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However hard you try at anything, you often find yourself plateau. Whether it is losing weight, keeping fit or saving money. For some people this can send you straight back to square one if you’re not seeing any progress. That’s when I like to look at other cultures for inspiration to keep me motivated.
When we first discovered “hygge” it was when I was looking for a prompt for us all to sit together, phones off and just wind down on an evening before bed. Many parenting books recommend dimmed lighting, low volume, no electronics, reading together and general cosiness. This is to instil an atmosphere which makes children feel safe and secure. This settles them down, lowers their heart rate and calms them in time for bed.
Not long after having James I read about hygge in a magazine. My mum had heard about it on the radio and told me it was “my thing” too. That’s when my obsession began. If you’re going to become addicted to anything, hygge is probably your safest option!
So what is hygge?
Pronounced “hoo-ga”, hygge is a Danish concept which is taking the world by storm. But that storm would be outside, whilst you’re safe indoors. Perhaps under a wool blanket with a hot chocolate..? You see, its not possible to directly translate this word. The nearest thing I can do is describe a situation which conjures up warmth, security, cosiness, togetherness and contented happiness.
How do you hygge?
I think hygge could be a unique experience for each individual but there are definitely some common themes.
- Warm Drinks
- Low Lighting
- Open Fire
- A Warm Meal With Friends or Family
So how does that save us money?
Unless something exceptional comes up, every evening we have a family hygge hour. 6pm on the dot, the lights are dimmed or switched off, candles are lit and straight away we’re saving money on our electricity bill! An open fire (with fireguard obviously) creates a hyggelige glow and saves putting the central heating on too.
I’ve never really been a huge fan of messy nights out compared to most people I went to university with. The friends who enjoyed board game nights and hot chocolates were more likely to keep me company.
By inviting friends round, you’re saving money on travel, and there’s certainly no entrance fee like at some city centre venues! By sticking to warm drinks rather than high street bar prices there are huge financial savings to be made! Asking friends to bring snacks to share or cooking up a large chilli in a slow cooker potentially saves hundreds of pounds for you as a group. It is such a great benefit, especially as the cost of a night out can put some friends off coming out at all, so having a hygge night in really is the most inclusive thing you could do for your friends.
A hygge night in also saves us money on babysitters. We can put the boys to bed and then slope off back downstairs to either set up for a game of Monopoly by candlelight or a bonfire in the garden. The other night we even shared a bottle of wine whilst sat on blanket covered beanbags in my shed with the doors open and enjoyed the night air. No sore feet from wandering around town in high heels and only cost the price of a bottle of wine from Aldi!
Here’s a quick list of cheap and cheerful money saving hygge ideas…
This is a handy list, especially if you’re having a no spend month!
- Have a group crafting session: Learn a new skill like crocheting and you can make your own blankets, scarves, mittens and hats.
- Hold a pot luck dinner party: Spread the cost of a large meal.
- Have a board game night: Free fun includes everyone.
- Get wrapped up for a family walk on the beach: Fresh air and free exercise.
- Buy clothes from a charity shops: Help the environment by reducing waste and layer up to keep warm.
- Go foraging: Free food, fresh fruit and free exercise.
- Take a warm bath with your children: Reduce water usage, keep warm and enjoy splashing bubbles and making memories for your little ones.
- Volunteer for a local charity: Get the feel good factor and learn a new skill.
- Create a care package for a homeless shelter: Give thanks for what you do have and share your blessings with others.
- Have a visit to your local library: Free books, toys and community groups can fill your weekend with hygge times.
- Bake a cake for a neighbour: Get to know new people in your community. Everyone has a story and loneliness is the least hyggelig feeling there is.
If you’d like to learn more about Hygge, I highly recommend this book: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
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