I really like making New Year's resolutions. I'm not always so keen about keeping them. So the key for me is to find something I like more to motivate me to keep the resolutions I make. A good example here is saving cash. If I know keeping my resolutions will also save me money, and I already have an idea of what I want to use that yet-to-be-saved cash for, I am much more motivated.
Here are some very motivational health resolutions that will improve your life and your wallet.
1. Shop with a grocery list.
If your #1 health resolution this year was going to be "lose weight" or "get in shape," this resolution will do both—and save you cash too. (Need proof? Check out this KCL post!) In fact, if you sign up for a weight-loss program, chances are the first thing they’ll ask you to do is shop with a grocery list (because the National Institutes of Health recommends it).
- What to do: Did you know your KCL member account comes with a free digital shopping list? All you need to do is create your account, log in, click on the coupons you want to use, and then print them out when you’re ready to shop! (Watch this video to learn how.)
- How you’ll save: By matching up your list with coupons and deals in advance, you’ll pay less each week for groceries.
2. Lose weight.
Speaking of losing weight, did you know that an overweight/obese adult incurs an estimated $1,429 more in annual medical costs than a fit person? (For more see Bankrate.) But this isn’t the only way losing weight can help you save money.
- Lower insurance premiums: Lower health risks equate to lower insurance premiums. The more extra weight you carry, the more risk you carry for diabetes, stroke, heart disease and other high-cost health conditions.
- Lower meal costs: Let's say you like to go out to eat. But now since you’re watching your calories, you take half of every meal home and cut your costs in half.
3. Get in shape.
Health experts today state there’s a big difference between simply losing weight and being fit. A person can be slim and still be out of shape—with all the attendant health risks that come with it. One of the big ways you save is by cutting out the unhealthy habits that tend to produce weight gain (excess drinking, smoking, fast food, coffee and snack breaks).
- Lower food costs: Let's say you typically spend $6 per day on a morning coffee and an afternoon vending machine snack. But now you drink tea and bring your snack (crunchy carrots) from home, saving you at least $1,500 per year.
4. Cut back on alcohol (especially pricey alcohol ordered out).
Alcohol is not just expensive, but it’s also packed with calories. It can also alter your mood and disrupt your sleep, change your job performance and impact your relationships. There are many good reasons to cut back on alcohol in the new year, but one of the biggest revolves around saving cold hard cash.
- Amount the average adult spends on alcohol annually: $456 (for more see BLS). Say you cut that in half, so you save $228 per year.
5. Get creative about fitness.
Here, you’re probably thinking, "Wait—isn't that Resolution #3?" But here, we are specifically talking about cutting out a gym membership in favor of fitness activities you can do for free (or cheaper).
- Ideas: Walk at the park with friends, jog at a local college or high school's track, ride your bike, swim in the ocean, work out at home with DVDs, find free yoga classes at churches and community centers, use your employer's gym facilities (or ask your employer to start a fitness center!), take martial arts with your kids, find a "gently used" pair of roller skates and go skating…the possibilities are endless.
- Average annual cost of a gym membership: $660 (for a $55/month membership)
Whether these particular resolutions are on your list or not, do your research and find out how much your personal health resolutions are likely to save you over the next year. Post the savings for each one in an area where you can see it daily. Have a plan for those funds. Use that plan to keep you motivated all year long!