Finding Small Luxuries on a Budget

Man and Woman laughing

Between the pandemic and the subsequent sharp rise in inflation, people are looking for ways to lift their spirits, spread good vibes to others, and indulge in affordable ways. One way to do so is by making small, joy-inducing purchases that feel like luxuries – without breaking the bank. 

A recent PayPal survey1 found that nearly four in 10 Americans whose mental health has been impacted by the economy are switching to making small purchases to make them happy, which you can do, too.

From mood-evoking scented candles to spa-quality grooming products to culinary delights and intellectual enrichment, we’ve rounded up some simple ways to elevate the everyday. All these merchants accept PayPal for a smooth and seamless shopping experience. So, get inspired by our suggestions and let your imagination run wild with all the ways you keep the good vibes coming. As the old adage goes, “it’s the little things that count.”

Organize an at-home spa experience

Southern Elegance Candles
Southern Elegance Candles use spa-like scents to create a calming effect.

Ready to wind down? A scented candle can be a great mood-setter – from the warm glow of the flame to the wafting fragrance that fills the atmosphere. Try a Spa Collection candle from Southern Elegance Candle Company, which uses spa-like scents such as eucalyptus and mint to stimulate your senses and create a calming effect for your mind and body.

A warm bath with bubbles or sea salts, or a scented shower, can take the good vibes up a notch at home and even become a ritual to keep the positive feelings consistent. Take it a step further and pair your bath with a soothing playlist to maximize the moment.

Try sharing the vibes with your kids with a bath bomb from Dabble & Dollop. These 100% natural bath bombs are designed to help children relax and have fun with a gentle and soothing bath-time experience.

Finally, skincare products and routines can help you unwind at home, too, in part by simulating mini-doses of the kind of care you’d get at a spa. Kiramoon Moon Globes are cooling facial rollers for your skin to relax, recharge, and relieve tension.

Feed your soul and mind

Core Values Journal from BestSelf
The Self Journal from BestSelf can help people overcome daily stress. 

Sometimes, enriching ourselves in less tangible, more creative, and almost spiritual ways is what we need to feel better. For some, this might mean meditating, or going on long, introspective walks in nature. But one popular, accessible option is journaling, and BestSelf can help you do it. The business helps people drive positive change in their lives through journaling, roadmaps, and activity decks meant to inspire conversations.

One of their offerings is a 13-week “Self Journal” planner to enable people to plan and organize their days, set and achieve goals, and overcome daily stress. Chronicling and celebrating wins, reflecting on lows, and writing down memories can put you in a better, more centered space.

Treat your taste buds

It’s no secret that food and snacks can generate good feelings, especially when you’re with loved ones. There’s nothing quite like passing around a bowl of popcorn between friends while watching a movie. If that sounds like your idea of a cozy night in, look no further than the goodies from Soul Popped, a gourmet popcorn seller with flavors inspired by cherished soul food dishes, like mac ‘n cheese, chicken and waffles, and banana pudding.

If you want to splurge a little more on something that will last a lifetime, treat yourself or your household to the stoneware bowls, mugs, and plates from United by Blue. Their glazed, hand-painted ceramic good will turn whatever you’re noshing on—whether it’s a bowl of berries or potato chips—into something just a little fancier.

Feel good from doing good

Helping others and doing good can boost our mood, and thankfully, buying certain products makes this easy to do. There are plenty of items for sale that make you look or feel good that can be a catalyst for doing good in the world – thanks to businesses tapping into social responsibility and philanthropy. Kiramoon donates a portion of every sale to a nonprofit raising awareness, understanding, and empathy for mental health, and United by Blue helps remove plastic trash from our oceans with every product purchased.

Amid stress and uncertainty, it’s even more important to take time to invest in self-care, including things that can spark joy that can also be shared with others.

1PayPay Wellness Omnibus Survey Results, February 2023

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