It often feels like living a healthy life means spending more money. Expensive gyms, fancy pressed juice drinks, and other elixirs. But, if you do it right, embracing a healthier lifestyle can actually help you save money. Here are five small healthy habits to integrate in your daily life to improve your well-being, as well as your wallet’s.
If you’ve ever fallen victim to the flu or other sickness, you know there’s nothing more frustrating than being bedridden for days. You have to pay for doctor visits and medicine, you can’t go to work, and other expenses pile up. Getting a flu shot at the beginning of the season and investing in other preventative care (medication, vitamins, etc) will be well-worth it if you can avoid a bout of illness. Getting annual checkups and dental visits will also help to avoid bigger medical issues down the line.
Walk and Exercise More
We all know that we should be exercising 30 minutes a day. It relieves stress, makes you sleep better, and is good for our bodies. An easy way to fit this in is to walk instead of driving or taking public transit. Obviously, some distances are too far to walk, but if you can make it work, do. Or, walk one way, and take the bus or a rideshare on the way home. You’ll save money on gas and bus fare, all while losing weight and reducing your stress.
Eating Protein-Rich Meals
If you’re tired of eating big meals that leave you hungry a few hours later, you likely need to fit in more protein to your diet. That can be meat and fish, but an even more cost-effective solution is beans, lentils, or eggs. A meal of dried or canned beans, frozen vegetables, and rice is nutritional, filling, and super cheap. When your meals have more substance, you won’t need to hit the drive through or convenience store for a snack later on. Plus, the whole foods are better for you, and ensure you’re getting the balanced diet you need.
If your bank account seems drained at the end of every week, is it from buying alcohol? Try stopping the habit of picking up beer or wine every week to have at the end of the day. You might not really be craving alcohol, but just a non-water beverage that feels like a treat. Instead, buy a back of flavored seltzer water, or a drink powder you can make from home. It will still give you something to enjoy after class or work, but it will cost way less. And your body will thank you for drinking less.
Entertaining friends might seem expensive, but if you share the financial responsibility, it can be a big money-saver, and better for you. Instead of going out for pizza and beer, whip up a frozen pizza or make one yourself plus a side salad for movie night at your house. Home-cooked meals are almost always more nutritious than restaurant meals, and you’ll save a ton of money. Plus, you’ll actually get to catch up with your friends, instead of yelling over the music at your favorite bar.