Many people are looking for ways to save money and live a healthier lifestyle. These two goals may seem at odds. Gym memberships and organic foods are expensive, hardly a way to stretch and already thin budget!
However, a healthy lifestyle could help you save money in many areas. And you don’t have to join the gym to get started. This article will give you some tips to help you meet both your health and savings goals.
Food & drink
- Limit how often you eat out. Although it is a nice treat, fast food, restaurants and takeaway meals are typically high in kilojoules and often expensive. Cooking at home is generally healthier and cheaper. You can even make meals at home into a party by inviting friends around for a fun dinner. If you do eat out, try cutting back by skipping the entrée or dessert and just having a main.
- Put a filter on your tap. There is no need to buy bottled water from a shop if the water at home is clean and tasty. And, water is a healthier option than soft drink, juice or energy drinks. Keep reusable on hand to take with you on shopping trips, workouts or errands. Store a few in the fridge, so they’ll be nice and cold when you’re ready to go.
- Eat more plant-based meals. You don’t necessarily need to become a vegan, but cutting down on meat will save money and could be better for your health. Meat can be very expensive, adding hundreds of dollars to your yearly grocery bill. And, it’s not always healthy to eat too much meat, particularly red meat and deli cuts. Serving a vegetarian meal just a few days each week could help improve your health and save you money.
- Learn how to grow your own vegetables and fruit. Home grown produce are delicious and nutritious. Planting a small garden could help you save money and control whether pesticides are used. If you can’t grow your own fruits and vegetables, try buying only those that are in season, as they are generally cheaper. Another alternative is to buy frozen fruit and vegetables. These are often just as nutritious as fresh produce and can sometimes cost less.
Cutting back on vices
- Drink less alcohol. Beer, wine and liquor can be expensive, especially if you’re ordering at a restaurant or bar. It’s also unhealthy to drink too much, as excess alcohol puts stress on your organs and often has more kilojoules than you’d think! Try cutting out 2-3 drinks each week if you indulge regularly. You could also swap high kilojoule cocktails for a glass of wine instead.
- Make your own sweet treats. We all like to indulge in a slice of cake, biscuits or lollies for dessert or at tea time. However, pre-packaged sweets are full of sugar and preservatives that aren’t good for your body. They can also be expensive, particularly if you are ordering them from a café whilst you sip on your morning coffee. If you want treats, you could make your own, so you can control the ingredients being used and make them healthier. Plus, your homemade cakes will likely be less expensive and yummier than what you’d buy at the store!
- Stop smoking. Cigarettes and other tobacco products are a big cause of poor health. Smokers are more likely to develop certain serious medical conditions and tend to get sick more often than people who do not smoke. And as any smoker knows, cigarettes can be a very expensive vice. Quitting is an excellent way to help improve your health and save money at the same time.
Move more, sit less
- Up your steps. Walking is an easy way to help maintain or even improve your health. It’s a low-impact exercise, and you don’t need a bunch of expensive equipment to get started. Working more steps into your day could be easy, too. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get off the bus a stop early on your way home or to the shops. Spend a family day walking in the park instead of sitting in a movie theatre.
- Do it yourself. Many activities that people pay others to do for them can be excellent exercise! If you have cleaners that come to your home, why not do it yourself? Rather than hiring a dog walker, walk your pets yourself. Mow the lawn and clip the hedges instead of hiring a gardener. Not only will you be moving more, you’ll be saving money too.
- Leave your car at home. Driving is often quick and convenient, but it can also be expensive. Petrol and tolls can really add up. Also, all that time spent sitting in the car isn’t doing your body any favours. Instead of driving your car everywhere, try walking or cycling. Even if it’s only for short journeys or on weekends, you’ll likely see some savings and maybe even some health improvements.
- Pay less for insurance. Did you know that living a healthy lifestyle could help you save money on insurance premiums? This may naturally make sense for health insurance but may also apply to life insurance or funeral insurance policies as well. Non-smokers typically pay lower premiums than those who smoke, which could make a big difference to your pocketbook.
- Spend less on clothes. When you’re living a healthy lifestyle, your weight is less likely to go up and down. Instead of needing to buy a new wardrobe every time you gain or lose weight, you can instead invest in well-made pieces that will last longer. Over time, you may find that you spend less on clothing even though the garments you buy might cost a bit more to start.
As you can see, living a healthier lifestyle can be cost efficient, and also make budgeting easier. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, you just might need to be more inventive when thinking of ways to share time with friends. Maybe some of the above points don’t match your lifestyle right now, but trying out the ones that might could lead to a healthier life and more money to enjoy it!