Five (Financially) Healthy Habits


Over the past few years, a lot of us have developed some fairly unhealthy habits. Whether it was being stuck inside due to COVID, added work stress, or one of those many things that makes life hard, a lot of us spend a lot of our hard-earned money dealing with stress in one way or another.

In this piece, I want to take a look at some healthy habits, many of which are free or cheap, that can make your life a lot less stressful, and a little bit healthier. I hope that at least one of them is useful to you.

Check Out Your Local Parks

Where I currently am, in relatively Urban Miami, can feel awfully enclosed and corporate sometimes. Everywhere you look, there’s one more bar, another restaurant, perhaps a cafe at which you can spend your time and money. But, as I’ve been exploring in the past few years, there are some awesome outdoor spaces.

For example, there’s a great park by my house that consists of a strip of land along the bay, and from there you can see most of Miami beach. At night, it’s truly stunning. For the past few months, I’ve been making a point to try to have lunch there every Sunday: it’s a few hours in the afternoon where I can, for free, leave my phone in the car and enjoy a view that, based on the Zillow listings from the house across the street on the park, some people are willing to pay millions for.

Take a minute and go find a park that’s near your current home. With just a few minutes of searching, I bet you can find somewhere within driving distance that you’ve never been before, and that you can enjoy totally for free. Parks are one of those uses of tax dollars that almost all of us can agree upon.

Make the Time To Meal Prep

When things get busy or stressful at work, it’s easier than ever to take advantage of all of the fast-food options that are around all of us. This is especially true now when all you have to do to get a burger brought to your home office is a few clicks on an app.

Over the years, I’ve found a lot of fun and relaxation in cooking. It has also been a way for me to eat a lot better than my relatively modest budget as an educator can allow. Instead of looking for fast food, taking time and money out of every day, it might make a lot of sense for you to meal prep in advance.

For me, this usually involves spending every Friday or Saturday night in the kitchen, enjoying a glass of wine and cooking. Instead of unhealthy burgers, which I do still enjoy on occasion, I can usually eat substantially healthier, and tastier, food for less than half the price of other available options. Even if you don’t find cooking as relaxing as I do, then the savings and health benefits alone make meal prepping well worth it.

Head To Your Local Library

Libraries, as you probably know, are for a lot more than books. At my local branch, for example, there are relatively new computers, impressive collections of art and vinyl for music fans, and a lot more.

Libraries are also one of the few modern, air-conditioned places left in the world where you can simply exist in space for free, with access to the internet, water fountains, and clean bathrooms. If you bring a sweater, a water bottle, and a pre-prepped meal, they can often be a great place to spend a day studying or working if you need a break from your typical work routine.

Consider Using Public transit

Out of all of the relatively difficult lessons from the recent COVID pandemic, one I learned is that the hours a day that many of us spend commuting can be a massive drain on our productivity. Sadly, a lot of us are back to commuting.

With that in mind, it might be worth using public transit if you can. Currently, a lot of American cities have systems that could be viable, allowing you to work on emails or get other things done while someone else drives and you keep the miles off of your car. But, they’re really underfunded. One way to encourage more funding is to get more people using these public transit systems, thus making them a lot more popular to use for regular, working folks who simply want to save.

One way to get an hour or so in the morning and afternoon back might well be to start making use of your local public transit system, or to at the very least look into options that don’t force you to be the one driving for several hours a day that could otherwise be productive.


For a while, I struggled pretty seriously with insomnia. Solutions like working out, drinking less caffeine, and melatonin supplements seemed to help a lot, but one tool has worked better than about anything else.

For the last few months, I’ve been making a daily habit out of meditation. Usually, I’ll do this right as I want to fall asleep, and I’ve found myself sleeping substantially more soundly in the past few months. The app I use is also totally free, which is an awesome price to pay for consistently better sleep.

In this piece, I’ve gone over five things I’ve done in the past year in an attempt to make life a little more affordable to live, as well as make it generally easier. Of course, it’s unlikely that all of them will apply to you. But, with that in mind, if you find even one of these ideas to be useful, I think it will have been worthwhile to write this piece. As always, if you have suggestions for things that you want us to talk about here, please comment here or shoot us a message!

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