Seven tips for living life to the fullest on a budget


    By Michelle Yu

    Inflation has been sky-high for the last year and we’ve all been feeling the pinch. In our household, I’m always looking for ways to tighten the belt so that I can spend on what matters most. From socialising, to physical and mental health, to entertainment, there are so many things that bring fulfilment to our lives. The question is, how can we get all these on a budget?

    I know you resourceful people have all found ways to help you last year; here are seven how-tos that I hope will give you some new ideas so you can live life to the fullest.


    Fun house party on a budget – meeting up at a friend’s house doesn’t have to be dull and drab. Spice up the night with a potluck dinner featuring everyone’s absolute favourite dish, explore DIY craft, or put on a talent show. There are plenty of great party ideas, like free murder mystery games for the group (for example at There are also many card games to play; a new pack can cost as little as $3 from some discount stores and you can hunt them down even cheaper at your local op shop. Socialising doesn’t need to be more expensive than a night alone at home!


    Want to pick up a hobby but it’s just too expensive to learn? No need to spend hundreds of dollars on classes – from sketching, writing, knitting, music and more, free online tutorials are your friend. There are tons of free videos on YouTube: simply search ‘how to’ or ‘tutorial’, and you’ll find tutorial videos that thousands of others have watched and found helpful. You could get started with a search like ‘drawing tutorial’ or ‘how to cook easy dinner recipes’.


    Work free fitness into your week. Good physical health saves you thousands in medical care, and ensures you have as much mobility as possible. And it doesn’t involve expensive exercise equipment that you’ll only use once and never again – walking in a park, at the beach, or even around your neighbourhood comes with no added cost. Find walking too boring? Pair your walk or run with free music on YouTube, or a meditation video to connect with your emotional health, like a beautifully-serene one by Wildwood Mindfulness at, they also have plenty of meditation videos on their channel.


    Boost your brain health – very important!. Check out your local library – our libraries loan out free books and ebooks, and some of them even have movies and DVDs. Whether you can make it in person to the library or prefer to access options online, there is material that you can enjoy. Sign up to your local library for free today, and enrich your knowledge!


    Attend free events. For example, Eventbrite is a large platform where members of the public can find events that suit their interests. From arts and cultural events, hobbies, food and drink and music, to self-development, Eventbrite has both local, Melbourne-wide, online, and free events. Check them out at – set your filter to ‘Free’ to find all free events, though they have paid events too. Have fun and stay safe!


    Create joy with DIY gift swaps. Choose from homemade biscuits or treats, customised photo albums to celebrate your shared experiences and friendships, handwritten letters or poems, or personalised recipe pamphlets where you share your favourite recipes, and so much more. Check out websites like DIY Joy’s 100 Cheap DIY Gifts To Make For Under $5 ( for more ideas!


    Need to do something expensive? Sometimes, we just want to do or buy something that costs money. That’s where planning your expenditures comes in. First, write a list of things or experiences that you want. Then, narrow it down and choose the most important or meaningful to you, so you can get the most bang for your buck. Be bold with your options, and don’t be afraid to spend some time deciding!

    If there’s any of these things you haven’t done before, I hope you give them a try and get something out of it!

    Explore safely, connect with your needs, and have fun!

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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