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How To Survive A Great Depression Budget Without Getting Depressed

How To Survive A Great Depression Budget Without Getting Depressed

My 4 Point Cheat Sheet For Surviving A Great Depression Budget Without Becoming Depressed.

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Today I want to talk about how to survive a super strict, Great Depression style budget, without getting depressed.  Strict budgets can be hard to live with, I am not going to lie.  If you read The Makeup Equation, you know that I actually don't even like, (detest is a better word), budgets - see my post, 10 Ways To Sucker Punch Bad Spending Habits In The Throat, for more on how much I loathe them.  That being said, sometimes, for whatever the reasons are, you just gotta stick to one.  Below I am going to give you my four secrets for surviving a super strict, Great Depression style budget, without getting depressed.  Let's get ready to throw that prescription for anti-depressant meds in the trash!


Below I am going to list for you my four secrets to surviving a horribly strict, incredibly unfun and downright miserable, Great Depression era style budget.  If you read The Makeup Equation, you know that we are a family of five surviving on one income that is nowhere close to six figures.  My husband's work is somewhat seasonal in nature, so we have to endure large swings and changes in income during the year.  I have personally done all of the things I am about to list for you at different points in my life during tough financial seasons and I am happy to tell you that these things work and that I was able to survive without suffering depression.   

Without further ado, let's get into the four ways to stop depression in its tracks during tough financial times:

1. Buy yourself little jewelry luxuries from eBay.

woman wearing pretty cute rings

I am listing my very best secret first for you guys.  You are probably wondering why on earth my first step has anything to do with buying, and especially buying jewelry luxuries, if this is a post for someone on a strict budget.  Please let me explain.  

A few years ago, I found myself having to endure an extremely strict budget.  I was pregnant with my third child, and we had just come out of dealing with lots of car problems, which as most of you know, can completely drain your bank account in a jiffy.  We also lived in a small house located in a very cold area where the sun rarely shined, and it wasn't even that safe to go outside because two our neighbors had aggressive dogs that they let roam onto other's yards.  On top of all of this, I was also suffering from serious morning sickness, (and night sickness), which I always had very badly during the first trimester of all of my pregnancies.  In a nutshell, I was on a fast train headed on a one way track into the dark tunnels of depression.  This is when I discovered eBay, and I truly believe God let me find this site just at the right time to prevent me from going straight into deep depression.  

Most of you have heard of eBay I'm sure, but here's what many of you may not know:  You can buy very cute gold-plated jewelry from overseas for literally pennies.  I am not making this up.  You can buy earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and more, all for less than $1.  You read that right, for less than ONE dollar!  When I discovered this, I could barely believe it.  I ordered one item to test things out, and I was thrilled with the quality that I received.  I  then ordered a few more items, all literally for pennies, and I was really happy with them as well. I then started to spend hours on eBay at night when I couldn't sleep, searching for the best deals, trying to win really cute jewelry on auctions.  I found it really fun and rewarding. 

Here's the take away idea:  When you feel like you cannot spend a single penny on yourself, it gets pretty depressing, and that a totally normal thing!  It is especially hard on moms who give and give of themselves day after day but never have any time or money for self care and pampering.  If you are in this situation, let me suggest sending yourself some cute little jewelry or other accessories - you can find headbands, scarves, makeup bags, and more in about the same price range - every month.  It will be like a subscription box to yourself, except it will be costing you pennies.  I like to call it the anti-depression subscription box and it even has its own hashtag- #antidepressionbox!  I used to get a high every time I received one of these little jewelry packages in the mail.  This stuff is so cheap that you can order enough so that you get one or two every month, though keep in mind they can take about a month to arrive, so always order in advance.  At some point, you will feel like you have so much jewelry that you will start to lose interest, but by the time that happens, I bet you will also realize that the financial situation has improved and that you are also out of the window for depression.  

If you do order jewelry from eBay, let me give you one tip - only ordered stuff that says "gold-plated" because the finish will not wear off.  Anything that says its any percent sterling silver will wear off extremely quickly.  I only buy white-gold or yellow gold-plated items.  

2.  Start a blog.

woman typing on laptop

This is my second best secret to fighting off depression that is caused by financially restrictive budgets.  What does starting a blog have to do with any of this?  Let me explain.  I had three children in five years.  By the time the third made his entrance, I was starting to feel completely lost in a sea of constant diaper changes and breastfeeding sessions.  I literally was losing myself, drowning quietly but quickly in a never ending sea of monotonous motherhood tasks.  This is pretty depressing.  Starting a blog helped my find my voice again.  It helped remind me who I am, what my hobbies and passion are, and it even helped me learn some things about myself I hadn't thought about before.  In a few words, starting a blog brought me back to life!  So, if you are fighting depression, there is nothing I can recommend to you more than to start your own blog.


The second reason I recommend starting a blog to avoid depression while on a super strict budget is because when you are blogging, you are not shopping!!  Blogs take a ridiculous amount of time - see my post, My Top 9 Tips For Monetizing Your Blog, for more on this and how to start a profitable blog.  This means that all those hours you spend working on your blog will be hours that you are not spending money.  You will be having fun finding yourself, not browsing isles of stores.  Further, there is real money to be made from blogging and many companies will even send you products to review for free - see my post, 5 Ways ShareASale Changed My Life, for more on some great brands I am an affiliate of that will send you items for free to promote.  All of this translates into a win-win for you.  Starting a blog will keep you from spending money you don't have, and it will also help you find your voice, make money, and get free products.  

If you do not currently have a blog or website, you can get very affordable hosting through this company: BlueHost.com.  This is a popular web hosting company that offers affordable rates for hosting your blog that start at just $3.95/month.  

3.  Exercise.

two women running on a road

The power of endorphins should never be underestimated!  Endorphins are those feel good chemicals in your brain such as serotonin.  Exercise produces lots of these feel good chemicals.  I cannot tell you how many times exercise has kept me from sliding down the slippery slope of depression, especially during the winter months.  

I live in the northern hemisphere where we have all four seasons, and I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD.  See my post, Seasonal Affective Disorder Picture Test & 9 Ways To Cope If You Are SAD, to learn more about this condition and how to cope.  I have a really tough time during the winter months especially.  Studies have shown that changes occur to the brains of SAD sufferers as early as August.  It's no surprise that I start to feel depressed come mid August.  Because I suffer from the fall and winter blues, exercise is crucial to helping me avoid depression.  

If you are on a strict budget, you probably cannot escape the dreariness and cold of winter by going shopping for a few hours at a mall.  The next best thing is to exercise.  It doesn't really matter what type it is, though cardiovascular does release more endorphins, but just pick something you enjoy and do it!  For me, it's running on my treadmill.  Even 15 minutes of slow running does wonders for my mind.  Do whatever you can for as long as you can.  I love to listen to upbeat music when I workout and I find that I always exercise a little longer when I do.  For more exercise tips and tricks, see my post, 4 Fastest Ways To Lose Weight For The New Year.

4.  Have lots of sex.

couple kissing

Yes, you read that one right.  What on earth does that have to do with surviving a depression style budget?  Well, cuddling and sex produces those feel good chemicals we talked about in my third point.  Did you know that they say that sex even once a week is the mind equivalent to getting a raise?  If you have been pregnant, you probably have heard the word "oxytocin" a time or two.  Oxytocin is that chemical that binds people together.  It's produced when baby and mama hold each other tight, and it's also produced when daddy and mommy hold each other tight.  Oxytocin is shown to be vital to mental health and the more your brain produces of it, the less prone you will be to slipping into depression.

Here's another less obvious reason why you should have a lot of sex with your spouse when you can't spend money.  People often end up developing resentment against their spouse for not being able to spend and indulge themselves when they desire.  Feelings of resentment can cause friction in a marriage and will push the marriage partners further away from each other.  This separation can lead to depression and even divorce if not properly dealt with.  

Do you know the single easiest and best way to squash feeling of resentment in your marriage??  Yep, you probably guessed it -  its sex!  It's pretty hard to hold resentment against a person you are having a lot of sex with.  You will either lose the desire to have sex in the first place, or you will lose the feeling of resentment with all that sex.  Sex with your spouse will help kill those feelings of resentment and prevent depression.  It will also help keep you feeling happy even when you cannot spend a dime.  


I hope you enjoyed my four point checklist on how to survive a Great Depression budget without becoming depression.  If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy my other articles on saving money and living frugal.  You can view all those articles under my page, Saving Money, which can always be found at the top of my site.  You may also enjoy some of my mental health and mom life articles, which can be found in my pages, Mental Health and Motherhood.  You can view all my pages at the top of my site, please make sure to view in desktop version to see the pages.

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Just a makeup mama who loves to play, and slay, with her makeup.  Learn my beauty secrets and explore my world at: The Makeup Equation

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