New Years goals that you can reach without hurting your budget
The New Year is here and many of us are finding ways to become better versions of ourselves. From the common goals of exercising more and eating healthier, it is normal to attempt to create healthier and happier habits at the start of every year. However, new goals mean new pressures on your budget that you may not want to stress over.
If you have created some goals for the New Year and are not sure how you will achieve them without hurting your budget, we have put together some ideas for the most popular goals to help you.
Most of us have set weight loss targets or tried starting a new exercise regime that we found online for the new year. However, with gym memberships getting pricier every year, we have come up with some alternatives that can help you reach your workout goals without the stress of gym payments. While the gym may provide fancier equipment, it is nothing that you can’t replicate at home, affordably. Not only is exercising at home more flexible and convenient, but it can also allow you to try new things without any discomfort or fear.
If you feel lost and need guidance without having to pay for a personal trainer, there are affordable, and even free, workout plans to download online that can help you curate the perfect workout plan to match your goals. Here are a few resources to help you get started (most of which require minimal equipment):
- Women's Health Magazine- 4 Week Workout Plan
- Nourish Me Love- 30 Day Home Workout Plan
- Coach Magazine- Home Workouts
A great resource to use when home exercises is subscribing to fitness instructors on YouTube. There are tonnes of different styles of workouts on YouTube, ranging from high intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga and even Zumba classes. Good Housekeeping has put together a great list of channels that focus on different exercise styles. Try changing it up every week to keep things fun and interesting.
Try getting active outdoors, surrounded by nature. Alltrails is an website and app that lets you find hiking trails near you with information on the distance, time length and reviews from other hikers. Why not share your cycling on social media for likeminded people? Strava is a motivational, cycle, swimming and running tracking social media that lets you track your physical activity while simultaneously sharing and staying updated on your friends workouts. Its a fantastic way to track your progress and stay motivated!
Eating healthier can sound easy but those of us who have put it to the test have found it can get overwhelming and add to the stresses of everyday life. However, to make it a bit easier, try following these tips.
One of the most important steps in eating healthy is creating a weekly list of meals. A large benefit of meal planning is being able to plan around your weekly schedule. By saving easy recipes for busy days and allocating more complicated ones for a less hectic day is a good strategy to help you avoid unhealthy choices, such as picking up fast food or ordering a takeaway. Meal planning not only saves you money in this way, but it allows you to do your weekly shop without the worry of overstocking on unnecessary, unhealthy items.
If you are struggling with meal planning, here are some free apps that help you find recipes you like based on your likes and dislikes and automatically create a shopping list.
If you would rather use a readymade meal plan, then Thrifty Lesley has your back. This blog provides pre-made meal plans with all of the ingredients you will need for the week, down to the cost breakdown. Find meals that fit your new healthy lifestyle without having to budget it yourself.
If you shop at Aldi, Savvy Bites has over a hundred weekly meal plans featured on their blog, all with shopping lists featuring Aldi. Not only has she curated the perfect weekly meal plan included with the shopping list, but she is also a professional chef who has provided her tried and true recipes. Save time and money by checking out her page and getting started on one of her delicious recipes.
If you prefer to meal plan on your own, there are a wide variety of printable meal planning templates to make it a little easier. Find a fun template here:
Learn something new
A great goal to set for the new year is to learn a new skill or hobby. It can be exciting trying to master something new and track your progress throughout the year. However, it is understandable that an objective like this might be heavy on your wallet as training courses are not cheap. To help you succeed in reaching your goals, we have gathered some ideas that you can implement in your new journey.
There are millions of free online courses and tutorial videos that teach all kinds of different skills. Whether you are wanting to learn a professional skill to build your resume or simply try a new hobby, there will be something out there to get you started. There are plenty of free videos on YouTube that teach skills like playing the guitar, drawing, learning a new language and many more.
Additionally, check your local community centres and libraries for any workshops they may be offering, most of them are either free or fairly priced. Eventbrite is a website that showcases all the events happening you including wellbeing workshops, art classes and various other activities. You can set your location and refine your search to find free and affordable activities to develop your skills.
However, if you want to learn a new skill to help you at work and build your resume, The National Career service has a list of great courses linked here. Additionally, the South Gloucestershire and Stroud College are offering a range of free courses in Business, Healthcare, Employability and many more. Keep in mind, they require you to fill out an application to enrol into their institution.
Get lost in more books
A fun and common target for the New Year is to read more books. However, this goal can get expensive very quickly if you are buying most of your books. Opt for a library card instead. Libraries are a great resource that we may often forget about, and by choosing to use their services, you are helping them stay open and continue to support their local communities. Not only can you use your library card to borrow books, there are great activities organised there for your little ones to stay occupied while you cosy up on a comfy chair to read.
To stay motivated on your reading goals, there are also some free apps that can keep you on track and help you find your next reads:
Goodreads is a popular app that lets you read synopses of new books, create lists to track your favourites, lets you see what your friends are reading and even track your daily reading progress. Aldiko is an app that offers over a million of free books in their library for their users to access. You can also use it as a catch-all for your different books and keep them in one place using this app.
Finally, gather some friends and create a book club or join one in your community. Book clubs not only give you and your friends a reason to get together and catch up, but keep you motivated to read. A huge perk of book clubs is it allows you to explore more genres and find love for books you may never have read otherwise.
Spend time with loved ones
As the memories of lockdown fade, you may want to make up for lost time and spend more time with your loved ones. Though, if your usual get togethers involve you hosting, costs of dinner, snacks and other entertainment can start to add up. This year, try some new ideas.
Potlucks are a great way to get the gang together while spreading costs. Host themed nights where everyone brings a dish according to the theme. Taco Tuesday for a Mexican inspired night or a game night with guests bringing their favourite games to share.
For people that may live further away, Zoom calls are still a great option. A virtual game night can be just as fun, especially with Zoom’s catalogue of downloadable games. Marie Claire has also put together some fun game ideas that you can try at your next virtual game night.
Lastly, if you want cheap or free things to do around your city, Eventbrite also provides you with plenty of fun events ranging from concerts and craft nights. Just set the filter to a price range you are comfortable with and have fun!