No, hygge is not an Icelandic yogurt. Hygge is the Danish concept that means “coziness”. It’s pronounced “hoo-gah”. It’s not just about feeling cozy under a warm blanket on the couch, it’s more of a state of mind. It’s about improving your psychological well-being through slowing down, surrounding yourself with warmth and comfort, and spending time with people who make you happy.
I had never heard of hygge before a couple weeks ago. But then Emilie Aries of Bossed Up shared a video about it and Alisha Ramos of Girls’ Night In posted on Instagram that she was reading about it. Then all weekend, my fiance and I obsessed over how we could make our home more hygge-like. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I need more comfort, warmth, and softness in my life and home. And then, of course, my next thought was: that’s expensive! I don’t want hygge to only be available to those with plenty of money. I want everyone to experience hygge! So if you’re on a budget, here are some ways you can still incorporate hygge into your home and daily life.
Get clear on what you need
What would make you feel enough hygge in your life? What do you yearn for? For me, especially now that I’m living in an old, drafty house, it’s important to feel warm and comfortable. Some solutions will be to buy wool socks (which I just ordered!), drink tons of tea, get a couple soft throw blankets for the couch, and wear plenty of scarves. If you get clear on what you think will make you feel the most hygge, you will be more likely to find satisfaction.
You don’t have to buy brand new things in order for them to be cozy. Some of my favorite sweaters have come from Goodwill. And why spend hundreds of dollars (or more) on new furniture when you can buy it used for much less? Hit up your local thrift store or look on Craigslist or Freecycle for used couches, armchairs, blankets, and sweaters.
Shop the discount section
Have you ever been to the sale section in Marshalls? It’s the only place in a store that I feel completely drawn to. I could buy everything from that section if I had the money and/or space. They often have throw pillows, blankets, snacks, tea, candles, and more. And the best part is that these items are far more affordable than they would be otherwise. So seek out the discount section in your favorite stores. You never know what gems you might find.
Create a hygge fund
If you know you want to upgrade areas of your home or life, but can’t afford it at the moment, save up! Open a bank account that is specifically for making your life more hygge. You may have to do a little research about how much money you’ll need, based on what you’re envisioning. You can automate savings from your paycheck, or you can use apps like Digit to save as you spend on other things.
Choose one hygge space to start with
Sometimes, it’s important to start small. That’s especially true when you’re trying to make overarching changes in your life. To make this hygge dream reality, pick one part of your home to start with. Maybe it’s a cozy corner in your living room. Maybe it’s a reading nook in your bedroom. Maybe you want all of your winter clothes to be just a little bit warmer and softer. Pick one priority area to start with.
If you want to learn more about hygge, check out the book The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. I personally can’t wait to read it!
What will you be doing to bring more hygge into your life? Share in the comments!
Certified Financial Education Instructor. Feminist and financial coach for women. Founder of Money Circle.