Relieving Boredom & Stress While on a Spending Diet

relieving boredom and stress while on a spending diet

There’s no doubt that boredom can creep in while doing a Spending Fast or Spending Diet…especially when we don’t have our usual boredom relief “go-to’s” that we used to use pre-Spending Fast/Spending Diet (shopping, eating out, partying, etc.). See how Melanie is tackling this obstacle below, and follow along with all the Spending Fasters here. – Anna

I’m about nine months into the Spending Diet and I must admit, at this point, I am getting Bored (with a capital “B”). I’m chugging along and gritting my teeth smiling through it, but for the past couple of months I’ve felt like throwing up my hands and yelling, “F*** this! We’re going to Costa Rica!” I’ve never been to Costa Rica, but it feels like somewhere tropical and warm could solve all my problems.

Fortunately I’ve been on the Spending Diet long enough to know that spending more money, even if it is on an amazing trip, isn’t going to solve all my problems– in fact, it might create more problems. But the travel bug has got me bad. What’s a girl to do?

Well, I don’t know if it was a moment of weakness or a moment of clarity, but my husband and I went on a little weekend getaway. I had just finished planning a conference at work. It’s probably the biggest, most stressful thing I’ve ever done– even more stressful than planning my wedding or changing jobs or deciding to stop renting and live in an Airstream. And I know it’s dangerous to think this way, but I deserved to get away.

We did a lot of things to cut costs for this trip. We went to a location about four hours from our home so we drove there in my fuel-efficient car. I found a budget hotel and used my credit card points to book it. We packed snacks, we participated in free attractions, we had a continental breakfast each morning at the hotel and, although we ate at restaurants several times, we also picked up dinner from a local grocery store. Overall, I spent about $95.00 on the trip. (Full disclosure: my husband spent some of his money too.) I did go over my $100 allocation for March, but I still managed to sock away $1,000 in both February and March.

Since our weekend getaway, I feel much less stressed and better able to take on the world, but I want to make sure that for the next three months I don’t fall into the “treat yo self” trap. I also need to take better care of myself and find free stress management techniques. With the warm weather finally here, I’ve been hiking, practicing yoga from YouTube videos and trying to regulate my sleep schedule. I’d love to incorporate even more free stress relievers into my everyday routine.

What are your favorite free stress relievers? Let me know in the comments! 


Melanie’s Spending Diet Stats:

Month 8 Savings: $2,000

Started the Spending Diet: July 1, 2014

Savings to date: $9,600

P.S. If you’ve been getting prone to boredom be sure to check out 56 Things to do Instead of Spending Money

P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!


8 thoughts on “Relieving Boredom & Stress While on a Spending Diet

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  1. Mary

    It is so easy to get bored while saving money. I’m learning about a lot of new free options in my area. Last night I went and played laser tag with some friends. We found a laser tag place in our city that offers Ladies Night on Monday nights. I bought a $6 membership card that is good for a year = only 50 cents per month! Now I can play laser tag for 3 hours on Monday nights any time in the next year. Yes I spent a little money on the membership but to me it’s worth it for all of the entertainment it will provide!

  2. Molly

    Since starting my spending diet, I’ve looked around at what I already have and gotten creative (literally!) I dusted off my camera that I hadn’t used in months and have found a lot of joy in taking pictures. Also found some colored pencils that I’ve had since college and started doodling again.

  3. Emily

    I’m almost finished with 30 days of yoga with Adriene. She is the best! It’s a great way to relieve stress.

  4. RIchard

    I know only too well how this feels. For several years, as I was getting my finances sorted out, I barely spent anything that wasn’t essential.

    While it seemed like a good idea to begin with, soon enough I started to “hit the wall” – and boredom set in. After all, if you never try to spend an unnecessary penny then that means basically no going out, no buying new stuff and so on. I’ll be the first to admit how tough that was!

    However there *are* things you can do to break the monotony – without spending much (any?) money.

    One example might be going for a walk in the countryside. Another might be visiting your local library, or borrowing some DVDs off friends that you haven’t seen before.

    In same cases though I think it is necessary to “take a break” and just spend a little money. The key here is spending as little as you think you can get away with, so as to not undo all your recent hard work!

    Oh – and I’ve been to Costa Rica and it was worth every single penny (sorry!) ;-)

  5. Katie

    Even simple things like wanting a book to read (I am house sitting right now and am alone for a week with two dogs)-instead of purchasing one I saw at Target yesterday, I’m going to look for it at my library. Also, speaking of two dogs, I can go for longer walks with them when I get home from work to give myself something to do. I also have set aside some “administrative” time for myself to write to-do lists, balance my checkbook, plan out and prepare meals for my week, go through emails, pay bills, etc.

    One other thing I did to 1. aid in paying off my debt and 2. keep me from having excessive amounts of free time was get a second job. I work full-time during the day and work part-time at Bath and Body Works-helloooooo freebies (a bonus!) and a fun way to make money!


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