The chances are that when you made your New Year resolutions at the beginning of the year, you focused on two facets of your life: money and health. Everyone wants to begin the year with a positive and refreshed frame of mind. You yearn for a prosperous 2018 and want to instil a new sense of sound money management into your everyday life. At the same time, you want to be healthy. You don’t simply want to shift those stubborn few pounds that you put on over Christmas, you want to keep the weight off, become fitter, enhance your immune system and be the epitome of good health.
Lifestyle changes can often ring alarm bells. You assume that eating superfoods, beginning yet another new gym membership and cooking meals from scratch are going to cost you both time and money. However, you’d be wrong. Your financial situation and your health can be interlinked. There are plenty of ways you can save money by changing your lifestyle for the better.
When it comes to our bodies, there is always something we want to change, and this inevitably involves our weight to some extent. You might want to tone up, lose your love handles, get rid of the spare tyre overspilling your jeans or you might want to burn some fat. While exercise is important, you also need a balanced and nutritious diet to help you lose the pounds. For some, this means getting rid of the convenience foods and opting for a kitchen full of fresh vegetables, lean meats, and store cupboard staples. Pizza and chips can be thrown in the oven but the amount of saturated fat you are putting into your body can be astronomical, and you are receiving zero of the antioxidants that you need to promote good heart health and help counteract the effect of free radicals within the body.
If you go to the extremes of picking up goji berries, flaxseed, vegan chocolate and wheatgrass to add to your diet, there is no doubt that you will end up spending a small fortune. Instead, you need to simply purchase cheap fresh vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and kale. The greener the vegetable the greater the iron content. Swap you frozen chips for fresh sweet potato wedges and dump the pizza in favour of lean meats. Supermarkets will often have promotional offers on their vegetables. If you feel that the fresh variety will get wasted, there’s nothing wrong with picking up frozen sweet peppers, peas, and carrots. They are frozen within two hours of being picked so retain all the goodness of the fresh equivalents. Being frozen there is no wastage, and they are often cheaper.
If you’re unsure of what meals to cook, opt for one pot wonders. There’s nothing easier than sourcing a cheaper cut of meat from the supermarket or your local butchers, cutting up some veg, adding some herbs and stock and cooking a lovely slow roast stew. As it’s winter, the hearty grub will be hugely satisfying and is ultimately healthy.
You don’t have to secure a lucrative gym membership that costs you a high two-figure sum a month to get fit. You can easily choose a cheaper no-frills gym or forego the environment altogether. Instead, utilise what you have to see your muffin top shrink. The best form of exercise is walking. By heading out in the evening and taking a stroll around the park, getting off the bus a few stops early and walking to work or simply wandering to the newsagents to pick up some healthy snacks, you will become more active. To take it a step further you could head out for long walks at the weekend, see some countryside and enjoy breathing in clean, fresh air. Being outdoors rather than enclosed in the gym can also alleviate stress and make us feel calmer and more relaxed.
If walking isn’t your thing, consider revisiting some of the sports you loved to play when you were younger. For a very small fee, you could join a ladies soccer club, netball club or volleyball group. You’ll enjoy the camaraderie and team spirit that you will become a part of. Many of the people who share a love for the same sport as you will also be keen to get fit, healthy and lose weight so you can spur one another on to achieve your goals.
Everyone has a guilty pleasure. For some it’s chocolate. For others, it’s anything with an obscene amount of sugar in it. If food isn’t your vice, then alcohol or cigarettes might be. The obvious way to save money is to go cold turkey. However, this is doomed to failure as only a select few have the willpower to make it through the inevitable temptation stage. Instead, consider healthier alternatives to your vice.
When you’re out for a meal with your nearest and dearest, ask for extra salad or vegetables instead of fries or starchy carbs with the main course and skip the starter. When it comes to dessert, you don’t have to forego it altogether. This leads to food envy and a miserable night. You don’t want to be torturing yourself with food otherwise you’ll end up gorging yourself on unhealthy grub after the temptation has become too much. Offer to share a pudding with a friend; the chances are that they’ll be more than happy to accommodate your request leaving you to satisfy your sweet tooth eating a smaller portion and saving a few pounds in the process.
If you are a social smoker, you may end up spending money on a packet of cigarettes and numerous glasses of wine on a night out. There are alternatives that are just as satisfying. You could click here to explore the world of vaping. Instead of pumping your body full of tar and other nasties you could fulfil a craving with an e-cigarette which is more economical long term.
While a glass of wine or two might not seem like too big a deal, if this is a regular nightly occurrence or descends into a binge drinking session more often than not, there’s a good chance you don’t appreciate a headache the morning after or the ever growing belly that your alcohol consumption might be promoting. Instead, volunteer to be the driver for the night. This way you may get free non-alcoholic drinks paid for by your pals, and you won’t have the pounding head the next day. After a few outings without alcohol, you will see how much more you can remember from the evening, you won’t make a fool of yourself, and you’ll have saved a fortune in the process.
Opting for a healthier lifestyle can result in less money being spent on cigarettes, alcohol, convenience food, and little-used gym memberships. Although you may feel like your health and finance mission is too steep a hill to climb, you’ll be surprised how all of the many health savings stack up. With the extra money in your pocket, you could then treat yourself to a spa day, pamper yourself or book yourself into a yoga class. This way you can use some of the money you have saved on your lifestyle overhaul to improve your mental well being as well as your physical health. Whatever it is you choose to do with your more buoyant savings, you will be enjoying a healthier and more prosperous 2018.