Woman cooking dumplings in a pan as self-care

7 Budget-Friendly Ways To Treat Yourself On Your Off Days

Self-care has been trending in recent years, and it’s for good reasons only; to take care of your physical, mental and emotional well-being. However, when people hear or read about self-care, self-love or treating oneself, the immediate thoughts are costly endeavours — for example, going for a full spa session, heading out to fancy dinner, enjoying a bubble bath in a hotel, and more.


Let’s be real, if we were to spend a hefty amount for every self-treat, I think that would just add to our financial stress. So, here’s a list of 7 budget-friendly ways that you can choose from to treat yourself on your off days!


1. Cook yourself a special meal or a dessert.

Woman cooking dumplings in a pan as self-care

Rather than going out and spending money to buy something that you love to eat, why not cook it yourself? Not only do you save money, since you can reuse the grocery items, but you can go all out as well. Feel free to change up the table setting, light up some candles and make use of your fancy cutleries and plates.


While you’re prepping your meal or dessert and enjoying your food, play your favourite music in the background to complete the ambience! If you prefer having desserts as your comfort food, get ready to bake large batches of cookies and pastries that you can enjoy any other time of the day and week.



2. Curate a “self-treat” playlist.

Did you know that curating any playlist does require effort, especially if you want it to be personal to you? You can go for generic titles like English, Party, Malay, Tamil and more to cater to your wide range of music tastes but having playlists dedicated to your emotions hit differently.


In addition, listening to music can be soothing as you are unwinding from the day or week. In fact, music has been proven to be effective for stress relief and relaxation! You can play it loudly on your speakers or privately through your headphones while curating your music playlist for your future self-care days.


Looking for some Spotify playlists to tide you through your late nights? We’ve got some recommendations here for you.


3. Join a virtual Zumba or dancing class.

Two male friends breakdancing together as self-care

For those who love a good dance or workout to treat themselves, this is a great way to get your groove on! If you feel uncomfortable attending a physical class —whether it’s because of shyness or staying safe from Covid-19 — you can always put on a YouTube video on Zumba or any preferred dance, and do it from the comfort of your home. Or if you already have a workout routine you want to try, you can blast these Youtube playlists during your next workout session!


Another option is to sign up for online dance classes or Zumba and enjoy moving about with other people while staying safe and being in your comfort zone. Who knows, you might even meet some new friends at the online class!


4. Pursue a hobby.

A hobby is a past-time activity that we do because we enjoy them. I understand that as working adults, sometimes, it can be difficult to do something as simple as reading because we feel too tired or worn out from work. However, you can always pursue your current hobby or find a new one as a way of self-treat on your off days!


Pick up a book, learn knitting, do yoga, sing songs, paint sceneries, or sign up for archery lessons. The world is your oyster! Choose something that piques your interest so that you don’t feel bored quickly and you will enjoy doing it for a long time.


If you’re interested in picking up watercolour painting, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Watercolour Painting!



5. Have a get-together potluck with family and friends.

People clinking glasses over a meal

This is a great idea for a self-treat if you’re all about spending time with loved ones. This is not only economical, but you’ll also get to meet your family and friends to catch up and enjoy amazing food!


Even if you’re thinking of inviting just three people, you now have three amazing meals to look forward to and hours of fun and endless conversations. Meals can range from simple sandwiches and salads to elaborate curries and roasted lamb, depending on your budget and ingredients at home. Have some fun and eat your little Malaysian heart out!


6. Start watching a new show.

Instead of watching a movie that will end in just two or three hours, invest your self-care time by starting on a new show on Netflix, iFlix, Amazon Prime, or any other platforms of your choice! Let’s be real, we’re all already watching some shows or videos during our downtime, but it’s good to try to be intentional with what we watch.


These shows do not necessarily need to be heavy with 10 seasons or over 200 episodes. It can be as simple as a cooking show, baking show, crime documentaries, nature documentaries, or just a hilarious game show. If you enjoy watching something or looking for an opportunity to try a new genre of shows, this cost-efficient activity is the best fit for you!


7. Go for a walk or hike.

This is not only a budget-friendly way to treat yourself but oftentimes, a free way to treat yourself on your off days.

Two people walking through a bamboo forest as self-care

The basic necessities you would need are appropriate clothes and footwear. You don’t have to buy a whole new outfit, just grab something breathable and comfortable! From there, you just need to decide on your trail or pathway, then get going on your walk or hike.


This activity allows you to enjoy a breath of fresh air along the way as well as get your blood pumping in your body, keeping you healthy. Don’t forget to bring your water bottle and phone along to stay hydrated and keep count of your steps too!



You should be able to treat yourself any time any day without having to worry about the cost that it carries. So, with these 7 amazing budget-friendly activities lined up, feel free to pick one or more for your next self-love session and share them around. Always take care of yourselves—remember, you’re irreplaceable!

Vinothini is an introvert with an extroverted passion for writing. She blogs about her imagination, experiences and thoughts on life regularly. When she's not writing, she drinks tea, sings in the bathroom, and reads avidly.

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