Decision No. 1: Cutting back on high-quality foods
High-quality food is a health bargain that generates the vitality, energy and immunity you need to be effective and resilient in times of stress. Economizing in ways that reduce your nutritional intake, unbalance your diet, or expose you to toxic, inflammatory compounds could cost you far more than you save by making you vulnerable to expensive health conditions. Research has shown that poor nutrition (the kind you get from eating a diet of processed, low-quality or industrially farmed foods) contributes to a wide range of chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, depression, a variety of inflammatory conditions and even some cancers. It can also lower your immunity, making you more susceptible to colds, flu and infections.
Take the time to pack a lunch for work and cook at home as often as you can. Skipping a few moderately priced dinners out each month can save enough money to cover an entire week’s worth of groceries. Give up processed foods like sodas and chips. Keep healthy snacks handy in your desk, car and tote bag and bring your own water wherever you go.
Decision No. 2: Cancelling your gym membership
If your membership gives you access to facilities or other resources that provide the foundation of your fitness regimen, or that support you in maintaining healthy routines, the money you save may not be worth the risk you take in cancelling it. If you can keep fit without a health-club membership, however, then you may be able to work out on your own without sacrificing your fitness goals. If you are unsure, or if you have tried it in the past and had little success, do not make a hasty decision.
Having a fitness routine supports more than just your body. It alleviates stress and boosts mood and energy levels. If you currently have a rewarding gym routine, than keep it. If you do quit and then end up rejoining a year later, you may end up paying another initiation fee.
Before you make any decision, review your gym membership offerings: Are there classes or facilities you haven’t explored? Does your gym offer discounted salon and spa services that could save you money over your current expenditures in those areas? What about special deals on goods and services from other retail partners? Getting a discount on other services through members-only savings could help you reclaim a good amount of your monthly dues.
Decision No. 3: Skipping chiropractic, massage, pilates, or yoga appointments
Depending on your current condition, stress level, and the role these services play in your well-being, you may be able to cut back and save some money, but you may also risk destabilizing your health and fitness in the process. Ask yourself about your quality of life and health in the absence of these services. As you review your current and planned expenditures, consider how you can maintain momentum in the areas that give you the most benefit.
Explore cheaper services in your local community, university or hospital. Go through your entire budget with a view to what else you might give up instead.
Health is a priority that belongs in everybody’s budget. The more that you value your health and fitness, the more important it is to economize with those priorities in mind.