How do you look after yourself on a small budget? Well, I start by eating right- from scratch and as much fruit and water as I can… and then…
Exercise is a little bit more of a chore for me, but it’s a long time since I’ve had the money for a €65 a month gym membership (5 years on I feel like such a fool).
YOGA: I love to do yoga in the morning, even just 15 mins is great and I would love to share with you how I got into it, which is the free 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Dashama, which you can sign up for with youtube or through emails. Can’t stress how much of a help this has been for me.
BIKE: Cycling has the double benefit of movement plus saving money on bus fares! It’s possible to get a really cheap bike at an auction (lost and found at the trainstation regularly auctions off bikes), freecycle (I myself have given away a bike on freecycle), or just ask around! I have also been offered bicycles that have been sitting in someone’s relative’s garage doing nothing!
TRY OUT A NEW SPORT: Often dance studios and gyms will offer a free “open day” or “first lesson for free” offer. Also sometimes friends with gym membership get a certain amount of “bring a buddy” vouchers, say you’re interested in trying out their gym and always ask around!
RUNNING: Not my thing, but all you need is the proper footwear!
WALKING / HIKING: How often have we visited another country and know it better than our own local area? If you are lucky enough to have forests or forest parks, hills, gardens, cliffs, nature reserves… go explore! I’m lucky that I can walk to work if the weather isn’t too bad, (I walk about 30 mins twice a day).
SWIMMING: When I lived in Berlin, in the summer I loved to cycle to the lakes and go bathing… so relaxing! Just bring some lunch, a towel, a good book, some sun lotion… sometimes you don’t have to go far for the holiday feeling :)
DVD Workouts: Before I gave up my job and my steady income, I invested in a bellydance DVD that I really like (and haven’t used in ages)… but maybe the local library also has something like this?
HAIR: When I say that I have unruly hair (and I know I’m lucky to have it!), I mean it’s a battle with it. I do spend quite a lot on good quality shampoo, and when at all possible I use the Sock Bun Method to dry it when possible also….(for those who don’t know what that is, please see this link to youtube). For me, this minimizes trips to the hairdresser, extra conditioners and products. I also love Berlin Hairbaby’s tutorials (she also has videos on youtube) for inspiration!
MAKEUP: I’m definitely not good at this, but this is what works for me : Bobbi Brown foundation stick applied to a sponge with some bronzer, some mascara, brown eye pencil (smudged) or vanilla or stone coloured eyeshadow. All items except the foundation are quite cheap brands. For moisturizer, I use Kiehls (one wrong move and I break out in pimples and I’ve found this to not affect my skin – so i stick with it, even if it is very expensive).
Well, again, I’m not great on this, but buying good pieces out of season (boots and wintercoats in Feb/March) and new summer items just after the season is over has got me by. I like to get things more and more good items from thrift shops (and give them a good wash), such as cotton tshirts as layering. I have seen lots of documentaries with what the people who make our clothes have to endure and would prefer to save up and buy fairtrade (out of season!!). I also (very kindly) get gifts of clothing from friends, which i just dont think i could do without! I’ve seen some really great refashioning websites and blogs that I will link up to, but i’m not so handy with a sewing machine. I also have friends who always really look great buying simple black dresses from thrift shops and doing their own tailoring to update it and then pairing it with boots (as work outfits).