Like a high-school chemistry experiment gone horribly awry, the economy is imploding before our eyes. Credit is drying up faster than a gob of spit in the Sahara. The home-foreclosure rate continues to skyrocket -- and, unfortunately, that's the ONLY American thing being sent into space these days! People are losing their jobs or nervous about keeping them; and for those who aren't working (including yours truly) jobs are harder to find than a CEO who admits wrongdoing and gives his ill-gotten gains back!
Gulp! No wonder we're all nervous about spending any more money than absolutely necessary. No more expensive dinners out. No more new outfits "just because." No more daylong visits to pricey spas. No more "luxury" vacations.
BUT, here's the good news: There are still plenty of ways to have fun, connect with others, and forget your worries for a little while -- without impacting your wallet. Here are a few ideas and suggestions; feel free to add your own.
1. Curl up on the sofa in front of the telly -- with your loved one(s) and a bowl of home-cooked popcorn. Now that the new TV season is under way, you don't even need to spend money on a movie rental, although that certainly is an economical option, too!
2. Invite some friends over for a casual, inexpensive potluck. Challenge everyone to bring a dish that serves 6 for less than $10. Eat, socialize, and pull out some of those dusty party games.
3. Have your own "spa" day -- with a pal or with your honey. Use inexpensive drug-store supplies to give each other massages, facials, and pedicures (see my blog entry "Touch THIS" for a how-to on giving a killer foot massage!).
4. Seduce your lover. Don a sexy outfit, put on some mood music, light some candles, and start with a long, slow, deep kiss.
5. Enjoy the great outdoors and the lovely, cool, fall weather: Go for a walk on the beach or in the nabe. Get on your bike and hit the local park. After all, it's a proven fact that exercise raises those mood-enhancing endorphins!