Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Five tips for a healthier life style and money in the bank

Lately, I have been thinking about mine and my family’s eating habits. I have come to realise that our lifestyle is making us unhealthy and costing us a lot of money.

I should have realised this sooner but  better late than never.

For the past 2 years I have put on a bit of weight and so did other members of my family. If I look at our lifestyle critically, it is very clear that we are sedentary people who like to stay indoors. The kids are a little different, they have lots of energy and are always running around.Whilst they eat a lot, and boy they don’t stop eating, because they are always active doing something they don’t put on a lot of weight. Having said that, if they continue with the habit of eating a lot and they change their lifestyle as they get older, they will certainly put on a lot of weight very quickly.

So I researched the web and came up with 5 tips for a healthier lifestyle and, at the same time, to save your money as you go.

1 – Eat at home

This one is a bit obvious, as life is very busy and we have less and less time to cook at home we have a tendency to stop by the fast food shop and get a quick bite. As a matter of fact, for the past two years, we have eaten out almost every Sunday. If the average cost of the Sunday take out is $20 and we ate out, say 40 out of 52 weeks of the year, in 2 years we have spent $1600 (that’s 80 times $20).

Wow that hurts even to write it down.

If we stop, or at least reduce the amount of Sunday’s take out, we can not only save money but also get healthier. This is because the take outs are full of fat. All of the fat is transformed into energy which is never burnt, because of the sedentary lifestyle, and tuned into fat. That simple!

2 – Change your shopping list

Children are amazing, we love them to bits and always want to do something nice for them. That includes buying things in the supermarket that they like. Ice creams, chocolates and many other things.

You know, the funny thing is that we are eating those things with the children. We often catch ourselves eating the children’s ice cream once they have gone to bed.

That is really bad. The answer is obviously, stop eating that stuff and buy only the amount that kids will eat in one go. Perhaps give them to the kids as a treat only on the groceries day. This should help us to stop eating them and to reduce the amount of unhealthy things the kids eat.

On the other hand, if we reduce the amount of packaged food that we buy we can also save lots of money on the way. It is important to note that these packaged sweet things we buy for the kids are not only unhealthy but also very expensive. So there is an opportunity to save money by buying different treats that are healthier and cheaper.

3 – Stop dieting

Are you spending your money on expensive shakes or dieting programs? If you are then I encourage you to take a look at their effectiveness. Are they really working?

These diet programs often encourage you to eat healthier in order to help the effectiveness of the program. If you put in practice the first two tips it is likely that you can ditch the diet, save your money and continue to loose weight.

4 – Stop going to the gym.

Gym is very, very expensive. Not to mention that many people have gym membership but don’t go to the gym as often as they should.

For about two years my wife and I had a gym membership that was only used about once or twice a month. As we got towards the end of the second year of our membership we decided to stop and replace it we walking three times a week (that was before we had kids).

We saved a lot of money and lost more weight because we were walking more often than before.

The gym was a waste of money and was not delivering the expected results. Having said that, if you use your gym as often as you should, it can be a great tools to help you to get fit, loose weight and live a healthier life style. The trick is in taking a critical look at how often you use your gym and evaluate that against the membership cost and the results you are getting.

5 – Quit bad habits

We are living today in a very stressful world. Credit cad debts, the threat of unemployment, financial crises, unemployment for some of us and, if you are in Australia, the increase in interest rates and the cost of living.

As a result of all of those stresses, we may have some habits to help us to relax. they may be smoking, drinking or any other form of activity to take our minds out of those things that stress or upset us.

Trying to deal with some situations once and for all will not only help us so solve our problems but will also save us lots of money. Cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are very expensive and could be costing you thousands of dollars every year. not to mention that they don’t actually help you to solve the problems you are trying to solve.

In conclusion

Taking a critical look at your financial situation and habits is the first step for a a better life style and some extra money in the bank. It doesn’t take long for you to review your shopping list, or to calculate how often you spend on take outs.

Give it a go, you may get a pleasant surprise.

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