Whether you’re a freshman college student living away from home for the first time or a young professional just starting to climb the corporate ranks, congratulations, you are now an adult! With adulthood comes freedom and independence but also responsibility. Two of your top responsibilities? Finances and health!

Young people like yourself who are just starting out are not usually super rich. You’re likely eating cup noodles and shopping at thrift stores to save money, but being a beginner adult doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health to stay afloat. So put down those cup noodles and take a look at these tips on saving money and staying healthy as a young adult!

Drink Your Water

Your mom was right. Soda is no good for you, and juice may look healthy, but it may be even more sugary than soda. A leading source of unnecessary calories is sugary drinks, so next time you’re thirsty, opt for water if you live in an area where it is free, available, and clean.

Understand Your Health Insurance

Insurance paperwork is dull and dry, but taking an extra hour or so to understand your privileges fully can save you money and headaches down the road. So know your co-pays and deductibles, as well as your premiums and out-of-pocket maximums. If you need help, visit the health insurance marketplace website or this guide.

Buy Meds Online

Use your Internet-savvy skills to shop online for medicine instead of buying it at your local pharmacy. Thanks to stricter price regulations, many countries outside the U.S. offer significantly cheaper drugs, which you can get online.

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Shop smart, however, and don’t fall for dangerous rogue pharmacies. Stick to licensed entities and international and Canadian pharmacy referral services like Canada Med Pharmacy. These services require documentation, offer professional consultations, and take diligent steps to protect your personal information.

Cut Down on Vices

I get it. Young adulthood is a time to party, and you should. Just remember that bar tabs and nicotine habits add up.

If you regularly smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or do recreational drugs, consider cutting back. Vices are often heavily taxed and cost a substantial amount of money. If you smoke a $7 pack a day, you can save a whopping $49 per week by quitting, which is good for you too!

Make Your Own Lunch

Your mom may have packed you healthy lunches in middle school, but now it’s your turn! Sure, eating out at fast-food joints and restaurants is more convenient, but you can save a substantial amount of money (and calories) with your own cooking. If you’re new to cooking, now is the time to learn! Check out YouTube for loads of fun, easy, and cheap recipes.

If you’re low on time, make a big batch of food on Sunday night and eat it throughout the week. Or, prep a sandwich filling like tuna or egg salad and make sandwiches every morning.

Walk, Bike, or Transit

Cars cost. A lot. Gas prices are frustrating, and as a younger person, you may have higher insurance costs on top of that too.

Avoid these costs by choosing to walk, bike, or transit instead. (If you’re a student, you may be able to score transit discounts). Transportation from place to place is a great opportunity to build exercise into your daily routine, and it’ll be a habit that’s easier to keep.

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For a tougher workout, strap on a backpack. This is actually a popular form of fitness called rucking.

Go Outside and Play

You’re probably the fittest you’ll ever be, so take advantage of this time in your life and go on adventures. You don’t need a fancy gym membership to stay fit. Rather, take advantage of local trails, hikes, or even explore your neighborhood on foot if you live in an interesting urban area. It’s free!

Try different sports like rock climbing, sailing, windsurfing, and mountain biking. You’re no longer a kid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun outside.

Stay Inside and Play

Not an outdoor person? Live in the Pacific Northwest where it rains all week? No problem! You can still stay fit in the comfort of your own home or dorm.

Thanks to the Internet, there are tons of free workout resources on YouTube. If you want to get more serious about your workout, buy simple, inexpensive equipment like a mat, jump rope, or free weights.

Get Free Health Advice

Not every ache and pain warrants an expensive trip to the doctor. Take advantage of free health advice from telephone lines staffed by nurses. These are available at many hospitals and within many health insurance plans across the country. You may also qualify as a patient at a community clinic or free clinic. Sometimes it’s just worth paying for expert advice, especially if it’s something that’s impacting your quality of life. If you’re not insured, you might want to take a quick look at podiatrist cost with insurance to be better prepared for the costs. 

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You should also stay up-to-date and educated on health topics, such as how much physical activity you should aim for per week. Reliable sources of information are .gov sites like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

Remember, You’re Not Invincible

Many young adults have the belief that they can eat whatever they want and sit around for as long as they like with few consequences. It’s true that your body is able to bounce back quickly from unhealthy habits at this time in your life, but serious health problems are not unheard of among young adults. So despite your vitality, you can still develop diabetes and catch the flu at your age.

A healthier young adulthood means a healthier older adulthood. This is why it’s important to invest in your health today. You’ll be less likely to suffer problems like osteoporosis and heart disease later on. Plus, it feels good to save and be fit.