6 Ways to Get Healthy AND Spend Less

Contributed by: Gerri Harmer Gerri Harmer

If you could choose one of these items in retirement, which would you pick?

  1. A vacation home
  2. Shiny red convertible
  3. Good health

A younger version of yourself would have probably gone for option 1 or 2. But many of us find when we get to retirement, our priorities change.  Without good health, all the other choices are irrelevant if you can’t enjoy them. Many of us dream of living a very active lifestyle when we retire with some money in our pockets.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have all the options? Wouldn’t it be even more amazing if it only took adapting just a few new habits to improve our long-term health?

Here are 6 ways to lean into better health while spending less:

1.     Start giving up that bad habit.  Most things that are bad for your health are bad for your wallet.  Smoking, junk food, fast food and pop can all be eliminated, adding money to your bottom line.

2.     Go outside.  Breathe the air and get fit by walking, gardening or bike riding.  Better yet, head to the park to toss a Frisbee, join in on a sport, or hit a trail. No need to pay fees for gym memberships during the summer.

3.     Buy local or grow your own.  Farmers markets usually have a great variety of organic fruits and vegetables.  You support your community and pay a fraction of the grocery store prices.  Better yet, start your own garden and save even more.

4.     Sleep 15 minutes more.  Give your body a little more time to repair itself.  Go to bed early or prep for your morning the night before so you can sleep an extra 15 minutes. 

5.     Drink water.  Experts recommend drinking 8 glasses a day. Before you allow yourself even a drop of anything else, drink a glass of water first. You’ll be surprised how much energy you gain while flushing all the bad stuff. Water is one of the least expensive beverage options especially when it comes from your filtered fridge instead of a bottle.

6.     Sit with nature.  Reset your stress levels by simply listening to the birds, taking in the scenery or feeling the breeze on your face.  It costs nothing and gives you peace and calm.

It might be difficult to change radically overnight, but leaning toward better habits may lead to a smoother, more permanent change in your health. And it doesn’t hurt that you’ll be saving money along the way!

Gerri Harmer is a Client Service Manager at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.