There are people who have money and people who are rich. -- Coco Chanel
Being a single mom means you have and will continue to make sacrifices for your kids. But it doesn't mean you must sacrifice everything. Yes, we single moms have a tight budget. Yes, we are running around like headless chicken half the time. Yes, we barely have time to shave our legs let alone bask in the sun at the beach. However, despite what people might think it's essential for a single mom to enjoy luxuries and it’s not that expensive.
Enjoying luxuries doesn't mean you have to eat Ramen noodles for a month in order to fit the luxury in your budget. It just means you have to get creative. When I see something I really, really want but is out of my price range (which, let’s face it: it mostly everything) I ask myself this: What does this thing represent to me? Can I create something else that fulfills whatever this representation is?
For instance, I saw this daybed for the backyard online somewhere. It was round and had a canopy. The marketing people who staged this picture placed a book and a blanket on the bed. Well, I LOVE to read and I LOVE blankets. To me this daybed represented rest and the enjoyment that I get from reading. I also love being outside and if I can read outside, while curled up in a blanket, with a yummy drink in my hand then I would be one happy girl. After I realized what the thing represented to me, I realized that I can have all of that by just laying a blanket in the yard outside and making myself a peach tea. This costs much less (meaning, nothing) than the $2,000 for that daybed.
Here are 10 ways you can feel rich no matter what your income.
Make a meal from scratch. You don't have to go out and buy expensive and rare ingredients to have a delicious, elegant meal. Look at any food board on Pinterest (here's mine) or in any cookbook and you will find a recipe that tantalizes your taste buds and makes you feel like a queen. Working with fresh ingredients and smelling them while they cook or bake is a luxurious treat too.
Give yourself a spa treatment. Any uber expensive spa treatment you could possibly want can be made using simple ingredients found in your kitchen. Look up some DIY spa recipes or browse my Spa Treats board for some ideas. Many of these treatments take minutes to make and apply. And afterward you feel like you spent $100 at the spa but you really only spent pennies.
Eat dinner outside. Set up some tables and chairs, play some relaxing music and eat under the stars. Fresh air and the sounds of nature are all you need to feel wealthy.
Run or walk in a nice neighborhood or park. Having time to exercise is considered by many to be a luxury yet most of us have the ability to carve out at least 15-30 minutes a day to do some sort of exercise. Getting fit will also improve your health and mood, which I'm sure I don't have to tell you is a pretty important thing for a single mom.
Take advantage of free activities in your area. Many museums offer free admission days. Many cities have free outdoor concerts or movies in the summer. And there are plenty of free, random activities all over the country. Check with your city's visitor's bureau or travel around to neighboring cities to check out what's going on.
Keep a bowl of fresh fruit in the fridge. Fresh foods scream luxury and richness. Prepare a fruit bowl and keep it in the fridge for an easy, tasty snack or to add to any meal.
Redecorate & reorganize your home. Browse Pinterest for ideas on how to redecorate your home for cheap. You can put soap in cute jars. Or repaint a table. Or move some furniture or fixtures around to a better place. Or just rearrange your furniture. Find an inspiration room in a magazine and figure out how you can make your room look similar. Or maybe you just need to straighten up, organize or maybe even get rid of some stuff you have. Making room for the things you actually use and are valuable to you can be enough to make you feel rich.
Give yourself regular treats. Buy yourself a coffee or dessert every Friday. Or go out to eat once a month. Or get a massage every other month. You can experience expensive treats like these some of the time without breaking the bank.
Barter. Bartering is the easiest way to feel rich. Mow your local masseuse's yard in exchange for a massage once a month. If you have design skills you can design a website or flyer for a local business in exchange for their service or product. If you set up at a local fair or Farmer's Market barter your product for theirs. Bartering is a win-win!
Make a list of what you already have. This is the simplest, quickest way to feel rich. And it's completely free. Make a list of all the things, great and small, that you already have. List your house, computer, car, clothing, friends, family, pets, food, nail polish, yard, books etc. You could also create a poster and put this list on it in pretty fonts to look at every day to remind you of your wealth.
You really don't need a lot of money to experience luxuries and treat yourself to a mini vacation. All you need is a little creativity.