There’s no denying it… the price of goods and services has spiked in recent weeks. No one can escape the hit the economy is taking as a result of inflation, and it’s affecting every aspect of our lives. The necessities like groceries and gas are at an all-time high, making day-to-day purchases for living a headache for many Americans and Daytonians. Inflation is the highest it’s been in over 4 decades.
Obviously, we need to eat food, we need to fuel our vehicles, and pay rent and mortgage. We need water, electricity, healthcare, and a slew of other bills that come our way. But when that’s all said and done, what do we have left to spend on lifestyle expenses that boost our mental health and overall enjoyment of life? The answer may be…not much. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some budgetary options and ideas pertaining to optional lifestyle spending so you can enjoy some extra perks of life while still being financially responsible.
Whether it be yoga or fitness of any sort, a majority of these services have virtual studios. Just like Ignite Yoga’s virtual studio, many fitness trainers and teachers have incorporated online classes as a regular part of their offerings. In most cases, you’re going to save money with a virtual membership over an in-person membership…that’s good news if you’re looking to tighten those purse strings! It’s true that you do not get the community camaraderie of a brick-and-mortar, but you do still get the connection with teachers you love and the styles of yoga that they offer. Ignite Yoga, like many others, offers live-stream classes as well as on-demand classes to fit your busy schedule. That is definitely one of the benefits of having a virtual fitness membership…flexibility! Not only that, but most offerings will include a free trial membership so you can find what works for you. Now you can save some money without sacrificing fitness and wellness goals.
In-home Streaming Services
Do you subscribe to a load of streaming services? They add up quickly and before you know it, you could be paying in the hundreds every month in subscriptions. I’m not trying to deny you a night-in of enjoying a good movie or show, it’s something we all enjoy. Instead, consider renting from your local library. The Dayton Metro Library keeps most seasons of shows as well as movie selections very up to date. You can reserve your choices ahead of time online and pick them up quickly and easily at your closest branch.
Buying the Essentials
Has your grocery bill shot up lately? Is there a way to lower the cost of must-haves like food to nourish your body? It’s a tough one, for sure! But I’m hoping these tips will help take a percentage off your food cost, and maybe carve out some extra free time in your day that you’re not spending at the store.
- Use pick-up services: Most grocery chains have online ordering, even apps that allow you to quickly search for your items and put them in a virtual cart. How does this help cut grocery costs? By not being in the physical store browsing, you’ll avoid impulse buys. It’s inevitable that something will end up in your cart that you didn’t need. It’s doubly worse when you have kiddos in tow and unbeknownst to you until checkout, they’ve thrown an item or two in the cart. Further good news is many chains have digital coupons or loyalty programs for shopping consistently at their store. Even more great news…the majority of pick-up services are free. You are saving time and money!
- Shop Budget Stores: It doesn’t sound fancy, but shopping at a store like Aldi offers almost everything you would get from a big grocery chain, and the food is priced much less. Almost all foods at Aldi are organic, without the organic prices of a bigger chain. Aldi is able to cut costs on groceries by cutting back on small services most grocery chains offer like bagging groceries and returning your own cart to the storefront. These small changes make a big difference for your wallet! Another win…your Dayton Aldis offers free grocery pickup!
- Subscribe and Save: For items that are purchased on a regular basis, Amazon offers a subscription service for grocery, beauty, pet needs, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. You are in control of your order and delivery frequency to match your purchasing needs, and Amazon will offer a 5-10% discount just for subscribing! If you’re interested in supporting small businesses, choose the products that have the small business logo beneath the product. That way you’re supporting a smaller vendor, which is a big deal in this economic climate. Not only that, but you can use a special code so a percentage of all your purchases go to your favorite foundation, school, or a small business like Ignite Yoga!
All work and no play is a recipe for disaster. One of the biggest ways we know people in Dayton, Ohio like to spend their money is by going out. There is no way we’d encourage you to skip the pleasures of a night out, whether it be alone, with friends, or on a date. The ideas below will provide you with fun nights out to choose from!
- Parks System: Five Rivers Metroparks has the Dayton area covered with terrain and trails to provide options for an outdoor outing. Not only can you use the trails for hiking, and some for biking, Metroparks offers extremely reasonably-priced programs and classes like Pick your own– Flowers Greens and Herbs, Kayak Rentals, free music at Riverscape, and Stars and Constellations class at night (sounds romantic for only $3).
- Carry out, skip the bar: As strong supporters of our local community, we would never skew you away from supporting our talented local restaurants in Dayton, Ohio. As a small local business in ourselves, we want to do what we can to support our comrades who are in the same boat. For the most part, every locally-owned restaurant has fantastic carry-out services, giving you the chance to skip cooking-in, while supporting local businesses all at the same time. When asking folks what drives the cost of dining out, it’s a resounding bar tab! as the answer. If you pick up your food, there’s no need to indulge in grabbing a drink from the bar, you can simply grab and go. For a lovely ambiance, look for all the wonderful parks around Dayton, and why not take your to-go order and have a picnic?! Especially with events like free concerts at Riverscape, you can bring your food and enjoy live music while you dine. And it’s only a suggestion…if you take your food to-go and skip the bar, you could be saving $20-$100/night! You can still support Dayton local, have delicious food, and skip cooking while spending lighter.
- Free Live Music + Festivals: Dayton is filled with affordable opportunities to take in art and culture, year-round. During the summer months, The Fraze Pavilion hosts a variety of free festivals such as Art on the Commons. Downtown Dayton’s Riverscape Metropark also hosts free concerts during the summer by the river, including Music at Lunch every Wednesday. Year-round, The Dayton Art Institute is open Wednesday-Sunday, for a mere $15 which gives you full access to the museum. DAI also offers concerts throughout the year.
As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to adapt and accommodate a tighter budget while enjoying life’s little extras. Treating ourselves is a necessity in order to avoid burnout. Setting aside time for ourselves to spend alone or with loved ones and friends can be done frugally and intentionally if we seek out the right resources. Technology is on our side when it comes to ordering and searching for what we want and need on a budget, use it wisely. Supporting locally owned small businesses is important, and can be done on a budget with a little adjusting. Taking in art, music, and movies doesn’t need to be left behind while watching our spending, we may just have to reel it in a bit. Be mindful of watching unnecessary spending that may be happening with subscriptions you forget about. Open up to new ways of enjoying life fully! Leave a comment and let us know what you tried, and what you recommend!