Growing up is hard and even though I’ve spent my whole life dreaming about what it would be like to be an adult, I never imagined this is what it would be like. I guess the truth is, when you’re a child you don’t take into consideration all the extra things that make you a real…adult! Although to be completely honest, I am no where close to being a full adult yet. I still live under my parents roof when I’m not at school and all of my expenses are paid for. I count myself lucky and grateful every single day that they do all they do for me.
First of all, having to cook for yourself can be a huge struggle!! Even though at home I would cook a lot for my family and myself, it’s a whole other story when you live by yourself, or in my case with roommates. Groceries are actually really expensive and it was so hard for myself to keep track of how much money I was spending on food. It’s a different type of freedom when you’re allowed to eat whatever you want and there isn’t anyone telling you not to buy that bag of salt and vinegar potato chips (I love these!) So, I decided to give myself a budget every week for groceries of maximum $50. However, I realized there were weeks that I only spent $30 and weeks were I spent $50. Having a maximum budget gave me something to work with and allowed me to not buy food mindlessly.
Second of all, I think it’s really important to meal plan. I like to make a large salad every Sunday night that will last me for the week. I usually cook up either quinoa or couscous salad because those are a lot heartier and you can add more ingredients to it. I love to add a load of vegetables to my salad like tomatoes, onions, broccoli..etc. To be honest whatever vegetables I have in the fridge, I will most likely throw it in my salad. As for dressing, I like to use lemon or lime juice with a little bit of olive oil and salt. As for meat, during the week I will usually buy some sort of deli meat and eat that with my salad. There are so many things you can easily make for the week especially with something like ground beef, tofu…there are so many options! Even pasta! I would love to make a post on meal planning soon! During the week, with a busy class schedule, it is really hard to keep up with cooking and I end up eating cold pizza every night. The reality is it is difficult to eat well when you have the additional stress of school work as well. Sometimes it is just easier to order take out. However, if you have all of your meals planned, that won’t be a problem!
Thirdly, adding to the idea of budgeting, it is so important to keep track of your money. Just think: you’re no longer living with your parents and you are free to buy anything you want. It’s easy to get caught up in buying something you want or indulging in certain luxuries you weren’t allowed to have back home. Yes, it is completely normal to get your nails done or buy that dress you’ve been eyeing for months, BUT be careful. Keep a list of everything you’re buying because the scary thing is, the little things you buy add up and the next thing you know you’ve spent a ton of money. I would say, try to use your debit card more than your credit card because with the debit, that is money YOU ALREADY HAVE to spend whereas with credit, it is borrowed money that you pay back at the end of the month and it is easier to get carried away with that. However, it is also important to use your credit card because this allows you to build up your credit with your bank starting at a young age.
The fourth thing I want to talk about it getting a credit card!! I was browsing the Credit Card Insider websiteand they have some great tips on how to get started when getting a new credit card and the important things to know! My advice is to pay your credit card bill!! It is so easy to forget especially if you’re not in the routine of doing so. Remember how much you are spending each month and keep in mind what the date is to pay your balance.
Last but not least, remember to clean. I get lazy and I forget to clean my room all the time and the next thing you know, there’s a layer of dust on my bed frame and too much hair on the floor (sorry if that’s tmi). I make sure to make my bed everyday so I keep the habit of making my room look nice. Even if I’m coming home at 5pm for the day, I will still clean my room. That way, I know that at least my room is semi- clean by the end of the day!
I really hope this helps!!!