Low-cost steps toward positive life habits help students embrace change

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January is here and so are the resolutions.

Better health, improved time management or new extracurricular activities, students have made resolutions for 2013.

While New Year’s resolutions sound like a simple and relatively cheap idea, many go to great lengths and expenses to achieve these goals. However, lifestyle changes can be made more affordable with some quick and easy adjustments.

Chelsea Hults, senior biology major, set a resolution to be smarter with her finances. Rather than purchasing Starbucks every morning, she has vowed to brew her own coffee.

Hults now wakes up a few minutes earlier than normal to cook herself a meal instead of buying breakfast. These smart adjustments will not only be beneficial to her health, but will save her up to $50 each week.

Hults said grocery shopping will allow her to “eat in more and spend less money at pricey restaurants.”

Trader Joe’s and Sprouts Farmers Market are two grocery chains that provide affordable fresh produce and consistently have incredible sales throughout the store. Online websites often list what special offers the stores have available.

“I am now going to save coupons and buy items on sale when I can, which will probably be a lot more work but will pay off in the end,” Hults said.

Along with saving money, getting healthy is often a popular resolution. Unfortunately, most standard methods of shedding a few pounds can derail a college student’s effort to budget wisely or save.

Gym memberships and the high price of groceries can make it hard to see this resolution become a reality. Unhealthy food is simply easier to buy for a busy college student.

Stephanie Rodriguez, junior business administration major, has taken the initiative to shape up in a cost-effective manner.

Rodriguez said, “Running outdoors, blogging about my healthy changes and eating only when hungry and stopping when full” are three of the main tools she is using to help meet her goals.

“Posting my daily meals and workouts on my blog will not only allow me to document my journey to better health but will hopefully also inspire my followers,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez encourages anyone with a New Year’s resolution to “use social networking and blogging to keep accountability.”

Another smart way to save money this year is by cutting back on gasoline expenses. Rising fuel prices have made it almost impossible to drive long distances for family.

However, other modes of transportation such as bikes, skateboards and walking can save most people an average of $100 every month. Carpooling is also a great way to save on gas prices at the pump, catch up with a friend and help the enviroment.

Ultimately, resolutions can be achieved at a reasonable cost with a bit of strategic planning. Getting creative and using available resources can be beneficial to anyone with a goal of saving on fuel costs in the coming year.

About Carli Sprague

Asst. News Editor

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