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How to Practice Gratitude on a Budget

To know me is to know I can go overboard with "treating myself" or buying "small" gifts to show appreciation to those I love. I then justify these purchases by convincing myself that's it's okay because I don't do it all the time. That may be partially true, but let's be real, this "treat yourself" mentality can really add up!

It's never been easier to buy things online (the irony that I'm writing this on a site that sells things isn't lost on me!) but I want to remind you that being grateful costs zero dollars. If you're looking for free and easy ways to indulge in #SelfcareSunday or express your appreciation for a friend or family member, I've got you covered! Check out some of our suggestions on practicing gratitude on a budget.

Act it Out
  1. Cook a meal for your significant other, family member(s) or friend instead of taking them out to lunch or dinner. 
  2. Give your partner a massage instead of booking that couple's massage. Make it fancy by lighting some candles and using essential oils.
  3. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter or animal shelter.
  4. Donate clothes or items that have served you in the past and pass along to those in need.
  5. Donate your time to an organization you care about.
  6. Spend quality time with your partner, family or friend.
    Self-Care
    1. Gym memberships or studio hopping apps can cost a lot of money. Try exercising outside, in your room or at your home/apt gym. Use YouTube videos or apps that have free exercise routines.
    2. Skip eating out at the new healthy restaurant and commit to making yourself a nutritious meal(s). Look for a recipe with a handful of ingredients you know you will use and enjoy.
    3. Meditate in your living room, balcony or bedroom. Booking a class at your favorite yoga studio adds up. Check out this Grateful Daily favorite.
    4. Pamper yourself. Paint your own nails, whip out those $3 face masks and give yourself a facial. The spa can wait! Why not use what you already have in your bathroom? Your body and wallet will thank you. 

    Write it Down
    1. Journal your thoughts and take time to reflect on them once a day or week. We like elevating this ritual with our favorite Grateful Daily Soy Candle.
    2. Send a note for someone and let them know why you’re thankful for them. Texting is fast, easy, and when it comes from the heart,  super meaningful. If you have a few extra minutes, sending a handwritten note to someone via snail mail or leaving a post-it for someone in their house/desk/office can also be really nice!

      Say it Out Loud
      1. Say “thank you” more. This is easy!
      2. Call your spouse, family member, or friend. It would be nice to take your loved ones on a nice trip. But picking up the phone and talking to them is enough too!
      3. Have a Date Night IN and connect with your partner. Talk about what you're grateful for about each other.

      Pay it Forward...If There's Room to Splurge
      1. Leave a generous tip for the barista, waiter or driver to thank them for their time and service.
      2. Buy a stranger coffee. Or someone that's clearly having a rough morning. If you do this, skip getting your next day's morning coffee to avoid overspending.
      3. Pay the toll for the car behind you. This unexpected nice gesture might just ripple back for many people, you never know! 

      These are just a few suggestions on how to practice gratitude on a budget. How do you combat instant gratification for yourself or others? Share your thoughts and suggestions with us in the comments.

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