If you find yourself in a situation where you suddenly have less income than you are accustomed to due to health issues or a change in your work status, it is imperative that you find ways to continue enjoying life in spite of your current circumstance. View your situation as a challenging opportunity to pull from your inner creativity.
One of the first things you do when faced with an income reduction is revise the budget to look for ways to spend less. Use this opportunity to challenge yourself in the kitchen. Discover the art of creating money saving, budget stretching cooking. Items such as pasta, rice, and potatoes are often inexpensive and can help you stretch a meal. If you closely observe your habits you will probably find areas where you can save money by making small lifestyle changes. Line drying your clothes and reducing the use of paper towels by using washable cleaning cloths instead are just two changes that can help reduce your spending.
Reduce the amount of shopping you do. Find creative ways to reuse items you have on hand rather than buying new things. Redesign your wardrobe with clothes, jewelry, and accessories you haven’t worn or used in a long time. Experiment with new combinations of items and colors to create a new look for yourself without spending money.
Learn to appreciate simplicity. Living with less can be good. Sometimes our lives become cluttered with unnecessary stuff. We buy things we don’t need and they end up being clutter. Clearing your home of clutter is a good “free” activity. The feeling of freedom that comes from clearing the clutter is a perfect way to enjoy life regardless of your income level.
When living on a lower income than you normally do, it is important that you find things to do that you enjoy that don’t require spending money. Rediscover the pleasure of visiting a library and bringing home an armload of books. You can freely escape to anywhere with a good book. Take advantage of public parks. An afternoon picnic can be inexpensive and enjoyable. You can fill some of your free time with exercise.
Unless health issues prohibit you from walking, you can enjoy a daily walk free of charge. Exercise your brain with mind teasing puzzles. Mind bending puzzle books are inexpensive and they are a good way to keep your mind active. Take advantage of free concerts, free art shows, and summertime music in the park events. Nature trails and dog parks are a good place to spend some time without spending money. You might even want to register for various free courses offered by community organizations to expand your knowledge or to learn a new hobby.
There are inexpensive hobbies you can engage in to help make life enjoyable during a financial crunch. Begin keeping a journal. If writing is not enjoyable for you, you can buy a sketch book and pencil and start an art journal. Become an avid bird watcher. Grow a small garden. Become a nature collector. Find a way to creatively display items you find such as pine cones, leaves, feathers, rocks, and other items you find on a nature walk.
Consider your situation an opportunity for rediscovering how self sufficient you have the creativity and ability to be. It’s what inside of you rather than what’s in your bank account that determines how much you enjoy life.