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5 Reasons Why A Healthy Lifestyle Will Save You Money

5 Reasons Why A Healthy Lifestyle Will Save You Money

Let’s try a little experiment. Think of the term ‘health’ for a moment and put down on paper what the first three things you associate with it are. If the first things that come to mind are gym memberships, organic produce, and an array of vitamins, you’d be forgiven for thinking a healthy lifestyle is reserved for the well-off. Although it has long been proven that organic foods do not necessarily have to cost more than conventional ones, searching for the right places to buy them alone can cost you a lot of valuable time and energy. And yet, the old clichés about health being nothing but a luxury item no longer hold true – you may be surprised to learn that living a healthy lifestyle can actually save you money.

1. Eliminate your expensive vices

The obvious culprit when it comes to expensive vices is smoking. Let’s have a look at how quitting can concretely benefit your wallet: If you kick your 10-a-day smoking habit you could see yourself £1,400 better off within a mere year. Best of all, your family and friends will thank you for taking their well-being into consideration as well.

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But don’t stop there. Fizzy drinks like Coca-Cola or Sprite are not only disastrous for your waistline, but could also be setting you back over £146 a year if you’ve made it a daily habit. Add in the possibility of developing diabetes, which has been linked to fizzy drink consumption, and you could be saving yourself from a future of costly treatments. Needless to say, your quality of life will significantly surge, too.

2. Cut down on transport costs

Car maintenance, petrol, parking, and public transport fees are all daily expenses that can be drastically cut with a changes in your lifestyle. Switching your twice-daily bus journey to work for a brisk walk or bike ride, could save you up to £528 a year. Walking your children to school instead of packing them in the car will save you money, improve your health, and give you more quality time with your family. In many respects, this is really a question of common sense: I was once staying with friends who would take their children to school by car each morning – although school was as close as a five-minute foot-walk. Needless to say, none of them gained particularly high grades in the sports department.

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3. Reduce medical costs

Many see the latest health hype as a question of aesthetics only. It is indeed true that the general ideal of beauty tends to favor a slim and fit body. And yet, losing a few pounds and incorporating exercise into your lifestyle is far more than just about looking good – it could help your sleep improve, reduce the regularity of headaches and boost your immune system. This will, in turn, save you the money you may normally spend on over the counter medicines. Losing excess weight will also reduce blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and stress on joints so you may find your prescription costs taking a cut too. And if the results of this ‘rational’ approach should also increase your appeal to the other sex, then you can simply consider it an ‘added benefit’.

4. Reduce monthly food bills

Switching pre-packaged, processed foods for homemade meals can have a huge impact on your monthly food spending. For the price of a pre-packaged soup that would last you two days, you can buy the ingredients to make a portion of soup that would last you five. Not mention the savings you’d gain from giving up or cutting down on expensive takeout. A takeout meal can cost anywhere from two to five times the amount a meal made at home would, and packs on at least double the amount of calories.

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What’s more, switching to fresh, homemade meals can also significantly improve your body’s processing of the food. It has been scientifically demonstrated that your body prepares for the intake of foods during the cooking phase and can thus digest them a lot better. You’ll find yourself feeling fitter and more satisfied after meals – once again, considerably improving your general quality of life.

5. Cut down on expensive activities

Instead of spending $40 taking your family to the cinema (not to mention the cost of snacks) take your family to the park and invest in a football. Outdoor activity will boost your mood, improve your health, and best of all, it’s free.

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As you can see, living a healthy lifestyle does more than reduce your waistline and you will discover countless other ways that your finances can improve by taking stock and cutting back on unhealthy habits. Best of all, changing your general well-being will also change your entire perspective on life. Try conducting the same experiment mentioned in the first paragraph half a year after you’ve improved your health – my bet is you’ll be thinking of far more affordable things than gym memberships, organic produce, and an array of vitamins.

This article was written in association with financial service provider eccount money, a UK company specialising in basic bank accounts and online banking services.

Currently reporting directly from the City, William Masters is a journalist specialising in economics and personal finances. In his writing, Masters deals with prepaid card technology, the development of the banking market in the early 21st century as well the effects of online technologies on the finance industry.

Featured photo credit:  Group of happy children lying on green grass via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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