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20 Ways to Buy Happiness for $1

Updated on October 13, 2010
Break Open The Piggy Bank for Happiness
Break Open The Piggy Bank for Happiness | Source

You CAN buy happiness… and it’s cheap!

Although you may not be able to afford your dream getaway or the new sports car that you’ve been eyeing in magazines, $20 cash in your pocket can buy many small bits of happiness and satisfaction. Here are twenty ways to lift your spirits for a dollar or less:

  1. Buy a photo print. You probably have a collection of digital photos that you’ve never gotten around to printing. Pick your favourite photo and take it to your local print shop to have it printed as a 5” x 7” to stick on your fridge to make you smile every day.
  2. Buy a kid some candy. Although the days of the penny candy may be gone, you can still get a decent amount of nickel and dime candy for $1 and the smiling face of a child is sure to lift your spirits.
  3. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line at the drive thru. The ultimate ‘pay it forward’ moment doesn’t cost you much, and you’ll be surprised how good you feel as you drive off.
  4. Buy new wallpaper for your desktop. You spend hours at your computer, so wouldn’t it be nice to have something restful or exciting to look at? There are a lot of great computer wallpaper sites that accept donations in exchange for beautiful high-resolution graphics.
  5. Buy a lottery ticket. $1 can buy a ticket to your dreams, if you put aside 5 minutes to plan how you’ll spend your winnings.
  6. Buy a clean desk. Visit your local dollar store to buy a package of antibacterial wipes for $1 and spend five minutes reorganizing and cleaning your desk and computer. A clean workspace refreshes you mind and leaves you ready to tackle your work.
  7. Buy some karma. Although a dollar doesn’t seem like a lot, for most food banks in the United States, it represents 1/3rd of the cost of a day’s food for a person who is down on their luck. Smile as you donate your dollar and recognize that you’re helping those less fortunate.
  8. Buy a black marker. There’s something about a fresh black marker that makes you want to write down your best ideas. And think of all the times that you’ve needed on and didn’t have one! Whether you’re tagging your kids’ clothes or labelling leftovers for the fridge, markers make you feel more organized.
  9. Buy fun fridge magnets. You probably see you fridge 3-4 times per day and if you’re tired at looking at the free plumbing and airconditioning magnets you got in the mail, pitch them out and replace with cheerful magnets to hold your kids artwork and bills.
  10. Buy a dog or cat treat. If you’re an animal lover, pick up an inexpensive cat or dog treat at your local pet shop and spend 5 minutes spoiling and cuddling your pet.
  11. Buy a book. Most local thrift stores sell paperbacks for under a dollar – sometimes you can even get a stack of books for $.10 each! Reading a half hour a day helps you escape into a fantasy world or tweaks your mind with new information.
  12. Buy a cinnamon bun. Studies show that the smell of cinnamon produces feelings of hominess and satisfaction, and the sugar of this treat will perk you up temporarily.
  13. Buy a new mousepad for your computer. Mouse pads get ratty (no pun intended) very quickly and harbour bacteria. Pick up a cheap mousepad at your local technology store, or ask for a promotional one for free!
  14. Buy post-it notes for your bedside table. Have you ever had a great idea in the middle of the night, which has disappeared by morning? Or have you just been dozing off when you remember you have to do something tomorrow, then it keeps you up for another hour worrying you’ll forget it? Jot your night time thoughts down and eliminate the stress of forgetting.
  15. Buy a scented candle. Most dollar stores sell scented candles for a buck. Light one in your living room or home office to lift your mood instantly.
  16. Buy a pack of seeds. If you’ve always wanted to flex your green thumb, but didn’t think you had the knack, pick up a pack of easy-to-grow cat grass, marigolds or chives and plant in your garden or in a pot in your home. Growing plants is an easy way to practice patience and reconnect with nature.
  17. Buy a greeting card. Dollar stores often have greeting cards for $1 or less. Buy a simple “Thinking of You” card and mail it to a friend to thank them for being in your life. You have to be a good friend to get good friends and chances are you’ll get a thank you card right back.
  18. Buy a clean car. If you spend more time commuting than you do relaxing, buy 2 minutes on the local gas stations’ vacuum and clean your car out. Getting into a neat vehicle every morning puts you in the organized frame of mind as you get to work.
  19. Buy a loaf of bread. Take a loaf of dried bread to your local park or waterway and feed the birds. Enjoy the crisp fall air, changing leaves, and help a whole flock of Canadian Geese on their migration south for just a $1.
  20. Buy a flower. You don’t need a whole dozen roses to enjoy the simplicity and perfection of a single bloom. Most florist shops will sell single flowers for $1 or less. Place in a simple vase on your desk to lift your spirits through the work day.

Use one or more of these tips throughout your week to add to your happiness and satisfaction and you'll be amazed at the difference!


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    • AllisonSchnur profile image

      AllisonSchnur 6 years ago from Orlando

      These are such cute ideas! It's great to enjoy the little things in life :)

    • profile image

      harshala 7 years ago

      you are so cute and sweet as ever sharron.. remember one day you told that you bought coffee for person behind u in drive thru.. i do it sometimes and it really feels good ! I also remember tims certificate u gave for everyone in the office ... thats so sweet ..