While December is notorious for blowing the bank balance and your waistline, there are measures you can take to reverse the damage; that’s right, improve your health AND save money, here’s how…
The January hangover leads to New Year’s resolutions, the most common two? Get healthy and save more money. Together both can be achieved with a bit of thoughtful planning. Here are 3 ways to get you back on track.
1. Take a hike, ditch the memberships
According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association the average gym membership at about $43 per month. By ditching the gym you’ll instantly save $516 annually. “But what about my fitness?” we hear you cry? There are so many ways to get fit without a gym; pull-ups at the playground, bench dips on a chair in the dining room or bicep curls using a gallon of water… the list goes on. What’s more, if you start to walk to get you places, you’ll get fit as well as saving on transportation costs = win/win.
2. ‘Tis the IN-Season
Food accounts for 12.5%, or just over $7,000 in the average budget, of annual expenditures, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s an area where you can make some pretty immediate changes. If one of your new year’s resolutions was to learn a new skill, take up cooking! Cooking meals at home can be a quick and easy way to save cash, plus cooking at home means you know what’s going in your food so you can watch your butter, oil, sugar and salt intake. It’s also a savvy move to buy in-season produce where possible. Not only is food that’s in season fresher, more nutrient-dense and way more delicious; it’s also significantly cheaper.
3. Ditch the bad habits
Another top NY resolution is to loosen the grip of vices – including smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Whether you have the budget for it or not, bad habits are extremely costly — both to your wallet, and your health.
While a pack of cigarettes, which can run anywhere between $5 to $14, depending on the state, or the cost of an e-cigarette, which can sell for about $15 for prefilled cartridges, there are other surprising costs to smoking as well. For example, smokers, on average, earn less at their jobs than nonsmokers, have increased insurance premiums and of course the cost of healthcare to cover various types of smoking-related illnesses.
Alcohol is also detrimental to health (including your waistline) and your bank account. The average American admits to spending at least $38 a week on booze. By cutting your intake by as little as three drinks per week can start to add up in your wallet. That’s especially true if those drinks come at a bar or restaurant, where a pint of beer can fetch upward of $8. You will also need to consider the additional costs associated with drinking: For instance, consider cab fare, tips for the bartender, hiring a babysitter, and the increased medical costs.
Just imagine everything you could buy — or how much you could save — by following these three steps to a happy and healthier 2019. With a little extra planning and a hint of creativity, you’re on your way to reversing the infamous damage caused over the holiday season.
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