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Healthy living, healthy wallet: How good living impacts your finances.

    

SUMMARY: You probably already know that eating healthy and engaging in moderate exercise are two important ways to maintain good physical health. There are several ways, however, that healthy habits not only improve your health, but can actually save you money.

healthy livingQuit smoking

Quitting smoking should be a no-brainer. According to Mic, 52 million people in the United States are still regular smokers. Besides the innumerable health costs that are associated with smoking, just buying cigarettes over the course of several years will cost you an enormous amount of money. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is about $6. In 10 years that comes to almost $22,000.

Maintain a normal weight

Achieving and maintaining a normal weight isn't easy but it can affect your finances as much as your health. Even losing 15 to 20 pounds could mean no longer needing blood pressure or cholesterol medicine. Weight loss along with a healthy diet could also keep diabetes in check. Losing weight can also boost your immune system and improve your sleep, which can ultimately lead to better health and fewer trips to the doctor. Not having to visit the doctor as frequently or take as many medications can significantly save you money.

Watch what you eat

There are several specific things you can do to lose weight and get healthy. What you eat can affect your wallet as much as your waistline. There are several ways to cut costs on your food budget.

  • Eat Out Less - Americans spend approximately $936 each year eating out for lunch. According to the Balance, eating out less is attainable if you plan your meals ahead of time and make meals that require little or no prep time.
  • Cut Portions - Most Americans eat more at each meal than what is recommended for healthy portion size. Cutting back even a small amount can save money and help you keep your weight under control.
  • Choose Healthy - While it's true that fresh produce and lean meats can be pricey, there are healthy choices that don't have to cost a lot. Eggs and beans are inexpensive yet good sources of protein.

Make healthy drink choices

Monitoring your drink choices is an excellent way to improve health and still make a huge difference financially.

  • Eliminate Soda - Completely eliminating soda from your diet will not only save you hundreds of dollars each year but will help trim your waistline. Drinking soda has been related to everything from tooth decay and gum disease to cancer and heart problems.
  • Cut Out Alcohol - Cutting out alcoholic beverages can dramatically improve your budget. If you can't imagine completely giving up an occasional glass of wine or beer, at least eliminate cocktails while dining out. Purchasing a bottle of wine for an occasional glass at home is considerably cheaper than the high prices restaurants charge.
  • Drink Tap Water - While bottled water is still cheaper than most other beverages, the cost can add up. If you're concerned about the quality of your water install a filter on your faucet.

Change your transportation

If possible, you should walk or bike to work. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) states that taking public transit will save a person approximately $9,242 each year. If you could save that much riding a bus or a train, think how much more you could potentially save by riding a modestly priced bike. Biking or walking everywhere within a 5-mile radius will not only save you a lot of money but will ultimately improve your health as well.

TDECU Wealth Advisors (TWA) provides a combined financial planning experience of over 100 years. Learn how TWA can support your financial health and get you in "top shape."

Sources:

Mic - https://mic.com/articles/154149/quit-smoking-and-save-money-here-s-how-much-cigarettes-are-really-costing-you#.zSoD2nFzO

Balance - https://www.thebalance.com/slash-your-food-bill-stop-eating-out-2385715

APTA - http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2010/Pages/100112_Transit_Savings.aspx

TWA - https://www.tdecu.org/wealth-advisors-what-we-do/

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