Recently at work a member of our team came across an article about how much someone spends on ‘wellness’ every month (it was £360) and it got me thinking about how much I spend on self-care and wellness.
I’ve talked about my feelings towards the wellness industry before, and particularly how it’s so geared towards the privileged. And after reading that article, I stand by that. Someone who can afford £360 a month on wellness is privileged to be able to do that, and hey – good for them. I would probably do the same if I was in their position.
And I know that I’m also in a privileged position to be able to spend what I do on ‘wellness’… I’m just perhaps a bit closer to ground level than those you read about in those articles.
So I thought it could be quite interesting to unpack how much I do spend, whether or not I think it’s worth the investment and what I would be willing to spend more money on.
I know money is a tricky subject and I would never ever want to shame anyone for how much or little they spend on self-care, we all have different priorities and different needs. The beauty of self-care, to me, is that a lot of it can be free (or at least cheap).
The self-care items I’m discussing in this post don’t include things like food, shower gel or dentist appointments. I’m looking at the ‘extra’ things. The things that aren’t strictly necessary, but the things I’m happy to pay for every month.
Let’s take a look at what my monthly cost is then hey?
I have quite a lot of subscriptions, including Amazon Prime and Netflix. As it turns out, I also have quite a few self-care subscriptions on the go too…
Calm app = £3.75 per month (charged annually)
I resisted subscribing to the Calm app for a long time, but last year I got really into their sleep stories and had exhausted the free options, so decided to bite the bullet and pay for full access. And I have to say, for me it’s worth the cost. I only use the app for its sleep stories (although there’s lots of other features!) but I use it every night to help me sleep.
I really struggle to drop off to sleep in silence and used to fall asleep with the TV on before I moved in with Dan. So, using my headphones and having a gentle voice lulling me to sleep is an ideal solution for now.
Headspace app = £5.99 per month (charged annually)
I’ve had the Headspace app on my phone for a couple of years now, but again last year I had gotten bored of the free content and subscribed to their annual plan. I would say this is worth the money for me. I try to meditate at least four times a week, and the variety of meditation packs available makes it valuable in my eyes.
I’m currently working through the creativity pack which I’m loving, and also found the anxiety pack super helpful.
Ekhart yoga = £10.95 per month (charged monthly)
This is my most extravagant subscription and, ironically, the one I use least. I aim to practice yoga twice a week. I do sometimes wonder if I could cut this one and use Youtube for free yoga classes…but, there is something about having access to so many classes where I can search by style, duration, teacher and ability level with a couple of clicks.
I have a dashboard with my favourite classes and can take part in programmes they run. I guess I’ve settled into a bit of a comfort zone and love knowing exactly what to expect.
If I needed to really cut back on money, this would probably be the first subscription to go, but right now it gives me a lot in terms of physical and mental wellbeing, so I’m not willing to give it up just yet.
Other self-care costs
Aside from these regular outgoings, I have other ad-hoc costs monthly. There may well be other things I’ve forgotten here, but these are the self-care costs that come to mind.
Books (depends on book, generally between £7 – £20)
I consider reading a big part of my self-care routine. Carving out time to read is an important way for me to switch off and relax, especially when I get myself tucked up in bed early to read before sleeping.
I’m not sure how often I buy books, but I’ve estimated that I buy one every couple of months and they tend to cost between £7 and £20. I do try and make sure I’ve read the books in my ‘to-read’ pile before buying a new one, but the temptation is hard sometimes!
When I’ve finished a book, if I know I won’t read it again I try to make sure I pass it on to someone else. Often I’ll take it into work and see if any colleagues want it. This way I don’t end up with books taking over our small flat.
Bath salts (£4.99 for a big bag which lasts at least a month)
This is more of a shared cost, because Dan and I both use bath salts. In fact I was just using his for a while until I realised that it might be nice if I bought the next bag! But the ones we get aren’t expensive, about £4.99 for a big bag that lasts at least a month.
They make baths just that little bit more special and as someone who enjoys a good soak, it’s a cost I’m willing to pay.
Going out for coffee (£12 – £40 per month, depending on food/snacks!)
This is quite a specific one, because I wouldn’t consider buying a coffee in itself an act of self-care necessarily… but if I’m going out to a cafe to enjoy a quiet coffee with a book, then it becomes a ritual and contributes to my wellbeing.
I tend to do this at least once a week, usually at the weekend in one of my favourite cafes in Guildford. The cost will depend on what else I buy with my coffee, sometimes I’ll get lunch too or a brownie, so this ramps up the cost a little.
Again, this is a little luxury that, if push came to shove, I could easily cut out. In fact, Dan and I had to cut it out a few months ago when we found ourselves falling a little too deep into our overdrafts. But now we’re back on solid-ish ground, it’s a small luxury we can afford. We just try and avoid getting lunch out every weekend and keep it to one coffee for the most part.
Total cost of self-care for a month = £50
This is a very rough number as the cost will fluctuate, but it’s a good indicator of how much I spend. Looking at the number, it’s not actually as high as I thought it would be. I’m pretty comfortable with it and it’s helpful to lay it out like this and see what I could cut if I needed to, and how much I use the things I pay for.
It’s also interesting to think about what I would spend more money on if I could. If there was a convenient yoga class near me, I would go to that on top of my home practice. I would get ongoing coaching supervision if I could. I would invest in therapy and get regular massages…
But then I also think about how much joy I get from my existing self-care practice and the things that money can’t buy (time connecting with loved ones, feeling the sun on my skin, going for a walk in nature) and I realise that actually, I’m happy where I am.
I hope that was an interesting read, I always find it fascinating to see what other people prioritise when it comes to self-care investments. Do you know how much you spend on self-care? Knowing what an effect it has on my mental and physical health, I’m more than happy spending what I spend on it.
If you’re thinking of investing more on self-care and think guidance on the subject is where you’d like to spend the money, do take a look at my self-care strategy session offer and see if it could suit you. Coaching and therapy can be some of the most valuable investments we make.
Let me know in the comments if this post has spurred you to consider your self-care costs and whether or not you’re happy with what you spend.
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