If you’re extra motivated, you might be willing to take on goals that improve your health on top of additional resolutions that save you money. But for the rest of us still recovering from 2022, it may come as a relief to know you don’t need to commit to separate health and financial goals; you can target both at once with these five ideas.
1. Create a Medical Emergency Fund
One of the best ways to improve your health and budget simultaneously is with an emergency fund.
These savings can help you see a doctor or a dentist when you really need help, whether or not you have insurance. Almost everyone faces out-of-pocket expenses or deductibles when paying for health- or dental care.
You should tweak your budget to set aside cash for regular visits, as well as any unexpected trips to the clinic. This extra cushion can help you cover lab tests, procedures, and prescriptions you might need in the future.
What if you get sick or injured before you build these savings? Think twice about putting off your care because you can’t afford it.
Delaying care can put your health through the wringer. An untreated cough can turn into bronchitis, or a sore jaw can become a dental abscess. You can wind up losing time at work, plus these issues cost more to treat than if you took care of them right away.
In an emergency, you should research what you need to qualify for an online loan. This information is easy to find if you visit MoneyKey, an online loan financial service.
Online loans come in many shapes and sizes, varying from lender to lender, so it’s important you shop around when researching.
This step can help you understand how much an online loan costs, so you can do the math. In the long run, it might be cheaper to borrow and treat an issue when it’s still minor than waiting until it needs expensive intervention.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking may not be in vogue anymore, but about 31 million Americans still do it regularly. Kicking this bad habit frequently makes its way onto New Year’s resolution lists because going smoke-free is healthy.
Quitting now can also save you a lot in long-term health costs, but for those who need instant gratification, there’s more good news. Kicking the habit can put money in your pocket right now.
According to smokefree.gov, the average smoker (someone who smokes 12.5 cigarettes a day) will save $3.93 a day. That puts $118 back into your budget each month, for a total annual savings of $1,434! This would make an impressive windfall for your emergency fund, or you can use it to repay your loans online.
3. Eat Well to Eliminate Food Waste
A healthy diet is often considered an expensive diet. While it’s true fresh produce can be costly, it’s likely food waste that’s the biggest reason you’re spending a lot to fill your fridge.
How often do you find a liquified spring mix or leftovers growing something fuzzy in the fridge? You wouldn’t be the only one to let food go bad like this. The average family throws out about $1,500 in food each year.
You can eat a healthful, balanced diet that stops food waste in its tracks by planning your meals around shelf-stable items.
Substitute fresh food for canned and frozen alternatives
Studies show they retain most (if not all) of their nutritional value, and they’re a lot cheaper. Best of all, they can last over a year depending on the item.
Rely on the cheap yet filling meals of rice and legumes
These two items are some of the most shelf-stable items in your pantry. They’re also the basis of many hearty stews, soups, and curries that deliver on flavour and protein while skipping on price. Going totally vegan saves you as much as $23 per week on groceries, provided you avoid costly premade meals and meat or dairy substitutes.
4. Limit Takeout and Meal Subscriptions
If the siren’s call of a drive-thru is hard to ignore after a long day, maybe these statistics will change your mind. The average U.S. household spends nearly $200 every month on takeout and restaurant dining.
In a year, eating out adds up to $2,375! Just halving this amount gives you more than $1,000 to put towards online loans or an emergency fund.
In this busy, always-on world, you might feel as though you have no time to cook for yourself. But a simple change in perspective can help you avoid takeout. Simple meal prep and batch-cooking meals (to freeze for later use) may only take a couple of hours but can help you avoid eating out all week long.
5. Cancel Your Gym Membership
Going to the gym may be on your New Year’s resolution list, but this membership can cost you nearly $58 a month on average. Cancelling your membership could save you nearly $700 in a year!
A gym may seem like the only way to shed some pounds, improve your stamina, or build muscle. But that’s not true. Quitting the gym doesn’t mean you have to give up on your fitness goals.
Lace up your tennis shoes. Studies show walking is one of the best ways to get into shape, and you can do that anywhere for free.
In this day and age, millions of free fitness classes are at your fingertips — you only need a phone, laptop, or smart TV to access them. Many online videos use body weight to build muscle or work up a sweat, so you don’t even have to spend money on costly workout equipment.
You don’t need to split your focus between health and fitness in 2023. You can improve both with the multitasking goals listed here. Good luck!