You’ve heard it before; stop spending, simplify your life, cut back. But with all this scrimping and saving it’s easy to feel downright deprived, and lose your focus. What are you really depriving yourself for, exactly? Here are some tips that will not only save you money, but help you get your yoga on as you begin to better understand the yogic lifestyle.
1. Entertain Yourself
One of the biggest expenses in the American household is entertainment. We spend money on monthly access to television, Netflix, video rentals and downloads, and the movie theater. What if we simply entertained ourselves? Instead of spending $12 per person on a movie ticket, spend time being creative instead. Have art night at the dining room table, getting out the paint and supplies. You can paint and decorate bird houses (found at the craft store for under $5), or print of mandalas (geometric symbol) and paint or color them in. Want to be active? Go to a park, playground, or hiking trail! When’s the last time you climbed up the monkey bars, or went on the swings? Too rainy to go outside? Check the local library or theater school in your town. Chances are video rentals are free, and there is probably a local play or book signing that supports your community. Engaging in creative art or spending time in nature is therapeutic and meditative.
2. Spend Some Time In The Kitchen
Cooking for yourself is one of the best things you can do for your health. Not only are you in complete control of what goes into your meal, you also transfer your energy into the food you eat. Cooking with love literally shows you and your family that you love and care for them. Don’t feel like you have the time? You can prepare meals and snacks ahead of time with just a little organization. Set some time aside one day a week to make vegan blueberry scones, bake trail mix, or chop veggies for a quick snack later in the week. This prep also prevents grabbing snacks on the go, which can quickly add up.
3. Make A Stainless Steel Water Bottle Your New Best Friend
Make the initial investment, and it will not only save you money in the long run from buying bottled water, but it is better for the environment too. You will stay hydrated, which will give you glowing skin and make you less hungry.
4. Make Your Own Coffee
. . .or tea. You’ve heard it before, but frequent trips to the coffee shop is expensive. The average $1.80 per cup of joe, or $3.65 for an espresso drink 3 days a week for a year will cost you as much as a plane ticket (between $300 and $560). A bag of good quality beans or loose leaf tea is much cheaper, and gives you an excuse to walk out of the house with your new stainless steel mug.
5. Recycle That Dress
Going out? Why do you need something new? Adding a different accessory to that vintage dress can change the whole look. And I’m sure your sister or friend might have something that they have only worn once or twice that will be perfect. And if anyone asks where you got that fabulous dress, you can say “it’s vintage!”
6. Simplify Your Cell Phone
Cell phones are advancing at an unbelievable rate. It seems impossible to keep up with the latest technology. But is the new-every-two necessary? Do you really need all those apps? What about text? Downgrading can cut your bill in half, as well as simplify your life. Do you need to be making mobile updates on your Facebook page? Imagine how less stressful it will be to stop misinterpreting those impersonal text messages and talk to a real person instead. You will also avoid the temptation to text while walking–or driving.
7. Turn Off The AC
It is so easy to become accustomed to the comfort of being able to control the temperature in our home right down to the very degree. Part of practicing yoga is to find internal contentment, no matter the external circumstances. Exchanging the air conditioner for a fan saves money, energy, and allows you to open the windows. Let the breeze come in, enjoy the fresh oxygen, and become more in tune with the natural temperature of your external environment.
8. Entertain With Virgin Cocktails
The next time you have friends over, entertain without serving alcohol. You can still serve fun drinks without the excess toxins or calories. If you have a juicer, get creative with your cocktails, adding cherries or exotic fruit. Maybe serve them in fun glasses with swirly straws and umbrellas! Or add seltzer water for something bubbly but still better for you than soda or alcohol. Your friends will be impressed with your originality, and feel better the next morning, too.
Take your yoga off the mat and into your life as you begin to make positive changes in the way you spend money. Realizing that less really is more is the first step to rising above societies definition of what we need to be comfortable, happy, and entertained. You will also find that you possess the creativity and simplicity to take your yoga further.