Self Care Activities on a Budget

It's important to take the time for yourself, whether it's having a bubble bath, going for a walk, or making a scrapbook. Read on to find out some affordable self-care activities that you are sure to love.

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Whether you’re setting aside some time to learn a new skill, practising affirmations, or getting cosied up with a good book, it’s important to make time for yourself. Keep reading to find out about affordable self-care activities you can do on a budget. 

Have a Cosy Readathon

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If reading gives you some serious escapism, or you’re trying to achieve your Goodreads reading goal this year, why not have your own cosy readathon? Get in your comfies, make yourself a cup of your favourite warm beverage, light some candles, and settle down for an evening filled with fun and relaxation. 

It can be hard to find the time to sit down with a good book, so doing this will ensure you can do just that. What’s more, you’re bound to enjoy it even more if you know how to buy books on a budget.  

Bake Something Yummy

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Whether it’s brownies, muffins, or something a little out there, baking is a really enjoyable activity that is sure to lift your mood. The best part is, at the end, you’ll have a batch of delicious sweet treats to munch on. 

Save yourself money by ditching the physical cookbooks. There are many online, free websites where you can access an impressive range of amazing recipes. Some websites to check out include BBC Good Food, Baking Mad, and Love & Lemons for vegan recipes.  

At-Home Pamper Night

A happy woman wearing light-pink pyjamas, sat on her bed while doing an at-home pamper routine, rubbing cream into her skin.

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Whether a pamper night means just doing your affordable skincare routine or going all out with essential oils, a sheet mask, and a foot massage, you do you. Put on some relaxing music, and spend some time with yourself and your favourite affordable beauty products or male grooming products on a budget

You’d be surprised how much a little pamper-night can be needed after a long day. So, put your feet up, and spoil yourself. 

Enjoy a Movie Night for One

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Providing you know how to save money on video streaming services or how to get free or cheap cinema tickets, there’s nothing better than sitting down and watching a movie. Whether it’s a new release that you’ve been waiting for, or you’re rewatching an old favourite for the hundredth time, do what makes you happy. 

What’s more, you can’t have a movie night without some delicious movie snacks. So, grab the popcorn or make a movie snack platter for one, and enjoy your favourite drink. 

Do Some Journalling

A young woman enjoying some time being mindful while journalling and sat on a sofa.

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Ever feel like your head is filled with too many thoughts and feelings for you to keep track of? Then this one is for you. Journaling has a variety of benefits, from helping reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and preventing burnout, to boosting mood and mental well-being. 

To get started, all you need is a journal, a pen, and some time to write whatever you like. If you’re just starting then you might find using journaling prompts helpful. 

Another tip is to try stream-of-consciousness journaling which involves writing any thoughts that come to mind without worrying about structure. You can encourage this by continuously writing without lifting your pen from the page - this will help get you into an uninterrupted flow. 

Make sure you know where to find the best budget stationery to make this even more affordable.  

Learn a New Skill

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Learning a new skill can be fantastic if you’re lacking motivation, feeling bored in your day-to-day life, or looking for ways to boost your confidence and overall happiness. What’s more, you don’t have to fork out a load of money to do it. 

From discovering how to paint with art materials on a budget and learning a new language with a free app like Rosetta Stone or Duolingo, to gardening with the most affordable garden plants that look good all year round, make sure you know where to find resources for learning new skills and hobbies cheap or for free

Relax with Some Meditation

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Take some time to just breathe. Meditation has an incredible effect on both your mind and body. From helping manage stress, and increasing focus and self-awareness, to lowering your heart rate, improving mental clarity, and more, it is one of the best, free self-care activities out there. 

If you’re new to meditation, all you need to do is find a safe place where you can sit comfortably, close your eyes, and breathe. Something you might find helpful is following a guided meditation which you can find on YouTube and the Headspace app. 

Some tips include: 

  • Repeating a mantra or affirmation continuously until you have reached a deep, meditative state. 
  • Mentally scan down your body and notice any areas of tension that need to be released. 
  • Try various breathing techniques such as box breathing or triangular breathing

Paint & Sip for One

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Make yourself your favourite cocktail or mocktail, and get those creative juices flowing. Once you’ve stocked up on some art materials on a budget and learnt what the cheapest cocktail is to make, have fun painting something that makes your heart happy. 

Whether you’re painting a gin glass, decorating candles, or creating a piece of artwork for your walls, you’ll be settling down for an afternoon of fun. 

Have a Bubble Bath

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If your body is feeling a bit exhausted, then a warm, relaxing bubble bath might just be what you need. Light some candles and enjoy an evening of complete bliss. 

Want to level up your bath experience? Why not treat yourself to a cosy read, enjoy your favourite show, or indulge in a few of your best-loved snacks? A bath tray might come in handy here so you can have your favourite things close by.

Go for a Solo Walk

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Sometimes when life feels a bit too much, getting outside can help. There are so many benefits to walking, especially when you know some of the best UK walking spots. Not only is it the perfect, low-impact workout, but it improves sleep, helps you discover new places, and even can reduce the risk of some health issues. 

Some tips for solo walks include: 

  • Carrying a personal alarm - this is a handy tip if you’re ever worried or feeling unsafe when walking by yourself. 
  • Sharing your live location with people you trust. 
  • Downloading the free All Trails App - this is a fantastic app that allows you to discover new walking routes local to you. Each route has a difficulty rating, trail length,  reviews from other like-minded people, and the ability to track your walk live on maps so you don’t get lost. 
  • Take a journal with you - have a go at journaling outside while you enjoy the fresh air.

Spend Time Away from Your Phone

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This one sounds simple, but it can be so effective. In this day and age, a large portion of our lives is spent on or with our phones, and if our jobs revolve around screens, it can be mentally exhausting for our brains. 

Excess phone usage can have some negative effects on sleep quality and eyesight, and even increase depression in some cases. To help lower the risk of these things, devoting some time away from your phone is ideal. 

One way you can do this is by implementing a no-phone-zone, which can be at any time of the day and for any duration that suits you. A good way to do this is just before bed: once it hits nine o’clock, put your phone away for the night. You’d be surprised how life-changing this can be, and what’s more, it’s completely free. 

Order a Takeaway

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Give yourself the ultimate night of indulging with your favourite takeaway. Providing you know how to save on takeaway food, you’ve got nothing to feel guilty for. 

If pizza is your go-to, then don’t miss our handy tips on how you can get takeaway pizza for a slice of the cost. Alternatively, if you’re after something a little different, utilise free apps like Just Eat and Deliveroo so you can enjoy your takeaway without even leaving the comfort of your home.  

Have a Go at Scrapbooking

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Scrapbooking is a super fun, creative and relaxing activity that requires near to no skill. All you need is a scrapbook, and some scrapbooking accessories such as craft paper, old newspapers, felt-tip pens, and stickers. 

The best part is that you can be as experimental as you like and do whatever makes you happiest. Some ideas for scrapbooks or individual scrapbook pages include: 

  • A memory book: Create a space where you can preserve your fondest moments with photos, receipts, and small journal entries. 
  • An aesthetic book: Print off images that you find aesthetically pleasing and create collages. Layer with other mediums for the best results.
  • A book/film book: If you’re a bookworm or a film-lover, create spreads of your favourite books or films. Print out images of the characters or cast members, fan art, or your own fan art. Add your favourite quotes and maybe a star rating. 
  • A handy tip: Save money by saving scrap paper, reusing old wrapping paper, using tea bags to create an aged effect, and using budget-friendly art supplies, instead of purchasing from craft stores. 

Move Your Body

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Whether you prefer to do affordable workouts at home, use one of the best fitness apps for your health goals, or save on a gym membership and lift some weights, move your body in your favourite way. 

Although exercising doesn’t sound like self-care, it truly is. Not only does it give you a major endorphin boost, but it can improve your mental health, and help improve strength and endurance, so it’s good for both mind and body. 

So, whether you’re having a boogy with a dance workout, going for a run to win that mental battle, or lifting weights to achieve those fitness goals, make the time to focus on yourself. 

Listen to some Music

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Sometimes when I’m feeling low, there’s nothing quite like having a singalong (and maybe even a dance party for one…) to my favourite music. Whatever your preferred music streaming app, make sure you know all the best tips to save on music streaming services

If this sounds like a bit of you, then make a playlist of all the songs that lift your mood, and dance like nobody’s watching. 

Declutter Your Space

A woman packing away her belongings into a cardboard box with the word 'Donation' on the side.

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If you ever cringe when you open your junk drawer, then this one is for you. Ever heard the saying ‘Tidy space, tidy mind’? Well, it’s true. If you’re feeling a little worse for wear during a stressful period of your life, it might help to declutter your space. 

You’d be surprised how much getting rid of clutter can improve your mental well-being, and also how hard we hold onto things that no longer give us joy. 

What’s more, it’s completely free to do, and you never know, you might just be sitting on a gold mine of things you can sell second-hand. 

Do a Yoga Flow

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Let’s put exercising and mindfulness together and do a yoga flow. You don’t need to be advanced to do yoga, it’s something for everyone. What’s more, you won’t need to spend a single penny when you utilise free, online video platforms such as YouTube for classes. 

One of the best yoga channels available is YogaWithAdriene. She has an impressive collection of amazing yoga videos, from morning yoga and bedtime yoga, to blanket yoga, yoga for writers, and yoga for creativity, to name a few.  

Create a Night Routine

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If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep and you already know how to buy a mattress for your budget, then it might be time to think about creating a night routine. The best night routines involve giving yourself time to wind down. 

Whether that’s by switching your phone off an hour before you go to bed, doing your affordable seasonal skincare routine, reading a book, or taking part in a bit of nighttime meditation, you’ll thank yourself in the morning.  

Make a Bullet Journal

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If you love the idea of scrapbooking but want to keep track of your weekly to-do’s, as well as short-term and long-term goals and hobbies, then maybe bullet journaling is for you. 

Whether you’re a bullet journal newbie or you’re about to complete for fourth one running, ensure you know how to bullet journal and save money so you can enjoy your new hobby without worrying about going over budget.  

Listen to a Podcast

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Podcasts are a great alternative to listening to music while on your daily commute to work. What’s more, there’s a huge range of podcasts available for you to listen to wherever your interests lie. From true crime stories and parenting advice to book reviews, daily doses of mindfulness, and unfiltered celebrity interviews, there’s something for everyone. 

Podcasts are great for picking up handy tips and tricks, as well as for those who live alone as they make it feel like you’ve got someone to talk to. 

There are several places where you can access podcasts free of charge or cheap: 

  • Spotify
  • Google Podcasts
  • Amazon Music
  • Apple Podcasts 
  • YouTube
  • Audible 
Layla Al-Ani
Home & Garden Writer

I’m Layla, the home and garden editor, and I started working at MyVoucherCodes in November 2022. I have always loved to write, especially after getting my degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, and since getting my own place, I’ve gotten stuck into all things home and garden.

When I’m not writing about saving money on homely purchases, I’m either sitting with my head in a new book, painting a piece of art for my walls, or binge-watching an interior design programme on Netflix. I love to get inspiration and transform my space, usually with the help of a few Pinterest boards and a couple of tins of paint.