Is it possible to enjoy life when there is no money left over for extras? It is, but you must have the correct mindset. Worrying about money, or the lack thereof, is a waste of time. It is so much better to be grateful for what you have now and make the best of things as they are.
Here are my ways to be happy:
1) You must keep yourself as healthy as possible
~ Get outside every day.
~ Drink lots of water.
~ Eat plain, simple foods.
~ Do some type of exercise daily.
~ Get plenty of rest.
You need to be in top form to be able to handle whatever comes your way, physically and mentally.
2) Connect with others
We are social creatures by nature. Too much time alone when you're going through hard times can lead to depression and a negative view on life.
~ Invite someone over for coffee and homemade cake or cookies.
~ Call a friend and have a good chat.
~ Go visit a family member.
3) Shun consumerism
Advertisers make their living making people feel like they are not good enough unless they buy their product. I refuse to fall for those gimmicks. I have a mind of my own and can make my own decisions. And I don't get my self-worth through what I own.
4) Be creative and resourceful
While being broke is a challenge, it is in times like these that you can be most creative. I like to make a game of it by seeing how little I can spend on groceries or see how long can I go without fueling up my car.
Being creative and resourceful makes life less expensive because you're not running out to buy things. Instead, you see if you can make it yourself, can barter for it, find it secondhand, find it on the curb waiting for trash pick up, etc.
Make your home cozy and comfortable for your family. Keep it clean. Rearrange the furniture and decorative items to give your rooms a fresh look. Get rid of clutter and hold a yard sale.
5) Get organized
Just because you are broke, it doesn't mean you can't be clean or keep a clean house. Soap and water are cheap! You don't need a lot of fancy cleaners. Use vinegar as a disinfectant cleaner in a spray bottle and baking soda to form a paste to scrub your tub and sinks.
Organize your finances. Know what you owe and to whom. Create a bare bones budget until things improve. Make sure you have your basics covered first: a roof over your head, basic utilities, food.
6) Create your own fun
While you may not have money to spend, that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Draw your family closer by doing things together. Play games together. Go for nature walks. Borrow movies from the library and serve popcorn.
Craft together using only things you have on hand. Read books. Look at the stars. Sit around a fire outdoors. Have a picnic. Do a jigsaw or crossword puzzle. Go bird watching and see how many bird songs you can identify. Listen to music and sing along.
You only need some imagination and an appreciation for the simple things in life in order to have fun.
7) Keep a positive mindset
It would be easy to fall into the pit of despair while going through hard times, but that is not going to do anything to help your situation. It's going to zap your strength and muddle your thinking.
Start appreciating the little things because things could always be worse. Today you're not homeless or going without food. Today you have all you need.
Keep doing the right thing and help others when you can. When you put good out there, it comes back to you.