Vowing to eat better or exercise more in the months ahead is a popular New Year’s resolution. But did you know that taking steps to improve your health can also save you money this year and long into the future? To benefit both your body and your bank account, follow these simple suggestions.
Consult a doctor
Finding a physician you trust is crucial to ensuring not just your future health but also your financial well-being. If you were to become ill or get injured, you could face personal and financial costs for things like treatment and time away from work. Your doctor can track important indicators, such as your blood pressure, cholesterol level, heart rate, weight, and temperature, to identify problematic issues before they imperil your health and finances. Be sure to schedule regular checkups and follow you doctor’s advice for the best outcome.
Get medical insurance
If you don’t already have it, purchase medical insurance through your employer, private insurance, Medicare, your state’s online marketplace, or HealthCare.gov. Insurance will pay for at least a portion of your medical care, including wellness visits and routine checkups. Make it your job to understand the details of your coverage, such as how much you’d have to spend for copays, appointments with your primary care doctor and specialists, visits to the emergency room, or hospital care.
Eat healthy on a budget
You can boost your health and finances by buying nutritious yet affordable foods and making your own meals. For instance, veggies like broccoli, carrots, celery, onions, and sweet potatoes all tend to be cheaper than other vegetables year-round, and there are many ways to get quality meats for less, such as by purchasing a whole chicken and roasting it, then carving it into sections for multiple meals and using its bones for a nutritious broth. If you like to eat seafood for its health benefits, you may see additional savings by buying it frozen, since it’s usually less expensive than fresh and has a longer shelf life. Stock up on healthy seafood and meats when they’re on sale—simply place them in your freezer and defrost them when needed.
Drink tap water
If clean tap water is readily available to you, you can hold onto a lot of cash by drinking this free resource instead of grabbing a sugary soda or latte every day. Tap water has no calories, so drinking it won’t add on the pounds, and regularly staying hydrated can increase your energy levels and brain functioning, keep your joints lubricated, and protect your spinal cord, potentially reducing medical expenses in the long run.
Exercise for less
Everyone knows it’s important to exercise regularly to keep medical bills down and live a longer life. Home exercise equipment and gym memberships can be pricey, but they are usually offered at a discount in January. You may also be able to get a gym membership for less at the end of any month when sales professionals are striving to meet their quotas, making it possible to negotiate a better deal. However, you don’t need fancy equipment or a gym to improve your fitness—a daily walk around the block or a few minutes playing in the yard with your family or pets at the end of the day might be enough to boost your health and reap financial benefits in the long run.
Lower your thermostat
You may tend to pay more to heat your home when temperatures dip, but did you know that if you turned your thermostat down just a little before you go to bed, you could enjoy healthier sleep and pad your wallet? Research shows that a cooler sleeping environment can help improve your sleep, slow aging, and prevent disease. So when you hit the sack tonight, dial down the heat to get those Zs and save some Gs.
Implement these easy tactics as early as you can this year, and you may find yourself coming out ahead in more ways than one.