10 Relaxing Ways To Pamper Yourself On A Budget

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: August 5, 2021

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If you think the only way to relax is to spend money, think again. There are tons of unique ways to pamper yourself on a budget!

Just because you’re trying to save money, that shouldn’t mean you have to stop taking care of yourself.

In fact, there are countless relaxation methods you can use without splurging on a day at the spa.

Whether you’re looking for stress-relieving activities you can do throughout the week or you’re planning an at-home day of pampering, you can do it affordably.

In fact, here are some of the best ways to relax and de-stress without spending a fortune.

1. Take A Bubble Bath

It may seem cliché, but taking a bubble bath is a tried and true way to pamper yourself on a budget.

And the best part is it’s pretty much free!

To make your relaxation session affordable without compromising on its effects, skip the expensive bath add-ins.

You can typically find a nicely scented bath bomb or bubble bath at convenience stores.

While you take your bubble bath, listen to some calming music or simply sit in silence.

Quiet time is something we don’t get much of in our fast-paced world. So, take the opportunity to slow down, quiet your mind, and relax.

Even a short bubble bath can make a huge difference in your stress level and mood.

To kick your pamper session into high gear, try combining this idea with one of our later tips, like reading a good book or listening to relaxing music.

10 relaxing ways to pamper yourself on a budget | Be The Budget

2. Do Your Own Manicure Or Pedicure

The cost of going to the salon to get your nails done adds up fast!

For many people, getting a mani-pedi is a favorite form of self-care.

But, when you’re trying to save money or stick to a budget, it’s not the most economical form of pampering.

Instead of shelling out $100 at the nail salon, get good at DIY-ing your mani-pedis.

This way, you’ll save a lot of money, and you may even find the experience more relaxing.

If you’re not yet confident in your nail-painting abilities, remember that practice makes perfect.

It may help to purchase some professional nail equipment like cuticle trimmers, emery boards, or press-on nails. This will help you replicate the salon experience at home and will improve the look of the finished product.

All of the supplies you need, from nail scissors to polish, will likely end up costing you less than half of what it costs to get a single mani-pedi at the salon.

And, since the point of giving yourself a manicure or pedicure is to relax, don’t stress over making your hands and feet look perfect.

Instead, celebrate the fact that you’re taking the time to take care of yourself, all while keeping your financial life on-track.

3. Go For A Walk In Nature

Another way to pamper yourself on a budget is to get outside and spend some time in nature.

Taking a long walk may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of pampering, but it’s a phenomenal way to relax (and get some exercise while you’re at it).

If you live in a big city, you can get some similar relaxation benefits by walking around town in the sunshine.

Or, if you have the time, drive to a hiking or walking trail outside of the city.

Since many of us spend the majority of our time indoors, getting some fresh air can be a pleasant change of pace.

Going for a walk releases endorphins that improve your mood and help you feel more relaxed.

It just goes to show that you don’t always have to spend money to feel pampered!

4. Enjoy A Warm Beverage

When was the last time you sat down and sipped on a warm beverage without doing anything else?

Drinking a cup of hot tea or coffee is a wonderful way to relax.

The heat of the drink forces you to sip slowly, which in turn, can help you slow down more generally.

This simple action takes such little effort and is so inexpensive that you can make it a part of your everyday routine.

This will help you get used to pampering yourself regularly, so you won’t feel like you have to splurge on something more elaborate.

Rather than sipping your morning cup of joe in a to-go cup on your morning commute, carve out the time to sit and savor your beverage of choice.

In this way, you can turn your existing, hurried routine into a moment of pampering and rest.

Or, make it a habit to brew some herbal tea every night to kick off your evening routine. It’s a great way to wind down at the end of a hectic day. Also, if you make it a regular practice, it will prompt your brain to start preparing for sleep.

Want to live more while spending less? Check out some of our other budget-friendly guides:

5. Read A Good Book

One of the best ways to pamper yourself on a budget is to curl up with a good book.

And thankfully, it’ll cost you next to nothing!

If you’re like most Americans, you probably spend a large part of your day staring at screens.

Rather than filling up your free hours with more screen time, pick up a book or magazine.

Unlike binge-watching a Netflix series, getting lost in an interesting novel will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

In case you’re not much of a reader, check out Goodreads to find great books that are highly rated by people around the world.

Then, after you decide on some books you’d like to read, see if your local library has them to check out. Reading may become your new favorite way to pamper yourself, and you can do it entirely for free.

6. Have Breakfast In Bed

Sometimes, a simple shift in your routine is all it takes to pamper yourself on a budget.

To see this for yourself, have breakfast in bed instead of eating at the table.

There’s something about eating breakfast in bed that makes you feel like you’re on vacation.

Instead of rushing off to start your day, you’ll be able to take it easy and wake up slowly.

Don’t just bring your toast into bed with you on a paper plate. Put some effort into it!

Make yourself a decent breakfast you would be proud to serve to a family member or friend.

Pampering yourself is, after all, supposed to be about treating yourself exceptionally well.

After you’ve prepared a nice breakfast, place it on a tray and retreat back to your bedroom. In no time, you’ll be feeling like you live a life of luxury.

7. Cook Yourself A Fancy Meal

Many people like to treat themselves by splurging on a nice meal at a fancy restaurant.

Instead, try cooking one of your favorite meals at home.

Whether it’s for date night or just for yourself, you can cook a meal that tastes expensive but costs you a fraction of what you’d pay at that high-end restaurant.

To make the evening feel extra special, you could even dress up in fancy clothes, light a few candles, and pour yourself a glass of wine.

With a little extra effort, your candlelit dinner will make you forget you’re on a budget!

If you’re not much of a chef, or if you find cooking to be more of a chore than a relaxing activity, order some takeout and enjoy it in the comfort of your own home.

You can still make the evening feel fancy by setting the table, using real dishes, and dressing up for the occasion.

8. Stretch

As we go about life, we tend to build up tension in our muscles. You may hold onto stress in your neck and shoulders, back, or hamstrings.

Do yourself a favor and release all that built-up tension. Set aside some time to stretch out your muscles with some simple yoga poses.

Thankfully, there are plenty of free resources online that can help guide you through your stretching session.

For example, you can find yoga guides on Pinterest, or you can take a free yoga class from instructors on YouTube.

You don’t have to pay for pricey in-studio classes to get the same stress-relieving and exercise benefits.

Similar to many of the other ideas on this list, stretching gives you the chance to slow down and take some extra time for yourself.

9. Make Your Own Face Mask

Taking care of your skin is important for your overall health, but that doesn’t mean you have to get professional facials.

While getting a facial at a salon is relaxing and luxurious, you can create a similar experience at home for a fraction of the cost.

These days, you can buy all sorts of inexpensive face masks online or in beauty or drug stores.

While that certainly is an option, you can also DIY your own face mask using the ingredients in your kitchen.

Look online for a homemade face mask recipe that addresses your particular skin concerns.

You’re bound to find one that meets your needs and is easy to whip up.

After you’ve made your concoction and applied it to your face, kick back, put some cucumber slices over your eyes, and chill out.

10. Light Scented Candles

Pampering yourself is all about the ambiance.

If you set a relaxing mood, you’ll create the perfect atmosphere to pamper yourself on a budget.

One of the best ways to set a relaxing vibe is to light scented candles in your home.

Whether you’re sitting down to read a book, drawing a bath, or giving yourself a manicure, candles can make your pamper session even more relaxing.

If your goal is to save money, stay away from those expensive candles at department stores that cost an arm and a leg.

You can usually find deliciously-scented candles on sale at stores like Target, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods.

Final Thoughts

Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive!

There are all sorts of ways to pamper yourself on a budget without feeling like you’re missing out.

As we’ve mentioned, the more space you make for relaxing yet affordable activities, the less difficult it will feel to stick to your budget.

 It’s important to show yourself that you can still enjoy life and treat yourself without spending a fortune.

Combine a few of these relaxing activities to create your own pampering routine. It’ll make you feel like a million bucks, and in some cases, you won’t have to spend a dime.

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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