16 Ways To Pamper Yourself On A Budget

James Beattie By James Beattie 15 Min Read

You want to start saving money but are worried that you won’t be able to enjoy yourself while on a tight budget. While it’s true that lots of fun things cost money, there is plenty to do without breaking the bank. Here is a list of 16 ways to pamper yourself while on a tight budget.

Quick Overview
There are lots of creative ways that you can pamper yourself without spending a lot of money. Instead of going out for dinner, try cooking your partner a meal at home, going on a picnic, or even just going for dessert instead of a main meal. You can also charity shop for clothes instead of buying new ones. Many self-care experiences, like spa days and working out at the gym can be replicated at home for much cheaper, but with the same benefits. 

Why is Pampering Yourself Important?

It’s important to take care of both your mental and physical health. Pampering yourself is a key part of this because little things that make you happy really boost your mood. Giving yourself a tight budget to live on means that you can save a lot of money. This is great, but take it too far and you may end up becoming miserable.

Even though you’re working hard to save and invest, you you still want to enjoy life. Otherwise, you might give up on your financial goals. Money can be stressful and if you find this overwhelming, you’re much more likely to quit. Pampering yourself is a great way to de-stress, making you more likely to stick to your saving goals long term. This is why we’ve put together a list of 16 fun and exciting ways that you can pamper yourself on a budget.

Best Ways To Pamper Yourself On A Budget

Below are some of the best ways you can pamper yourself, even when you are on a budget. Let us know if there’s anything else you like to do down in the comments and we might add it to the list!

Go for a Country Walk and a Picnic 

Countryside Walk

A picnic is much cheaper than going out for lunch at a cafe or restaurant because you don’t have to pay for service and somebody else cooking your food. It’s also just as fun to head to the supermarket, pick out some of your favorite snacks and take them on a picnic.

Why don’t you try pairing your picnic with a country walk? You could hike to a scenic spot and bring your picnic. There’s nothing better than enjoying some delicious food with an amazing view, especially after you’ve worked up an appetite! 

Watch the Sunset

Sunsets are one of the most beautiful natural phenomena. But because they happen every day, most people don’t think about them. Watching a great sunset can be an incredible experience if you are in the right spot.

To find a great sunset (or sunrise, if you’re an early bird) spot near you, try searching for one on Google. You can head there by yourself, or take a date or even your friends. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate to make it an extra special experience.

Buy a Plant Instead of Flowers

Buy a plant as a cheaper alternative to flowers

Lots of people buy fresh flowers every week to brighten up their homes. But with many bunches costing over £5, you could end up spending more than £260 a year just on flowers.

A plant is a little bit more expensive than a bunch of flowers at an average of £15 for a medium house plant. But you only need to buy one – so long as you look after it. This makes the overall cost a lot cheaper than fresh-cut flowers. Plus you have the fun of watering and feeding it. It can feel really satisfying to know that you’re helping something grow.

Have a Night In Reading

Night In Reading

Most people mean to read more, but struggle to find the time. If you’re looking for a cheap way to pamper yourself, make a cosy evening out of a new book. You can cosy up with some snacks and a hot tea or coffee, light some candles and enjoy reading. It’s a great way to destress without breaking the bank.

Quick tip: New books can be expensive, but they are cheaper if you buy them on Kindle and free if you subscribe to your local library. 

Go for a Run or Do a Home Workout

Exercise boosts your serotonin levels and is an important part of staying healthy and dealing with stress. But going to the gym can mean an expensive monthly subscription and many are wrought with hidden fees, like for attending classes and using the swimming pool. Instead, you can easily find fun, creative ways to work out that are completely free. 

YouTube has lots of great bodyweight-only, home workout videos with different levels from beginners to experts. 

If you’re not into working out, you could always take up running. There are many different options, from running around your local park with your dog to taking up mountain trail running. You could even go with friends and make a social event out of it.

Cook for Your Partner Instead of Eating Out

Going out to dinner at a restaurant is many people’s go-to date night. But eating out can be very expensive. A cheaper and equally as fun alternative is to cook for your partner. You can surprise them by cooking their favourite meal, or pamper yourself by baking a delicious dessert for you both. If you don’t have a partner it can be nice to cook for a friend or family member. 

Have a cook-off with your partner, where you both cook something and judge which is better. Pizza is a great idea for this if you’re not an experienced cook because you can buy ready-made dough from the supermarket, make a pizza each and pop them in the oven.

Learn a New (Free) Skill

There is a wealth of new skills you can learn for free on the internet. Blogs and YouTube are great, free resources where experts share their skills. You can pick something new to learn and have fun practicing it for very little money.

It should be quite easy to find something that fits your interest, but some ideas to get you started are DIY or sewing tutorials, painting, learning a new language and phone photography. 

Have a Self-Care Night

Self Pamper Night In

A great way to pamper yourself is a DIY spa night. This is much cheaper than going to a spa, which will usually set you back hundreds of pounds. Plus it can be just as relaxing.

Run yourself a bubble bath, or indulge in your favourite bath bombs. You can do your nails and create an at-home facial and hair mask with ingredients from your kitchen. If you’re somebody who loves getting regular massages then you might want to invest in a handheld massager.

They cost between £20 – £250, depending on the quality, but you can use them again and again. Use them regularly and they work out much cheaper than going to a masseuse. 

Budget For Larger Pamper Days

If you still want to go on the occasional pamper day or spend a day shopping that’s okay. We all deserve it occasionally. However, these days should be planned and accounted for in your budget.

You can use the Moneysprout budgeting sheet to track your expenses and set aside money each month for the little luxuries you want to indulge in.

50/30/20 Budget Planner - Google Sheets
  • Monthly Budget Overview
  • Custom Categories
  • Transaction Log
  • View Daily Spending Overview
  • Track Needs, Wants, Savings/Investments & Debts

Charity Shop for Clothes Instead of Buying Them New

Instead of having a day out shopping to pamper yourself where you might end up spending lots of money, go around the charity shops instead. It’s more cost-effective to shop second hand and you can have loads of fun looking through all the unique stuff that charity shops sell.

It’s much more rewarding when you find a hidden gem than when you just buy something online. Besides, you’re giving money to charity instead of a corporation.

Quick tip: Online second-hand shops like Vinted and Depop have loads of barely worn clothes for sale at a fraction of the retail price.

Plant Your Garden

Planting A Plant

Do you have a garden at home that you’ve been meaning to do up for ages? Gardening can be a therapeutic past-time that is relatively inexpensive. If you’re new to gardening you can watch some YouTube tutorials before heading to the garden centre.

This way you’ll avoid buying things you don’t need. You will also get to enjoy your new garden in the summer, giving you an incentive to sit outside instead of heading to a pub garden. 

Tech-Free Retreat at Home

There are loads of fancy tech-free retreats where people de-stress. But you can easily replicate one of these at home and get the same results. Switch off your phone and other electronic gadgets, then plan a day of tech-free activities. You’ll be surprised by how many hours you have in the day when you can’t spend it scrolling through social media. 

Invite Your Friends Over for a Pot-Luck Dinner

Instead of meeting people out for dinner, host a pot-luck dinner. This is where everybody brings one dish that they’ve made, whether it’s sweet or savoury, and you all share them. As well as being much cheaper than going out to a restaurant, it can be a lot of fun. You could even ban everyone from telling people what they are going to bring, making it a real surprise.

Do Something Creative

Lots of us have creative hobbies that we enjoy and find therapeutic, but which we never have time to do. This might include things like painting, journalling, knitting or even playing an instrument. Clear your schedule for an afternoon to indulge in your favourite creative hobby for free.

Join a Book Club

A book club is a great way to socialise and read new books without spending too much money. If you don’t know how book clubs work, everybody reads the same book and you have regular meet-ups to talk about the book. This can be a fun way to get to know different people.

Build a Bonfire


Build a bonfire in your back garden or a local park and have a fun evening roasting marshmallows and chatting by the fire. You can either collect the sticks yourself if you live in the countryside or buy wood at a local shop. Just remember to be careful about fire safety – you don’t want to put anybody in danger.

Note: Check whether fires are allowed in public places through your local council. Otherwise, you may accidentally break the law.

Go For Dessert Instead of Dinner

Go For A Dessert

Dessert is much cheaper than dinner, but just as indulging. A cost-saving way to go for a meal out is to just go for dessert. There are plenty of dessert restaurants around nowadays, but you can also go to a proper restaurant and ask them if they mind you just having dessert there. Unless they are very busy, they’ll probably say yes.

Final Thoughts

We all love doing things that don’t cost a lot of money, so you can absolutely save money and still pamper yourself. There are loads of options, from going out with friends but not drinking to save money on alcohol, to staying in and having a spa night or a pizza-off with your partner. It’s important that you pamper yourself occasionally, otherwise you may become stressed and not enjoy saving money enough to stick with it.

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I'm passionate about personal finance and making money. Currently trying to FIRE solely by building online assets. Grew my stock portfolio to £86,000 by 26.
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