#FinancialFridays: Celebrating Life On A Budget

Did you know that today is #NationalAllIsOursDay? A day simply dedicated to appreciation. Let us take a moment to take a deep breath and reflect on life’s simple pleasures. Picture a memorable time in your life when you felt free, relaxed and happy. What were you doing? Where and when was it? Who did you spend that precious moment with? Did it cost you money, time or both?

Here are some ways to approach your day with gratitude while rewarding yourself without breaking the bank.

Spring is the perfect season to take in nature’s wonders. Start your day with open windows, let the fresh air in and enjoy the dawn chorus from the wild birds. Take that first sip of your coffee, tea or hot chocolate at home. Spring into action by pushing yourself out the door and embrace the sun! Vitamin D from the sun keeps our immune system strong, our energy level up. As little as 10 minutes of sunshine can boost the mood too! Walk around the neighbourhood and say hello to other humans! The pandemic may have had us locked up for a while but we should not let it dampen our spirit of connection. Venture a little further and take a stroll to the park, discover a new trail system, observe new spring blooms, get healing from the sounds of water, support your local Farmer’s Market and search for early morning or closing deals.

If you walk for at least 30 minutes a day 5x a week, you would be accumulating Heart and Stroke’s recommended 150 minutes of physical activity for adults. This can be in bouts of 10 minutes or more each time. As you get into the habit of getting outdoors, you’ll find yourself naturally progressing into a mixture of activities such as brisk walking, gardening, bird watching and biking if you’re able to. Congratulations, you have just exercised and it’s totally free!

Appreciate LIFE and everything it has to offer:

I have adopted this mantra during the pandemic: “In a society that has you counting money, calories, pounds and steps, be a rebel and count your joys instead.” I couldn’t agree more. We may not have everything we want or hope for, but we have moments we can count on every single day. Gratitude can work wonders on our mental health.

We ALL can make a difference:

It feels really great to give back and share your joy with others. How many times do we hear parents teach their young that sharing is caring? There are many ways to share. Consider surprising a neighbour or a stranger with a conversation or offer help with little things around the house. A cup of coffee or tea, a homemade gift, fresh baked cookies, some freshly picked flowers or even a heartfelt, written card can make someone smile for the whole day. Spring clean by donating goods or clothing that you no longer need. Pick up the phone and say “hello” to an old friend, encourage someone, be a mentor.

Volunteer your time and skills at your local food bank, community kitchen or charity. Check out Bruce Grey Mentorship or Big Brothers Big Sisters to become a role model for the youth. Support the seniors of our community by volunteering at established organizations such as VON or the HCSS that offers amazing programs such as Meals on Wheels. The greatest memories and greatest gifts in life are those that are shared. You have the power to change lives.

– Sharon Safra, Financial Literacy Program Coordinator

Are you feeling overwhelmed or at a loss with your financial situation? Needing help with budgeting? Our Financial Literacy Program can help. Contact Sharon Safra at 519-378-4773 or email her directly at advice@unitedwaybg.com.