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8 Feel-Good Alternatives to Retail Therapy

retail therapyIn today’s day and age, retail therapy has become something of a go-to vice. The happiness that comes with owning something new is a “quick fix” that can take the edge off of any stress you’re feeling. Unfortunately, using a credit card for retail therapy only serves to compound your problems by adding to your debt and putting you in an even worse position.

Luckily, the solution to this problem doesn’t involve giving up you shopping cold turkey. The thing you need to need to do is pay greater attention to what you buy and how you buy it. You can even find creative ways to get that “new” thing you want without spending a dime!

Below you’ll find some great ideas for having a good time without breaking the bank, as well as some ideas for keeping prices down when you just have to have that “new” toy.

Movies at Home

Instead of paying crazy prices for movie tickets and snacks, find the nearest Redbox and grab some food from a convenience store. You could invite friends to bring their own movies as well and have a movie marathon night!

Gaming Night

Board games, video games, charades – the game doesn’t matter as much as the people you play with! Have everyone chip in for some pizza and sodas and you’ve got a great, fun-filled night on the cheap!

Host A Learning Night

Want to learn how to do something? Chances are some of your friends would as well! Make a list of the ingredients or supplies you’ll need, then send that list to your friends with an invitation to join you! Everyone has fun, and everyone leaves with a new skill!

Find Local Events

Many cities offer cheap or free local events like movies in the park, concerts by local bands, festivals, and more. Keep track of events that might interest you and invite friends to enjoy then with you!

Get Back To Nature

With all the natural beauty around us, it can seem like a shame to spend your day walking through a mall! Find a local hiking spot or spend some time taking pictures of your favorite landmarks.

Trade In Your Stuff

Lots of stores let you trade your old products for store credit toward new purchases. If you’ve got things you’re not using anymore, consider trying to trade them toward something new.

Barter, Don’t Buy

Before you make a purchase, find out if there’s any way to barter something you own, or even a skill you have, for what you want. If you can make a trade instead of forking over cash, that “new” feeling can be yours for free!

Give Yourself Conditions

If you really, really feel the need to make a purchase that you don’t necessarily “need,” try setting a condition with yourself that you have to complete before you buy. You could make yourself finally sort through the attic and have a garage sale to help fund your purchase, or tell yourself that you’re not going to buy anything until you have a certain amount in savings. At least this way, something good comes out of it!

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