I remember getting a handout in college that listed things that made people happy that were free. I don't know if that was supposed to inspire us as poor college students, or if it was some sort of mental health exercise. But I took it to heart, thinking that there were plenty of things under $10 (let's be realistic, $ is essential to survive) that made me happy at the time.
Now that I'm older (and make a little more money), the same holds true - which is why for my experiment this month, I decided to limit non-essential purchases to under $20 per occasion. Case in point would be what I spent on Wednesday, when I wasn't feeling well and just needed to veg out - $11 for organic milk and 2 boxes of cereal (one good-for-you and one kind of good-for-you), and $4.27 for 2 DVD's out of RedBox (yes, I returned them a day late...). Happiness!
Here are some other things that fall into that category:
- Movie tickets for 2
- Bottle of wine
- Chinese takeout on a Friday night watching 'What Not to Wear'
- A new pair of earrings
- Class at our local Co-op
- 3 pitchers of beer after curling
- Tickets to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
- Book for Book Club (only if it's a good one)
- Couple of games of bowling plus shoe rental
- Dessert and Coffee for 2 at Cafe Latte
- 5-6 drinks on Karaoke night at the Uptown VFW (don't even need that much alcohol - it's the karaoke that makes the night! And yes, their drinks really are that cheap...)
So, I'd challenge you, in this economic cesspool, to redefine what happiness means to you, and how much $ it takes you to achieve it. You might be surprised what you find out.