As a young adult, it is important to fuel your body and implement self-care into your daily routine. Whether you’re still in college or living a post-graduation ‘adulting’ lifestyle, eating healthy, practicing mindfulness and exercising on a daily basis is imperative to feeling your absolute best. However, practicing a healthy lifestyle can get pricey very quickly and it’s normal to have a limited amount of money to spend at this stage in life. Unless you have a job or side hustle in college, you might be depending on your parents for additional income. If you’re struggling to live a healthy lifestyle on a budget, check out these seven tips to begin your path towards controlled spending and better health.
- Knowing Your Needs vs. Wants
More often than not, students spend more money on things they want instead of budgeting towards items they need. Determine the cause of your spending habits by reviewing your monthly bank statement. Analyze your spending categories to see if your daily latte habit is taking up too much of your budget. Once you understand how often your money is spent and on what, it can motivate you to save more for the essentials, like groceries, textbooks and other school supplies.
- Cut Out Unnecessary Costs
Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and other entertainment apps require a subscription and charge an account on a monthly basis. If you catch yourself using less a certain service, make sure to unsubscribe or delete your account to avoid unnecessary charges. Also, cracking down on any loans you may have as early as possible is never a bad decision either.
- Limit Eating Out
Going out to eat with your roommates, stopping at a café for coffee and ordering food for delivery are all costly food options that can easily be eliminated from your spending. Instead of ordering food that costs more than it’s worth, try grocery shopping in bulk and planning budget friendly meals ahead of time. Purchase foods that are healthy, like fresh fruit and vegetables. Food items don’t have to be bought organically to be nutritious, so always look at the ingredients instead of the label.
- Communicate With Your Family
Going to college is a fantastic opportunity and a great way to personally grow, and it is vital to take both your physical and mental health into consideration. When you’re away at college, there is not a doubt that your family members miss you - and most likely it’s more than you think. When you have some down time, make it a priority to call your family members. This is a task that is so simple, cost free and one that can greatly benefit your well-being. Whether it’s to say a simple “hi” or to talk about your experience at school, this can make both you and your family members smile and help reduce stress levels.
- Organize Your Dorm Room or Apartment
When things get a bit crazy with school work and studying, it’s easy to fall behind on the cleanliness of your dorm or living space. Not only does cleaning and organizing help with stress and your mental health, but donating things that you no longer use or want, or rearranging your furniture can be a great form of self-care. Plus, it can make your bedroom or living space look completely different without you having to go out and buy any new decorations or furniture.
- Walk Outside At Least Once a Day
Make a stroll around campus or a walk through a local park one of your daily responsibilities. This costless activity is great for relieving stress and anxiety, and is an amazing way to reflect on certain things that could be overwhelming your mind. Along with the mental health benefits of exercising, walking is a great way to burn off calories. Don’t be afraid to bring your friends along too!
- Download a Planner App
With technology and cell phones that are smarter than ever, apps are becoming more popular for completing daily tasks. To stay organized when you’re on the go, download a free management app that can set reminders for your to-do’s, and alert you of appointments for school and personal obligations. That way you will have a personal assistant right at your fingertips. Try setting reminders for tests or projects a few weeks in advance so you can avoid a last-minute rush to get everything done.
Alli C. has a passion for raising financial awareness among young adults through writing inspirational content. When she isn’t writing, she loves to hike and spend time with her family and dogs.