We often don’t think about the impact that lifestyle can have on our finances. After all, it’s not always intuitive to connect your everyday habits with your pocketbook. However, there are some lifestyle choices that, over time, can add up to a lot of money.
If you want to build wealth long-term, it’s not just about investing. How you go about your day-to-day will also make a big difference to how much you can accumulate in your lifetime. Here are three lifestyle changes that you should consider making in order to save you money in the long run.
Improve Your Health
In a world of rising health care costs, it’s increasingly easy to see how your budget can be impacted by the way you live your life in terms of healthy habits. You might think the pandemic has pushed this realization front and center to all of our minds. However, the reality is that the stay-at-home mandate has made many of us even less active and thus less healthy.
Poor health comes with a variety of costs. For starters, you’ll pay more for your health insurance premiums if you begin to use more health services. Additionally, there are some conditions (Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, for example) that can be expensive to deal with. In many cases, these chronic and expensive conditions are related to poor health habits.
Poor health can also affect your earning ability. If you work in manual labor, keeping your body fit and strong means being able to earn that income on a regular basis. If you work at a desk, though, having to take time off work for extended medical reasons could affect your income.
On top of that, good health can boost your immune system. That means fewer sick days. At the very least, you won’t have to spend a whole bunch of money on chicken noodle soup, Advil, or cough syrup!
But How Can You Do It?
If you want to save money in the long run, you need to take a look at your health habits. Some ways to improve your health include.
- Better diet.
- Being outdoors more.
- Do some stretches in between those marathon sit-in-front-of-the-computer sessions.
- Drink more water.
- Adequate sleep.
- Stop smoking.
You don’t have to completely overhaul your lifestyle to begin to see changes to your health. Make small changes to your health routine, especially at first. Try switching out unhealthy foods for better foods. Add a brisk walk to your day, even if it’s only a 15 or 20 minute jaunt. Try to go to bed a little earlier at night and don’t use your devices right before you go to bed. You should also try to create a relaxing routine right before it’s time for shuteye. That will help you turn off your brain and fall asleep easier.
I use a Christian healthcare ministry for our healthcare expenses. They literally give you a discount for being healthy. By meeting certain criteria (like weight or maintaining certain healthy habits), the monthly premium that our family pays is discounted by 20%.
Getting healthier might not have an immediate impact on your finances like it does for me. But make no mistake — being unhealthy will continue to cost you more and more as you age. Even if you live somewhere with government funded healthcare (looking at you, Canada), taking care of your own health will still pay off in the long run.
Take (Better) Care of Your Stuff
Do you remember those thick white erasers that you used to get at school? Each one lasts practically a lifetime. But how many of us was actually able to use one until the very end without losing them? As a result, we buy a whole box of them and waste money in the process.
Many other things work the same way. If you take good care of your stuff, you will less likely need to replace them. You can get your car to last longer if you drive defensively, get regular maintenance, and keep it clean. Everything from clothing to appliance, and electronics to your flooring will last longer if you take proper care of it. Make it a point to care for your things. You won’t have to buy replacements as often or pay for repairs. Those savings can make a huge difference over time.
Live More Sustainably
Going green won’t just help save the planet. It can also help you save money. Live more sustainably, and you might be surprised at how much money you can save over time. Paying attention to how much water you use can mean a lower water bill. Turn off the faucets, take shorter showers, and consider collecting rainwater for your garden. It won’t seem to matter much at first, but the savings can really add up over time.
Speaking of gardening, you can save money on your groceries with the help of a good garden. Local food is often better for the environment. It doesn’t get more local than your own backyard. It will also likely be very organic, since you won’t use nearly as many pesticides as those big farms. You can save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and eat mighty fresh produce to boot.
Conserving energy will also give you some savings. Use natural lighting in your home when possible. Use energy efficient LED light bulbs and energy star rated appliances. Smart strips can reduce energy vampirism. In fact, unplug all the electronics that you aren’t using regularly, since electricity leaks can derail any efforts to save on the electric bill. With a little planning, you can use less energy, reduce your carbon output, and save money in the process.
These small lifestyle changes may not seem like much, but they can add up to big savings of tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. So why not start now and reap the rewards?