Can becoming healthier make you rich?
By Lorie Jones
Many people believe a healthy lifestyle requires expensive gym memberships and large time commitments, however getting your bank account in shape could be as easy as getting yourself in shape! The immediate benefits include saving on food costs and better life insurance premiums, but a healthy lifestyle will also provide you with invaluable goal setting techniques and a longer lifespan with a few simple changes.
Food is an important part of healthy living, and the average person spends about $3,000 a year on their food, which makes up about 6% of an average yearly income. Many people believe that junk food is cheaper than traditionally healthy foods because junk food has a lower cost per calorie, but that is not true. Processed junk foods that are high in calories do not provide quality vitamins and nutrients that will keep you filled longer and help your body build healthy bones and muscles. Grains, Fruits, and Veggies all provide long lasting nutritional support, and were all found to be cheaper sources of food long-term for households then junk food in a recent USDA study.  This not only makes your feel better every day, but it keeps you out of the doctor’s office, which leads to a healthier bank balance as well.
Life insurance is another big spending area for those who buy it (and at Fidelis Wealth we recommend you have an appropriate level of life insurance to protect against any unforeseen life events). The biggest and easiest way to cut down your monthly life insurance payments would be to quit smoking if you have a smoking habit. On average people who smoke end up paying 300%+ more than a non-smoker of the same age, and those costs add up quick! Other unhealthy lifestyles choices also affect your payments like being obese. Obesity will generally cost you an extra $20 more a month on your life insurance premiums and people with high cholesterol will pay upwards of $30. Just 4 miles of running a week (which is only about 20 minutes 4 days a week, if your run is more of a brisk walk like me) reduces your risk of obesity and cholesterol by 45%, so running is a cheap and effective way to save some money on those payments!
Most importantly, the life skills you develop from dedicating yourself to a healthy lifestyle will translate to more money in your investment accounts as well. It takes self-discipline both to get and stay healthy, and to increase your savings accounts. Most American’s have less than $4,000 dollars in savings at any time. Imagine taking the money that you are saving on insurance and doctors’ visits, and saving that instead. Emergencies and accidents can happen in life, almost 39% of Americans would not have the savings to deal with such emergencies according to one savings study. Being fiscally responsible can help you put away that money so you can feel secure knowing you have it safe for a rainy day.
A few simple steps, done consistently over time can build a healthier body, a healthier lifestyle, a healthier bank account, and most importantly, a healthier you!