Budgeting for Love & Happiness

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[bs_col class=”col-sm-5″]My budget allows me precious little flexibility. Earning a graduate degree doesn’t do much when you opt to join AmeriCorps VISTA for a year. I’m racking up the experience points, but not so much the gold.

I pay my rent and utilities, gas and groceries…and one other very important category that I believe no budget should be without:

Love and Happiness. What I mean by this is finding inexpensive ways of pampering myself—expressing some self-love in small ways.
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[/bs_row] I set aside a small amount of cash each month to spend on Love and Happiness. Something I find spiritually gratifying. It could be tea, it could be a new journal, it could be a day-trip with friends. All these things bring joy into my life, and make my humble home and lifestyle significantly more exciting. I feel more alive, knowing I’m enjoying more of my day-to-day than if I didn’t take that time for myself.

The mindset of scarcity can be harmful. I could choose to believe that no room exists in my budget for Love and Happiness. I could just pay off the necessities and trudge along to the next month. This, I know from experience, leaves me feeling utterly powerless.

Instead, I choose to believe that a tiny slice just for me is possible. That slice can make each month magical, radically transforming how I feel about my life. (Of course, the mindset of scarcity also keeps me conscious of not overdoing it, so I can pay all my bills!)

Of course, the best part is that sometimes, Love and Happiness are free. Having friends visit is free. The library is free, and full of amazing stories and music. Developing my own yoga routine is free. Walking in the local park is free. And free—no matter what my income—is most definitely my favorite number.

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