3 tips for living away from home for the first time

Leaving the creature comforts of your parent’s house can feel like a huge transition. There’s no more magically stocked fridge and managing your own budget can be tricky. But don’t stress, student Nicola has a few tips to help you on your way.

“Moving out can be a daunting experience, particularly for those who have never lived away from home before. There are many new things to learn, like cooking, washing your clothes without turning them blue, and budgeting. They may seem like challenges, but with a guiding hand, it may be easier to adjust than initially thought. This post will hopefully be that guiding hand.

Food, glorious food!

Cooking for oneself is probably one of the biggest challenges that faces any young person who has moved out of home. When I first moved to Uni, it was probably quite easy, courtesy of all the free food that was splashed around campus. However, those resources have quickly dried up.

So how do you maintain a relatively healthy and easy diet? Take it from me, it may take you a little while, but here are a few tips…

1 – Always write a grocery list!

Writing a shopping list will keep you on track when you are at the shop. It will prevent unnecessary spending, and will help keep your budget tight. Take the time to work out how much you will need for your meals each week, and shop accordingly. If you portion and stick to your list you are less likely to waste food, which means saving money.

2 – Cook in BULK

Cooking in bulk is probably the easiest way to keep costs down, and ensure that you have enough food on hand throughout the week. Meals like pasta, curries and stews are really easy to whip together, and freeze really well. You will find a recipe base for any of these in the supermarket, so they are dead easy! You can also pack them with veggies to ensure you are contributing to your five a day.

3 – Eat proper cuts of meat

Don’t get sucked into buying the cheap processed meats like sausages and mince. Instead opt for cheaper types of meat, such as pork or chicken. These cuts of meat are more nutrient dense, and contain much less fat.

4 – Keep snacks to a minimum

This will also save you money in the long run. If you eat enough during meals times, then you shouldn’t need them at all.

Tighten that budget

For many students the biggest challenge that they face is money. Most of you, whether you work or not, will have a limited income while studying full time. It can be difficult to keep tabs on what you are spending money on. Below is a list of easy ways to minimise your everyday unnecessary spending so that you have more money for important things.

  1. Limit cups of coffee bought on campus to one a day
  2. If you have a full day of classes, pack your lunch/snacks
  3. Always have a water bottle
  4. Only buy clothes when needed
  5. Set a spending limit each week – including food, sport etc

Keep active

Maintaining some level of physical fitness will always be good for the mind and body. However, it may not be the easiest thing to maintain. I’m not talking about keeping in shape either, keeping physically active can boost your mood, help fight depression, and can keep you social. There are plenty of ways to keep fit on campus, including the various sport clubs that are on offer. If you already have an interest in a particular sport, then there will probably be a club for you. If you don’t already have an interest, try something new! It is also a great way to meet other people.

La Trobe has an entire web page of the facilities and clubs that are available – http://www.latrobe.edu.au/sport.

By Nicola from Barnes Way

This article was originally published on Living at La Trobe.