Now that 2019 is in full swing we're starting to notice people's resolutions slide, especially around their health. It's not so easy to go to the gym every day after the first month. Sushi and muffins become so much more convenient than making a salad at home before work. Resisting a glass of wine (or three) is more and more difficult after a long day in the office.
Taking care of yourself is actually quite hard and very expensive. If added cost of doing good by your wellbeing makes it desirable to simply sit at home in your fat pants watching TV, use this week to make a couple of financial changes that will also benefit your health.
Register at a cheaper GP clinic
Although funded by New Zealand's public health system, GP visits aren't free for the average Kiwi. Each clinic charges its own fees to maintain their costs of running a business – which is fair – but it can really hurt your health if it hinders you from going.
At my central Wellington GP clinic, it costs me $60 for a 15 minute appointment. I just found out the community clinics in my own neighbourhood only charge $20-$30 for the same appointment, and one is as low as $17 per visit.
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Maybe you don't qualify for a High Use Health Card but you still need to catch up with your doctor every three months... if that's you, ensure you're registered at a cheaper clinic than an expensive CBD one like I'm at.
Pick one food habit to get rid of
Nobody likes depriving themselves. We all get gung-ho in the new year and cut out a lot of our unhealthy luxuries in one go, but they usually creep back. By mid-February, we're on the same diet and exercise regime (or lack thereof) as late 2018.
To both save money and put your health in a better, more palatable place, choose one habit to get rid of.
Stop buying potato chips each week – that might save you $10. Do you normally buy a coffee at 10.30? Make yourself a cup of instant black instead and save $25 a week. Find yourself buying a couple of posh cheeses on your way home once a week? Diverting from that section of the grocer might save you $20 (cheese is expensive!) and your waistline will thank you as much as your pockets.
Exercise instead of eating a mindless snack
I have this problem during the hour or two before dinner every night: the insatiable desire to snack. I want crackers and dips, I want nuts and raisins, I want protein bars for that faux-chocolate cocoa hit. Not only is this bad for my health, it's also back for my wallet.
Every little snack requires a $5-$10 nip to the shop that I could otherwise be saving. Instead of this mindless snacking that I don't need, I have a new plan: do a bit of extra exercise instead. A quick 20 minute run and 500ml of water seems to fill me up just as much as a $6 bag of lime and chilli cashews.
Put money in your savings account
Did you know that simply having a savings account is good for your overall wellbeing? In fact, according to an American banking survey, saving money does more for your level of happiness than how much you earn.
Thirty-eight per cent of people with savings in an account report being extremely happy, or very happy, with their overall life. This general feeling is certain to have a flow on effect for your wellbeing.
This week, put some money in your savings account. Not only do you have a bigger reserve balance to gain but according to the research, you'll also reap the benefits of being able to face the unknown and have more peace of mind, pride, and independence.