Ways To Avoid Feeling Deprived During Tough Financial Times

by Veronica Hunsucker
Ways Not to Feel Deprived During Tough Financial Times photo

Use these tips to prevent feelings of depression, resentment, and deprivation when going through difficult financial times.

From personal observation, I have noticed that when people go on a diet, seriously cut their budget, or try breaking a habit of some sort, they are not as successful with their endeavor if they begin to feel deprived.

A feeling of deprivation seems to lead to depression and sometimes resentment. There are ways to handle a lifestyle change without falling victim to those negative feelings.

A reduction in income is a lifestyle change that is affecting many today. Job cuts, investment losses, reduced working hours, or medical situations can mandate a serious budget overhaul. If you have had to reduce your spending, you must find ways to keep your spirit up and not allow depression to become an additional burden.

Allow for small purchases

When forced to reduce spending, leisurely shopping is one of the first activities to be cut from the budget. Doing this could lead to feelings of deprivation.

While your shopping pattern may change, you can still allow for smaller, less frequent shopping sprees to prevent feeling deprived.

Shop at lower-priced stores and wait for sale prices. Discover the pleasure of small uplifting purchases like a candle, a new coffee mug, fresh flowers, or inexpensive wardrobe accessories.

Find ways to dine out for less

Dining out is often cut from the budget when finances are tight. Once again, you may need to reduce the number of times you dine out but don’t completely deprive yourself of that luxury.

Look for less expensive places to dine. People tend to be creatures of habit. Dining out on a modified budget may open the door for new dining experiences. If possible, take advantage of lunch specials rather than eating out in the evening.

If you have to reduce the dining-out frequency, make the event special by dressing up even if you’re only going to a small local café. You will feel like you are doing something special. Attitude plays a large part in making tough times more bearable.

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Look for free entertainment opportunities

Some towns have free concerts in the park during the summer months. Search the newspaper, watch for advertisements posted at various locations, or do an Internet search for your area.

Many areas have hiking trails you can take advantage of at no cost. Enjoy a trip to the dog park with your dog. You might even be able to find free or low-admission art exhibits, musical performances, or theater productions in your area.

An evening or a weekend at home on a “pretend vacation” can be a very pleasurable yet inexpensive experience.

Find extra money for treating yourself

You might need to find creative ways to fund your morale-boosting adventures on a reduced budget.

One of the easiest ways to accumulate a little “extra” money is never to dig out the exact change when making a purchase. Give the cashier dollars and put the difference in a jar to use as money for fun activities.

If you are a coupon user, new or long time clipper, you can add up the total of the coupons you use and put that amount of money aside for pleasure spending. Be careful not to use coupons carelessly. They benefit you only if you had planned to buy the item anyway and if the coupon makes the price of that item lower than a similar store brand.

Brown bagging your lunch and saving the money you would have spent dining out is also a possible source for collecting a little extra cash.

Is debt cramping your lifestyle?

Imagine how much simpler life could be if you were debt free. We can help you make a plan to get there.

The method by which you manage to squeeze out some money for personal pleasure each month is not what’s important.

What matters most is that you find a way to designate some money as “fun money.” You will stick to your reduced budget more consistently and with less or no resentment or depression if you can avoid feeling deprived during a tough financial time.

Reviewed March 2022

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