Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle
I truly can’t believe we are already three days into our
No Spend Challenge. We have had it pretty easy these first few days, but there are still times of struggle. We are certainly craving foods like Subway and Taco Bell, but on the other hand, we have gotten to splurge a little since the staff were here (meaning some friends bought us pizza). So, really, we are doing pretty well.
And as of today, we have not spent
anything. I know, I know, it’s only been a couple of days, but we have to keep thinking hopefully because we still have 28 days to go. Anyway, on that note, let’s look at our quote for today by James W. Frick.
“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” – James W. Frick
Today, I want all of you challengers to look back at past months and think about what your priorities are. Sure, your mortgage or rent is probably a big suck of money or maybe it’s your debt, but beyond that: where is your money going? Are your priorities eating out? Are they buying clearance items are Walmart? Are they ensuring your children are making memories?
Are you happy with what they are? What do you want your priorities to be?
I hope you
use this challenge to reevaluate your priorities, your health, and your life so that in February you can start fresh. So, in that regard, let’s move on to some tips for a healthy lifestyle that will save you money.
Imagine how much money you could save by walking! I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out. If you walked to the store once in a while, you not only save gas money, but also wear-and-tear on your vehicle. It may seem like minimal amounts, but they are sure to add up in the long run! If you rode your bike to work every day in the summer, you could save
You can also move more as an activity to entertain yourself and your friends. Instead of spending money to visit a movie theater, go for a jog around the local park, jump on a trampoline, or get involved in a sport. Swimming can even be a great way to enjoy a summer day and save some money.
Just by exercising you can save a ton of money.
Think about all of the money you spend on soda, juice, coffee, and tea. I’m not saying that the latter are any worse or better than the former, but the truth of it all is that water is ultimately the best beverage for you. By drinking water, you’ll have more energy and feel better (therefore, you’ll be more likely to pay attention at work and earn more money).
My wife and I drink a lot of mountain dew, but we are working on quitting. The silliest part is, we know that it’s horrible for us (apparently it can disintegrate mice) and we know that it costs a ton, but it sure does taste good – and you can’t argue with caffeine. However, each day we drink a can each which means a little over a 12-pack each week (around $4). That’s over
every year! Isn’t that insane? two hundred dollars
The same goes for coffee, tea, and juices! By drinking any beverages that aren’t water, you are paying for something that you can ultimately get for free. Instead, drink water to be healthy and save money.
If you are looking to lose weight or know that you eat too much on a given day, cutting your calories can be a great way to save you money (while being super healthy). Remember, always be safe when cutting calories by talking to a professional (I’m not a professional). Cutting out those late-night snacks is almost always a good idea to help you stay healthy.
When you snack less, you’ll find that you need less food in your home. Especially less of the processed snack foods that always end up costing a fortune. So, cut out one or two of your daily snacks and see where it leads you!
Letting Go of Habits / Addictions
Of our tips for a healthy lifestyle, letting go of habits and addictions can certainly be one of the most difficult to attain. However, it is important for you to understand how detrimental these can be on your health. Think about smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating sugar (there are many others that are unhealthy as well, but these will be the three that we focus on). All of them can have an irreversible effect on your health (such as cancer, diabetes, or other major diseases).
My wife suffers from Type 1 diabetes and while we have had years of practice dealing with it, it is still not a fun disease. Not only is it expensive as all get out, it’s also extremely frightening and it affects her life on a daily basis. While she didn’t have a choice in the matter, many cases of diabetes are caused by additions or habits such as overeating / overconsuming sugar. I can’t imagine why someone would make the conscious choice to allow this disease into their lives, but I certainly encourage everyone to work as hard as they can to prevent it.
Not only are the effects of these additions / habits detrimental to your healthy lifestyle, but they can also have a significant influence on your finances. Let’s break it down a little using the example of smoking:
Smoking: If you smoke one pack a week all year, you spend over $300 on cigarettes. That being said, most who are addicted to smoking spend way over that. I know someone who smokes a pack or more each and every day which adds up to a whopping $2,190 a YEAR!
That’s two thousand dollars that could be spend on an entire vacation, a college savings account, a retirement account, or paying off debt. You also must consider that most people that smoke live in a household with at least one other smoker. Imagine having an extra $4,380 post-tax in your income?
If that’s hard to imagine, think of it this way: that’s $365 a MONTH. What could you do with an extra $365 a month? I know that it would make my life much easier. It would change your life, wouldn’t it?
Now, I know that this cost analysis was done on cigarettes, but the same effect can be had with quitting additions / habits such as sugary treats and alcohol. Simply by limiting these two you can save a fortune! (And any other unhealthy habits / addictions you may have).
Cooking From Scratch
Recently my wife and I have been working on cooking things from scratch more often in order to save money. If you remember, I wrote a whole post about
how you can save a ton of money by making your own homemade pasta ( ). Anyway, this isn’t the only thing you can save money on, but I want to talk a little bit about why cooking from scratch is one of the greatest tips I can give you for living a healthier lifestyle and saving money. you can read it HERE
Think about this: when you are opening a package of Ramen or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, how many of you look on the box at the serving size? Now, even if you look, you probably could eat the entire package by yourself – right? In fact, I bet you could eat the package
plus some by yourself. Not to mention, even if you only eat the one package, you are bound to be hungry in an hour.
Now think about a homemade roast and potato dinner, with fresh veggies and a dense homemade bread? When you eat a plate of this food, you may get seconds (MAYBE), but you’ll be full for hours. This type of big meal will satisfy you for a long, long time.
Why is this?
Because homemade food is filled with nutrients that pre-packaged, processed foods simply can’t offer. You are able to eat a ton more of these types of foods because your body is not receiving the nutrients it needs to sustain itself (thus making you feel hungry). When you finish your meal, your body is technically full, but you still do not have the nutrients so you feel hungry within an hour. Your body is begging for nutrients, but instead you jam-pack it with a slew of other non-food foods that are basically plastic in sauce.
So, not only is eating this type of food horrible for your body because it contains a million ingredients that are nowhere near the nutrients you need and can never satisfy your body, you are also throwing money out the door. Why? Because it takes over four times as much of this food to sustain you for the same amount of time that that one helping of that roast dinner will. Your body needs the nutrients and will continue to ask for them until you’ve eaten your family out of house and home.
By making homemade foods, you’ll be living a healthier lifestyle because you’ll feed your body the nutrients it needs to sustain itself, but you’ll also need less of it. Since you’ll be eating less (because your body will be satisfied sooner) you’ll spend much less on food in the long-run (saving you thousands each year).
Those Ramen noodles may sound cheap on the store, but think about their effect over the long-term.
Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle are actually Preventative Care
So, there you have it, a ton of tips for a healthy lifestyle that will save you money, but wait –
there’s more (that’s my infomercial side).
Not only will these tips help you to save money in the here and now and over the next couple of years, they will also help to provide you with preventative care. Think about it: when your body deteriorates because you have taken care of it poorly, things begin to go wrong. There are many things that could go wrong, but some of the more frequent fliers are diseases (such as diabetes), cancers, and generally poor health.
The less you take care of your health, the more you will need professional help caring for your health in the future. For diseases and cancers, you could end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in care that could have been prevented by simply following these tips for a healthy lifestyle.
That’s not to say that all diseases and conditions occur because of poor health, but there are many. Smoking can cause cancer, overeating and lack of exercise can cause diabetes or other diseases, and more. I can tell you this: exercising is a small price to pay to prevent a life-threatening disease.
Is your life worth it to you?
Which of these tips for a healthy lifestyle do you hope to work on during the month of January?
Let us know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money through Fronto, Ibotta, and other companies, and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.