The new year is a great time to set goals and make changes for the better. Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to get healthier and save money. As a college student, these two goals can be hard to dial in. Like all goals, these require dedication and commitment. However, becoming healthier and learning to save money doesn’t need to be complicated and they can be accomplished at the same time.
Take a moment to think about what you purchase that isn’t good for your health or your budget. Depending on your habits, different things might come to mind. How often do you go out for drinks? Whether those drinks are alcohol or coffee. How often are you eating out or having food delivered? How often are you smoking?
Do you know how much money you’re spending on drinks, eating out, and smoking per month? I guarantee that it is more than you think. Let’s start the new year off right and focus on our health and wealth.
It’s Expensive To Go Out For Drinks
Buying drinks, whether it is alcohol or coffee is very expensive. Those fancy cocktails and blended frappes add up quickly making drinking an expensive habit. The average price of a cocktail is $10 and the average price of a Grande Frappuccino is $4.40. You may not notice it at the time but how much you spend on drinks over a semester may surprise you.
Drinking And Your Health
Both drinks contain no nutritional value and are empty calories. Alcohol contains around seven calories a gram, that’s almost as many as pure fat. Blended drinks like frappes are loaded with empty calories and are high in sugar. These beverages will sneak up on your waistline and your wallet.
Alcohol Spending Calculator
ReThinkingDrinking has a great Alcohol Spending Calculator that allows you to calculate what you spend weekly, monthly, and yearly. You can also plug in your coffee drinks to see what you are spending on them too.
Think about how much money you could save if you purchase fewer drinks, not to mention how much healthier you would be. Drinks add up quickly. If you are out with friends 1 day a week and have 3 drinks that cost an average of $9.00 you are spending $1,404.00 a year.
On the times you do go out, limit how many drinks you order. Try and make your drink last. The best way to do this is to sip your drinks. Have a glass of sparkling water in between drinks.
Reduce Eating Out
For many college students eating out isn’t always about being hungry. Eating out is a huge part of socializing as college students like to hang out around a meal. Grabbing a quick bowl of ramen at lunch, pizza for dinner or a midnight snack with friends and classmates may not seem like a lot of money at the time. However, while those get-togethers with friends are fun, they are not good for your student budget.
Watch out for food deliveries because they really add up too. When you order through a delivery app, you pay multiple parties. This can include the driver, the delivery service, tips, and in many cases, you pay extra fees to the restaurants. They are notorious for marking prices up for meal delivery services.
You can save a lot of money by fixing your own meals and they will be significantly healthier. By cooking for yourself, you control the ingredients that go into your meals. You also control how they are cooked, which means you can make your meals healthier by staying away from fried or greasy foods.
If you want to hang out and socialize you can organize a dinner at your house. Put together a taco or potato bar where everyone brings a fixing. It can be fun to see what your friends bring. As a college student, a home-cooked meal is hard to come by so it will be appreciated by all. Save eating out for special occasions, not daily eating.
Stop Smoking Or Vaping
One of the best ways to get healthier for the new year and save a lot of money is to stop smoking or vaping. This is going to be a hard one, but it’s so important to your health and bank account. Let me put things in perspective for you.
Smoking and vaping are unhealthy habits. Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, including your heart. Nearly one-third of deaths from heart disease are the result of smoking and secondhand smoke. Additionally, nicotine is a highly addictive toxic substance. It raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack.
There has been an outbreak of lung injuries and deaths associated with vaping. At the beginning of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 2,807 cases of e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and 68 deaths attributed to that condition. It is projected that these numbers will increase.
Not only is smoking unhealthy, but it’s also expensive. The cost of smoking or vaping greatly depends on how much you smoke, what you smoke, and what state you live in. To find out how much of your money is going up in smoke SmokeFree.gov has a How Much Will You Save Calculator.
Developing Good Habits
Developing good habits in college can allow you to save money and become healthier. Good habits are fundamental to physical, psychological, and emotional wellness. They also allow you to live your best life long after you graduate.
Many college students struggle to develop good habits. Knowing how to develop good habits while in college will not only ensure your academic success but success in other aspects of your life including personal, financial, and career. See How To Develop Good Habits In College To Succeed for daily habits that you can commit to that will put you on the path to creating lifelong success.