16 Little Luxuries That Can Really Improve Your Quality of Life

You can still enjoy little luxuries on a tight budget, so find some ways to pamper yourself and improve your life.
Updated April 9, 2024
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man choosing and reading books in modern bookstore

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Sometimes you just need to treat yourself even if you’re on a budget. But not every treat has to be super expensive in order for you to enjoy it. Not everything has to be a luxury to make your life a little easier.

So feel free to treat yourself to these little luxuries that can improve your life while lowering your financial stress.

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Alextype/Adobe used books at the bookshop

If you like to read, a book is a great way to get lost in a story for a few hours without having to spend too much money. You can stick to your budget by shopping for books at a used bookstore instead of buying new books. 

You can also consider signing up for a library card to check out books for free from your local library.


zozzzzo/Adobe mixed flower bouquet still life detail

You don’t have to wait for someone else to give you flowers. Grab an affordable bouquet the next time you’re at the grocery store or another nearby retail store that sells them. They’re a great way to brighten up your day and can last for several days to give you some extra joy.


Pormezz/Adobe white pillows on the bed in loft style bedroom

You’re probably spending many hours every night in bed, so splurge and pay extra on high thread-count sheets. They may be softer and warmer than your typical sheets and could help you get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer if you’re having trouble with your sleep habits. Plus, they just feel good.

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FollowTheFlow/Adobe  home garden interior filled a lot of beautiful plants

You may be surprised to find that a little bit of green around your house can make your day more rosy. Check out your local nursery or a home improvement store with a garden section. 

And if you’re worried about keeping a plant alive, consider hearty plants that may not need much watering like a cactus.


chayathon2000/Adobe coffee latte in coffee shop cafe

Coffee drinkers have a variety of different options now, so spend a little extra money on a specific type or flavor of coffee that you particularly enjoy. You may also want to check on other options like special sugars or flavored creamers to make your coffee perfect in the morning.

And remember that even with the add-ons, coffee made at home may still be cheaper than one from a fancy coffee shop.

Vacation day

fizkes/Adobe couple enjoying cool conditioned air while resting on couch together

You may not have a major trip planned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a vacation day. Ask for a day off and then don’t do any work. Instead, you can hang out watching Netflix all day on your couch or catch up on a hobby. 

Maybe you want to meet a friend you haven’t seen in a while for lunch. A mental health day is a little luxury that can also help you recharge for another day at the office after that.

Road trip

magdal3na/Adobe couple in a car for a summer trip

Sometimes, it’s nice to just get in your car and drive. Especially if you get to save money on car insurance and can drive stress free. 

Perhaps there’s a nearby town you’ve been meaning to visit or a spot out in nature you’ve wanted to see. And you can aimlessly drive through some back roads to see the seasons change.


Teodor Lazarev/Adobe woman taking a nap on her sofa

Sometimes it’s the free luxuries that can make you happy. A good nap when you’re an adult can recharge you and help you get moving for the rest of the day. There’s nothing quite like hunkering down on your couch with a warm blanket and a good pillow for an hour or so to make you happy.


nenetus/Adobe woman listening to music with digital tablet while sitting on sofa

It may be a good idea to invest in a streaming music service so you can build a list of your favorite tunes or discover new artists to cheer you up. And with the resurgence of vinyl records, music buffs may want to get a good turntable and start investing in your favorite LPs to listen to when you’re home after a long day of work.

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Anton Ivanov Photo/Adobe European painter's picture gallery in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Some museums can get expensive when you check out the price of admission, but there are others that may not cost that much for a day with culture. And if there is a museum that costs money, see if they have free admission days or special free night events. You may be surprised at how many museums near you have free or affordable times to visit.

Happy hour

Davide Angelini/Adobe happy friends group cheering mojito drinks at cocktail bar restaurant

Your local restaurant or bar may have a happy hour when you can sample different foods for an affordable price or have a specialty drinks menu with low-cost options. Enjoy a drink and some buffalo wings while people-watching or invite a friend you haven’t seen for awhile to catch up on life.


DragonImages/Adobe  entrepreneur in loungewear sitting on sofa next to panoramic window

Compare prices to find the best deals on sweatpants, hoodies, and more. They’re the perfect garments to lounge around your house in while watching television or reading a good book. And you can wear them any time during the day or evening to get that warm cozy feeling.


Pixel-Shot/Adobe tasty cookies with chocolate chips on baking tray

Think about baking some sweet treats at home instead of having to run out and pay money for baked goods. If you’re looking for something simple, consider grabbing a box of brownie mix for an easy sweet fix. You can also make more complex projects to enjoy like cakes, cookies, pies, and more depending on what you enjoy.


amixstudio/Adobe hobby knitting macrame

If you’re a crafter, consider a trip to your favorite craft supply store for scrapbook paper, yarn, stamps, and other supplies to make fun crafts for yourself or others.

You can also take up a craft you haven’t tried yet if you want to learn something new. There are plenty of free instructional videos online to make it easier for you to pick up a new project.


Drobot Dean/Adobe woman holding cooking ladle spoon

Cooking is said to be therapeutical, not to mention a nutritious homemade meal is definitely something that improves anyone's quality of life.

Using a high-quality set of cookware can bring a lot of value to your cooking experience. It's a little luxury for the cook and those eating the food too.


Art_Photo/Adobe senior couple enjoy eating healthy breakfast together

Who doesn't love a Sunday brunch? Mimosas, coffee, avocado toast, scrambled eggs, croissants, fresh fruits, omelets, pancakes, perhaps a croque-madame with a salad on the side? The list can go on and on.

Whether you make it at home or go out to eat, the delight of brunch is not just in the many delicious food options that mix breakfast and lunch, but in the fact that you are usually in no rush and get to share this meal with your loved ones.

Bottom line

lizaelesina/Adobe man learning knitting on needles

They may not boost your bank account, but little luxuries don’t have to bust it either. It’s a good idea to sit down with a budget and find some extra cash that you can use to help you pay for those little luxuries that put a smile on your face and make your day a little easier.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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