta, higher-quality wine).
- Sleep in! Take a nap! Rest is utterly luxurious and good for you too!
- Do nothing. Set a timer for five minutes, ten minutes, heck, why not an hour—and have no expectations of any version of productivity.
- Buy a house plant. ZZ plants and pothos are good beginner plants that will brighten up any room.
- Take a solo date. Do you love hiking? Eating out? Watching a movie? Do that! Just you!
- Buy a new kitchen gadget. If you’ve got the counter space or drawer space, why not fix a current cooking painpoint with a new tool? Highly recommend: instant-read thermometer or an immersion blender. Nothing says self-care like cooking your steak to perfection.
- Take an hour to journal. Need a prompt? List out what you’re loving, learning, obsessed with, listening to, and what you’d like to accomplish next month.
- Try a new coffee shop. Preferably one that’s out of the way and you’d never visit otherwise (but have always wanted to).
- Do yoga. Cue up YouTube for some Yoga with Adriene: she has yoga routines for every pain point.
- Stare at the sky. You’ve got plentiful opportunities: watch a sunrise, watch a sunset, watch the rain, watch the snow. Just sit and watch for a bit.
- Light a candle with your dinner. A warm flicker will uplevel any feast, even if it’s just cereal.
- Take a day off work for no reason at all. When the day arrives, wake up and just go where the day takes you.
- Brew fancy coffee at home with make-it-yourself indulgent creamer.
Why not pick one of these ideas to fit into your next weekend? They’re gentle on expense, gentle on your soul, and are a practical way to feel cared for (by yourself!).
Ready to practice self-care for your financial health? Check out a free trial of You Need a Budget—an award-winning budgeting app that can realign the relationship you have with money so you can be financially healthy and thriving.