Excuse me, but is this green juice organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free?
Do you ever wonder if all this “healthy stuff” is actually worth spending the extra money on? And if it is, how do you create a budget to make sure you can afford it while still being able to pay your bills, save for your goals and invest for the future?
The relationship between health and money is an interesting one. Most of us understand the importance of taking good care of our health today but find it difficult to do because it costs money. The struggle is real. Should you splurge on healthy products now, or cut corners to save and run the risk of higher health costs later in life?
The solution to finding wise ways to spend money on your health now is to think of it from a long-term perspective. Much of the trillions of dollars spent on healthcare every year in America is used to treat chronic illnesses and diseases such as obesity and heart disease—many of which are linked to unhealthy lifestyles. When you begin to see your own health as an investment in your future, you’ll be able to make mindful budgeting decisions and find the money needed to support healthy choices like buying organic or taking an exercise class. In other words: The more you invest in your health now, the more you can potentially save in medical bills, medications, and more down the road.
Finding ways to make it work within your budget is where creativity comes in. For example, I once worked with a client who was running a $100 deficit every month once we added in her savings goals. She reviewed the budget we created together and immediately decided she would cut out the Pilates classes that were costing her $120 per month. Although this seemed like a great idea to her, I actually pushed back, saying that her health and well-being were just as important as her goal of retiring by age 67. Once I told her that, she let out a sigh of relief and confessed that she really didn’t want to give up her Pilates classes since they helped her stay healthy and calm throughout her busy work week.
So instead, I suggested we find alternative ways to reduce her other expenses or make more money. By the end of our financial planning session, she had applied for a new position at work and landed a job that now pays her an additional $5,000 in gross income every year. This came out to be just over $300 more a month net taxes, which was almost triple the amount she needed to cover her original deficit. With clarity she got from our financial planning work, she was able to keep paying for her beloved Pilates classes, fund her financial goals and make another $125,000 in gross income over the course of her 25 working years left (assuming her income stays the same).
Finding creative ways to pay for your health needs now does take time and effort, but the rewards can be monumental. Be proactive with your health and continue to see it as one of the best investments you can make in your financial life. Cheers to being a financially wise—and healthy—woman!
Brittany Castro is a member of the DailyWorth Experts program. Read more about the program here.