Big indulgences on little money
So, here's some of The Bargain Queen's favourite budget-friendly treats:
- Fresh air and sunshine. There's a certain type of frustrating experience that can quickly drain your will to live: say, being locked in a meeting room with certain managers for a few hours. Or writing graduate school papers. The Bargain Queen's favourite remedy is to get outside, breath the fresh air, bask in the sunshine, stretch your legs and come back renewed. While not all regions or neighbourhoods offer a reliable supply of either fresh air or sunshine, if yours has either, make use of it! A few minutes of enjoying the great outdoors can put the day's trials and tribulations back into perspective, for absolutely no financial outlay.
- Time to yourself. Next on the free-but-brilliant list is to take some time out to do something you really enjoy. It could be anything from meditating to reading the paper to going for a jog to giving yourself a home pedicure - whatever feels most like a treat. The Bargain Queen can't tell you much about how to do this though, because she's pretty hopeless at taking time off.
- Sleep. There's a reason why sleeping in is such a cliched luxury: even a little extra sleep can make a huge difference, and to time-poor people it's the ultimate treat. (The Bargain Queen is extra spoilt: when she sleeps in, but Mr Bargain Queen has her breakfast ready by the time she wakes. Brilliant!)
- Chocolate. OK, if you've ever watched television, you've heard about what a great indulgence chocolate is. But like most indulgences, it's best when you only have it occasionally. A daily chocolate bar quickly becomes routine... and leads to further expenditure on a gym membership. The Bargain Queen's strategy is to trade quality for quantity. She can only justify a $13 box of Lindt Petite Desserts once or twice a year, but those are the happiest days of her year. Even if she can only manage 2 or 3 chocolates before she feels seedy...
- A nice hot bath. This is a treat The Bargain Queen often forgets all about: hopping in a nice hot bath and soaking until she feels all floppy and relaxed. When she gets organised with bubble bath and candles kept in the bathroom, it quickly becomes a favourite thing to do. Then she runs out of bubble bath, forgets to buy more, leaves the candles burning til they're misshapen puddles of wax, forgets to clean the tub for a few weeks, and it's back to showers-only. Oops.
- A stiff drink, mixed at home. When no other form of 'relaxation' will do, The Bargain Queen mixes herself a nice stiff drink at home. While it's not the recommended way to make yourself feel better after a tough day, keeping a spirit and a mixer at home is much cheaper than buying drinks at a bar. That is, as long as you don't drink more because it's right in front of you.