The health and wellness industry is huge, raking in over 4 trillion dollars a year globally. What that means for most of us is that we’re spending a lot of money to stay healthy. Of course, this is a great choice for your future. The alternative to living a healthy lifestyle could mean even more expense down the road on specialized treatments and hospital stays. But for the average income-earner, health and wellness expenses can sometimes break the budget. We’ve got to balance this priority with all the other expenses we have, such as housing and utilities.
Making your health a priority doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re already relatively healthy and are not fighting a serious illness, you should be able to maintain your health at little cost. The best way to do this is by deciding which expenses are essential for your specific needs and reduced. Following are a few tips to help you navigate these while staying within your budget.
Prioritize your sleep health.
The average healthy adult should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. This is because “sleep powers the mind, restores the body,” and keeps our bodies functioning properly. Without the proper amount of sleep over time, you can become more at risk for developing severe health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. That’s a lot of pressure to put on your sleeping habits, but it’s also a simple (and absolutely free) thing you can do to keep yourself healthy and prevent future problems.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from sleep disorders. Some even require medical treatment to correct them. But since healthy sleep patterns should be a priority, these expenses could be essential. However, there are many natural remedies you can try before you resort to medication. For example, the pillow and type of mattress you sleep on can make a huge difference. While some people prefer soft and fluffy mattresses, an extra firm mattress is often the best mattress for most. It supports your lower back and joints much better and can actually help you stay asleep much longer because there is little shifting or movement. Of course, this is something you should test out as much as you can. You might prefer your new mattress to be memory foam, latex, or pillow-top.
Take advantage of online treatment options.
Due to recent Covid risks, many health care facilities have started to integrate online treatment options. Doing this has made them and their patients realize how valuable this can be. While some providers wave always offered some services virtually, it has become more available and efficient. It can also be a much more affordable option for many people and can save time and money traveling to facilities. One example of virtual care is an online hearing assessment. If you find yourself in need of hearing aids or are just uncertain about your condition and want a hearing test, this is a great option. They can treat you inexpensively and effectively online, and you may never need to visit an office.
Evaluate your finances.
If you’re already in a medical situation where a lack of funds has become an issue, it’s important to immediately evaluate your finances. Most people don’t realize where most of their money is going until they get into a bind and need to find room in their budgets for something else. Financial experts recommend assigning every dollar of income to a particular expense. That might be savings, groceries, rent, utilities, or medical bills. The important thing is to find out where your money goes every month so you can cut out unnecessary expenses. For example, you might find that you’re spending too much money on dining out when you could eat at home much cheaper. These are obviously personal decisions, but they can make a big difference in your finances.
Find extra money.
If you’re physically able to get a second job, that may be a good temporary solution for your health and wellness costs. If those funds are not needed right now, you can even set them aside in a special account. But if working more hours won’t work for your specific situation, or if it’s just not your preference, there are other ways you can find extra funds. For example, you might sell things from around the house with little effort. Perhaps get your teens to help you out for a nominal fee or special privileges they don’t often get. You can sell your things in yard sales or online with sites like Craigslist and eBay. Or you can use a combination of methods for unloading your unused items.
For a bigger impact on your finances, consider downsizing. If you’re a homeowner, this could mean selling your house and buying something smaller. If you decide to do this, online finance sites like Loanpal can often make pre-qualifying for a mortgage much less stressful. But downsizing can also mean trading in your luxury car for a cheaper model or selling your vacation home or extra vehicles or looking for a better financing option with lower monthly payments. The key is to identify the things you don’t need in your life and try to live without them.
Take advantage of free health and wellness services.
While health and wellness expenses can certainly take a toll on your budget if you let them, there are lots of free or low-cost options you may not know about. For example, if you’re paying for a nutritionist to design meal plans for you, consider using some free services online. There are literally thousands of websites that offer this kind of advice and free meal plans to subscribers, even if you have particular medical conditions. Or consider recycling the meal plans you already have instead of continuing to pay. Other places to find free or low-cost services include your corporate human resources department, your local YMCA, or your group insurance company. Check with all your resources before you pay for services.