Asked on 13 Nov 2019
I'm a student trying to save money using her monthly allowance. I always spent a lot on food, due to stress. My monthly allowance is just only 200 - 300 and I constantly feel stress when I have no money?
Agree with Kelly, I used to go jogging at night, found it very relaxing as there are no crowds and very little traffic, and it's far more cooling. It's a free form of exercise, and part of the stress relief comes from burning off energy and the release of endorphins.
Spend money because you're stressed. Get stressed because you have no more monney. Feels like a vicious cycle.
I don't mean to imply anything but sometimes these issues can be psychologically linked and may require an expert to take a look at. Stress eating disorders are very real and can be dangerous.
Meanwhile, if you can find something that relaxes you and pays you at the same time would be ideal. Usually if you can somehow monetize a hobby or a skill, this may help you make more money so you could be less stressed.
Either way, if you think this could be a real problem, please seek professional help.
It's really tough on you as it's a very tight situation.
First, you must understand the mechanics of stress eating.
It can be because of a reward system. When we eat, it triggers the 'feel good' hormones. So when you stress out, you eat to feel better.
Or it could be due to lack of certain nutrients at the same time. Most people aren't drinking enough water, too much oily/salty/sugary foods, or not enough vitamin C etc.
Second, addressing the stress eating biomechanics.
Trust me, for a first step, cut down soft drinks and drink alot more plain water. At least 1 liter a day more. Sometimes you can really feel the stress go away after a couple of glasses.
Exercise does help alot too. You can start off with very light exercises for a start. Or you can go to the park or beach for walks. Do something different to break the routine once in awhile.
Third, addressing the allowance.
I'm not sure how your schedule is like, but you need additional income. You could work part time if possible, like grabfood, or head over to carousell and flip items for extra bucks.
Last but not least, create a new discipline-reward system for yourself. Eg. replace the hunger pangs with water first, and you get to stress eat on the 3rd day. I eat a small ice cream after a work out once in awhile because.. I deserve it. We all need to reward ourselves.
Hope it helps!
I always like to go for long walks, since the benefits are multi-fold:
Able to de-stress and sort of thoughts
Takes your mind away from eating. Some people do binge after doing intense workouts, and that involves $$
There are a few ways to destress without spending money.
It depends on what activities that you do that can help you to destress.
Activities such as sleeping, running or playing games
Hello! It's good that you want to save money but if your monthly allowance is insufficient, perhaps you can give tuition or take on part-time jobs such as waitressing which was what I did when I was schooling and the restaurant I worked at provided staff meals! You can also attend Seedly or Syfe free events which provide buffets and pizzas XD
Having little money is definitely a source of stress for many, so don't worry! You are not alone.
While you work hard in increasing the health of your cash flow (be it in optimising your expenses, increasing your salary or generally managing your money better), it is important for you to first take stock of what truly makes you happy and which activities provide you with meaningful purpose.
There are a whole hosts of free activities out there that can help fulfill that, it just depends on your interest and passion. Money, after all, is a man-made concept. We are not born to chase after money. You can read books like Strengths Finder from our National Library (hey, borrowing books are free too!) to help you identify your purpose.
Some other free activities you can engage in:
Watching videos / Listening to Music (e.g. YouTube) on WiFi
Chatting with friends and playing board games (repeated playing of the games is free)
The digital world is one that's filled with possibilities for people to take advantage of (at a low cost of free). Go have some free fun!
I believe everyone has given their advice as using exercise as a form of relaxation which I totally agree you should do.
I have a slightly different take: since you need money, and you spend a lot on food, why not work part time for a F&B establishment that you enjoy their food? Win-win, you earn extra income while enjoying their food either for free as meal allowance or enjoy discounts as staff benefit.
Problem solved. Because that’s what I did when I was a student. Love coffee, work for Starbucks. Free coffee and cakes when I work 😏
Everything in moderation. It’s okay to spend some on food.
You can look for leisure activities that are free for example: Museums, Parks, Exercise classes on Healthy 365 app, Nature walks.
Go for a group exercise class, eg Zumba or BodyCombat. It's free as HPB Organizes them all over SG (check out their websites) Some gym does an open air studio and its free as well for example every Tuesday there is BodyCombat class at Tanjong Pagar Park by Virgin Active.
I like to gym/exercise when I am stressed. If your school has a gym/swimming pool that you can use without paying, just use them! Also, consider joining a CCA. Hanging out with CCA mates can really help in de-stressing too! :)
It boils down to how hardworking you are?
Its the National Step Challenge season. Walk 10,000 steps a day and in 18 days, you get to redeemed an evoucher that can be use for groceries, food etc.
If you do cardio work, in the same amount of days, you get another 5 bucks.
Personally, I redeemed close to 50 bucks from last year season, and thats FOC money from govt plus the endorphins help you feel better. Best of both worlds!
Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.
Or a hobby that makes you money. For example, blogging (basic blogging doesn't pay you much, but still, not bad for a hobby).
How about a part time job to destress? You can take simple chores like working at restaurants, or retail shops. i used to do that, its destressing BECAUSE i do not have to study (haha) and i get paid!
Get Paid while destressing! :D
My typical activities to destress (that cost little)
hawker hopping (Instead of cafe hopping)
finding free events on facebook
free sports events (Eg. decathlon, they offer some free zumba classes which I totally recommend)
heading to the nearest public library
support a cause and volunteer at a NGO
Apart from exercise, you can consider picking up the habit of reading. Read a different variety of book from fiction to non-fiction e.g. personal development, leadership and communication etc. Adopt a growth mindset. And, you can find these books in our public libraries.
You can look for free activities to do. Attend events, go to the museum, beach, Sentosa etc
But I think the best way may be to just talk opening to someone you trust about the stress
Exercise is a good way to destress. With running tracks and some empty space to do routines it's possible to do quite a variety cheaply.
The long term health benefits will also be financially beneficial which is a nice side effect
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