When you think about living a healthier lifestyle, you probably picture the benefits. Being more fit, looking thinner, and preventing diseases are often the first ones that come to mind. Rarely do we think of how healthy living can benefit our bank accounts. Well, it turns out that living well can make your life rich in a few different ways.
Each day, you can save money by living a healthier lifestyle. One of the most straightforward ways to save is by cutting out unhealthy habits.
Smoking and drinking drain your expendable income and your health. While the health benefits of quitting smoking are well established, the financial benefits are less discussed. A pack of cigarettes costs an average of $6.17 nationwide. For a pack-a-day smoker, that means spending an average of $2,252.05 a year on cigarettes alone.
As for drinking, the national average is 556 drinks a year. A 24-pack costs an average of $18.64 nationwide. In other words, someone can expect to spend about $447.36 for 24 cases each year. These are only examples. Depending on how much and what you drink and smoke, the amount you save by quitting could be even greater.
Cultivating better eating habits also leads to financial savings. For example, if you eat smaller portion sizes and cut out snacking, you’ll save money on the food you didn’t eat. Let’s say you consume a large $5 bag of chips every week. If you cut down to eating half a bag per week, you’d be saving $130 per year.
Or, maybe instead of getting a $10 lunch at a fast food restaurant every day, you make a $3 salad and drink water. That swap alone could save you $2,555 each year. Cooking at home, instead of eating out, can also be effective in keeping you in good physical shape and more financially stable.
Taking up a healthier lifestyle can even reduce your transportation expenses. Biking or walking instead of driving isn’t only great exercise; it can save you a ton on gas money and wear and tear on your car. To refill your car’s gas tank each week, it might cost you $34.80. Usually, cars hold between 12 and 16 gallons of gas, and the national average regular gas price was $2.486 at the time this post was written.
With all these savings, you may find yourself with an extra $6,289.21 each year!
If you cut your gas usage in half by walking or biking, that’s an estimated $904.80 you can save a year. Between the transportation, food, and bad habit savings, you could find yourself with an extra $6,289.21 each year by making all these suggested changes!
Lower Insurance Rates
There’s a reason the Medicare program and many health insurances offer preventative care or fitness programs. The healthier you are, the less likely you will need their services, and the less they will need to pay out. That’s why many plans will ask for lifestyle information, like whether you smoke, and will charge you more for it.
Life insurance is very similar. If you are healthier, life insurance companies will often offer you lower premiums. This is because they look at many factors when determining how risky you are to cover. The healthier you are, the less of a risk there is that they will need to pay out anytime soon. In turn, they reward you by charging you less.
The Long-Term Savings of Good Health
The most significant savings you’ll make by living healthier is long-term savings. So, yes, while you can save thousands each year by cutting out snacking and bad habits, getting in more exercise, and paying less on insurance premiums, the real savings are down the road.
Following the doctor’s orders and being healthier can save you from future medical bills. Diabetes, one of the more preventable illnesses, can cost you about $7,900 each year. For cancer patients, the median monthly expense for treatment is $703, or $8,436 each year.
Heart disease, another preventable disease, can also be incredibly costly live with. And this is only the tip of the iceberg — we haven’t even touched on the long-term effects of stress and lack of sleep on your wallet and health.
Besides increasing your risk for preventable diseases, obesity causes a lot of wear and tear on your body.
Losing weight and keeping it off also has its own long-term benefits. Besides increasing your risk for preventable diseases, obesity causes a lot of wear and tear on your body. This can lead to expensive joint surgery or mobility issues in the future.
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Ultimately, the reasons for choosing to live healthier are implicit. You choose to live healthier so you can be healthier.
One key benefit of embracing a healthier lifestyle is developing a prevention mindset, which will help you say no to unhealthy activities and choices. As making healthier choices becomes habitual, it should become easier to stay on the right path. Clearly, the results are advantageous!