Healthy Lifestyle Choices Save You Money

Let’s start with the obvious; eating out is EXPENSIVE. There are many ways to limit the amount you eat out without giving up your social life. For some, going out is a hobby. It may be a harder habit to break than you’d think. After all, you have a lot of people to start saying no to.

It’s okay to say no.
Set goals for yourself by eating out with a friend only once a week or cooking dinner for them at home instead. Rather than saying ‘yes’ to every friend that asks you out to dinner or happy hour, say ‘no’ this week and make a plan for next week.

Also, what about lunch? Do you eat fast food? Do you go somewhere to sit down with colleagues? Either way, eating out for lunch 5 days a week really adds up.

Eat a sandwich.
The below infographic is based on the average price of a burger and fries. Obviously, the average worker bee is not eating the same thing each day, nor spending the same amount of money, but this image can still put some costs into perspective.

A loaf of bread costs approximately $1.30 and contains about 20 slices of bread. 20 slices of bread is enough for two weeks’ worth of sandwiches.

For perspective purposes, here’s some more math:
1 loaf of bread = $1.30 x 2 per month = $2.60 x 12 months in a year = $31.20

The same scenarios can be broken down more specifically by adding in condiments, fresh meats, cheese, and more. While the number amount can vary, the end result will always be the same; fast food for lunch will always be more expensive (and probably less healthy) than eating homemade food every day.

Eliminate the 3 S’s.
The same concept can be used to calculate the cost of snacking, smoking, and sodas. While a bag of chips and a cold Pepsi doesn’t cost much when you buy it once, it adds up fast! Cutting down on small snacks will line your pockets with even more additional cash.

The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $5.51. A pack a day for a week costs almost $40! An entire year costs a whopping $1,851.36! One could go on multiple vacations for $1,900. 

Snacking, sodas, and smoking are extremely expensive vices that seem to be overlooked far too often. Eliminate the three S’s and start saving money and living healthier today.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
This saying holds more truth than meets the eye. It’s not just something you say to your children when you’re trying to get them to eat healthy. A healthy lifestyle truly helps to prevent visits to the doctor.

Medical related debt in America is at an all-time high, running the lives the working people. For years, medical debt has been the number one reason people file for bankruptcy. According to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll done in 2017, 45% of Americans say they’d have a difficult time paying an unexpected $500 medial bill, 19% of people said they wouldn’t be able to pay it all.

Here is a quick list of more easy ways to live healthy & save money.

1. Drink water.
Instead of spending money on soda, utilize the only seemingly free thing in this country and drink it! Water is the healthiest thing you can do for your body and there is no such thing as too much.

2. Make your grocery list before shopping.
It is important to make a list to keep you on task. Buy what is on your list and leave; Leave the store and leave the chips on the isle shelf where they belong.

Creating a list allows you to plan your meals for the week and eliminates the amount of food you waste. You don’t need to be a crazy meal prepper, but you can be a smart meal planner if you put your mind to it! 

3. Eat less meat.
Experts have said that greener meal plans can improve heart health and meat from the grocery store comes with a cost. While you shouldn’t have to eliminate meat completely, it can beneficial to your health to eat smaller amounts and beneficial to your bank account to make each hunk of chicken last a bit longer than just one meal.

4. Limit Drinking.
Alcoholic beverage sales data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism claims that the average American drinks roughly 1.35 drinks per day, 9.5 drinks per week, and 494 drinks per year. If the average price of a cocktail was $10, you’d be spending roughly $4,940 per year on drinks alone. THAT IS INSANE!

Alcohol consumption is a completely normal and fun source of entertainment for people all over the world. After all, we’ve all heard that a glass of red wine a day is good for the heart. No one says that eliminating drinking completely is the only route to healthy pockets and lifestyles, but responsible drinking sure is!

Take advantage of happy hour when you do go out, drink at home, and drink in smaller portions. Simple as that! Limiting alcohol consumption will allow you to save money and save your liver. According to 2015 research from the NIAAA, nearly 50% of liver disease deaths are alcohol-related.

Whenever you find yourself having trouble with this one, just remember, Tito’s costs $19.99 at the store for a little over 25 ounces. A vodka martini can cost anywhere from $10-$15 at a restaurant for only a 1.5 ounce pour. In summary, you’ve paid the same price for only 3 ounces at a restaurant as you would for over 25 ounces at the store.

5. Eat Fresh.
Fresh fruit and vegetables have been given a bad reputation over the law few years, as Americans believe it is too expensive and wasteful to buy fresh fruit. Luckily, there are a couple ways to get around this assumption; you can try to buy from the local market or you can simply freeze what you don’t eat before it goes bad.

6. Take advantage of employee benefits.
During your journey to a healthier lifestyle and more savings, don’t forget to utilize any employee benefits that may be available to you. Many companies offer wellness programs as incentives like discounted gym memberships or cash back on preventative wellness exams.

7. Exercise.
How does exercise save money? As previously stated, being healthy can save you money on medical bills. Exercising at home rather than at a gym can also save a nice chunk of change, BUT, does your gym offer any rewards for being a member? Genesis Health Club in Lee’s Summit recently rolled out a rewards program for members that allow you to purchase TONS of stuff using points from your account. Points are accumulated by visiting the gym, taking classes, referring members and more. Discounts on electronics, travel, food, and more is a GREAT incentive to keep you in the gym! Like Genesis says, “The more you burn, the more you earn!”

8. Order takeout.
Cooking every single night of the week is unreasonable, we get it, but did you know ordering take-out instead of dining in will save you 20% on a tip automatically. Not to mention, there is no such thing as a martini to-go. Boom!

Saving money can become much easier if you put your mind AND your body to it. Set goals, make a journal, and track your progress so you can see the real life financial results that come from living a healthy lifestyle.