Most people know that you look and feel better when you make healthy lifestyle choices, but did you know that you could also save a considerable amount of money over your lifetime? Yes, healthy living actually has a direct correlation to saving money.
The Financial Perks of Living Healthy
There are lots of reasons to choose healthy living, but the financial perks are some of the most tangible. Let’s check out a few of the big ones:
- Fewer Sick Days
Let’s start with one of the obvious benefits: fewer sick days. When you eat healthy and exercise regularly, your immune system is stronger. This allows you to avoid unnecessary illnesses – especially during cold and flu season.
Healthy habits also have a big picture effect on health. As The Gawler Cancer Foundation explains, “Good nutrition built on an organic plant-based wholefood diet, creates a cancer-unfriendly alkaline environment in the body and supports the body’s natural healing process.”
For hourly workers, fewer sick days – whether from acute illness or chronic conditions – means more days where you’re getting paid. For salaried employees, it means more opportunities to be productive and earn bonuses, commissions, promotions, etc. It makes you a more reliable employee.
- Lower Health Insurance Premium
Did you know that different health factors actually have a direct impact on your health insurance premium costs? These include things like body mass index, tobacco usage, pre-existing medical conditions, and numerous other health-related issues. The healthier you are, the less you’ll have to spend in premiums. Not bad, right?
- Lower Life Insurance Premium
In a similar vein, your health also influences life insurance premiums. For example, a smoker pays roughly 15 to 20 percent more in premiums than a non-smoker. Other health conditions can result in premiums that are two to three times as much.
- Lower Food Expenses
Choosing to live healthy means eating healthy. One of the indirect benefits is that you eat out less and cook more fresh meals from home. Considering that food costs are one of the most expensive line items in the average family’s budget, this simple move can save you thousands of dollars per year in food costs alone.
Want to learn more about the amount of money you can save by no longer eating out on a regular basis? This handy article runs some of the calculations for you.
- Greater Productivity
Did you know that healthy people are usually more productive? This idea has been supported by multiple studies, including a 2012 report conducted by Brigham Young University.
“The researchers evaluated 19,800 employees at three large companies and found that eating well every day may lower your risk of productivity loss by 66%,” NerdWallet’s Lacie Glover writes. “They also found that exercise lowered the risk of lost productivity by 50%, and getting five fruit and vegetable servings lowered the risk by 39%.”
Living healthy clearly has practical and financial benefits, but it’s not as easy as simply saying, “I think I’m going to start living a healthy lifestyle.” In order to actually live a lifestyle that’s healthy (and not destructive), you have to cultivate self-discipline. And the first step in developing discipline is to tap into motivation.
“For me, the motivation came from realizing that what I was doing wasn’t working. Ignoring the problems only made things worse,” explains Leo Babauta, founder of Zen Habits. “Trying to be disciplined but doing it ‘half-assedly’ only resulted in me feeling bad about myself. Being wholly undisciplined was causing myself a bunch of pain.”
Once you find the motivation to live healthy, you have to maintain a big picture perspective (rather than just thinking about the short-term). This forces you into a rhythm where you understand that the choices you make now affect the outcomes you experience down the road.
The beauty of cultivating self-discipline is that you’re able to see growth and improvement as you go. In terms of living a healthy lifestyle, the financial benefits are the tangible markers by which you can continue to motivate yourself to press forward. Enjoy them and allow them to motivate you into continued success.