Kimberly Hayes of Public Health Alert is a guest contributor covering the topic of budget friendly self-care.

You want to take care of yourself, but you also want to afford your mortgage. Can you have both? If you rethink what it means to engage in “self-care,” the answer is yes! Here are a few things you can do every day without sacrificing your financial well-being.

Wake Up Refreshed

Sleep isn’t negotiable. Sure, you might be able to get by for weeks or even months on a few hours here and there interrupted by work, social activities, and other obligations. However, in the long run, that lack of slumber will ultimately catch up with you. Sleep deprivation is a serious issue, and it can result in you looking and feeling much older than you are. Getting enough sleep each night is the only way to fix this problem.

Proper sleep starts with your bedroom. You don’t have to have a magazine-worthy sleeping space, but a few inexpensive additions can go a long way toward making it comfortable. Soft pillows or a memory foam mattress, for example, can be picked up at your local Walmart, and you can usually find Walmart promo codes or coupons to help you save more of your hard-earned money. Once your room is ready, make a point to actually go to bed when you have around eight hours to sleep the next day begins.

Use the Health and Wellness Benefits You Already Have

You probably already pay for health insurance, but if you are only using it for emergencies, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’re also likely spending more money on things like gym memberships and alternative medicine than you should. explains that many insurance policies offer extended benefits as a matter of routine.

Lifestyle services, such as smoking cessation and stress management along with discounts on professional massages, chiropractic, and acupuncture are all often covered; all you have to do is read through your plan information. Or, you can try asking your service providers if they accept your insurance. You might be surprised to find out that your “indulgences” are covered. As much as you’ll enjoy the extras, don’t forget to use your insurance to visit your doctor once per year or so. By keeping up with your health, you’ll feel better in the long- and short-term.

Work Your Body (Without Paying for the Gym)

The gym is a great place to visit when you need to train for a marathon but the monthly membership fee can take a toll on your budget. In fact, according to, Americans spend around $155 each month on fitness expenses alone. Instead of funneling money out of your account for a membership you can only use while you pay for it, turn a small section of your home into your personal workout room.

For less than you would spend on a month at the gym, you can buy small products, such as pull-up bars, exercise bands, or a weighted hula-hoop that you can use to get — and stay — in shape. The best part: These things belong to you and you can use them whenever you like.

Spend Some Time at the (Home) Spa

Your bathtub is perhaps one of the most effective self-care tools you have in your arsenal. A warm bath or shower can help lower your blood pressure, relieve muscle tension, and improve circulation. The positive effects of heat can also reduce headaches and prevent the skin from drying and cracking. The point is that you can use your bathroom as your personal home spa. A $5 bag of Epsom salt, quality lotions, and a few lit candles are all you need to settle in and soak up the same benefits you would receive from a $300 spa day.

Even if self-care feels like an indulgence, it does not have to inhibit your ability to afford the necessities. Little things like sleeping well and reading through the fine print on your insurance policy can help you relax, unwind, and enjoy the benefits of caring for yourself, no debt required.


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