You know that there are many good reasons to maintain your good health, but did you know there were some great financial reasons to do so, as well? The Texas Society of CPAs explains what you need to know.
CUTTING HEALTH CARE COSTS
You should never scrimp on necessary medical services or medications, but there are ways to reduce your need for medical care down the road. You’re probably well aware of the skyrocketing price of health coverage in the last decade. In fact, even people with employer health insurance paid an average of more than $700 annually in out-of-pocket costs for medical care, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, based on a study by the Commonwealth Fund. That was up a whopping 34% from three years earlier. Of course, when you take care of your health, you will need fewer medical services, which could potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year.
MORE SMART STEPS
Not convinced? Some commonly used medications are used to treat problems with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. While there are many factors behind these conditions, they each can be worsened by a poor diet and lack of exercise. That means that the preventive steps you take can potentially help you avoid the costs of medications or further procedures to treat such conditions down the road.
Meals using fresh fruit and vegetables and lean protein are often much less costly than those made with processed foods or takeout dinners. And remember that local farm markets and warehouse stores frequently offer good prices on fresh ingredients. Cooking at home is another great way to lower your costs and improve your health. Prepared meals are not only costly but may be full of salt, fat and calories. When you make your own meals, you can skip all those unhealthy ingredients. Check online to find sites with healthy recipes that will get your home cooking started.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot to stay fit. Instead of joining a gym, start a walking or running program right in your own neighborhood. If possible, walk or bicycle to and from errands. This will not only improve your health, it will cut down on gasoline costs. The stairs are also free, so use them instead of an elevator whenever possible. In addition, an inexpensive set of barbells can help you with your strength training, and a jump rope and stability ball are other cheap fitness options. If the price of new equipment seems too steep, check out local garage sales for less expensive finds.
QUIT THE HABIT
With a pack of cigarettes running in the $5 range, pack-a-day smokers would save nearly $2,000 a year if they gave up the habit. If that’s not enough incentive, many companies are no longer hiring smokers or insisting that current employees give up smoking in order to hold on to their jobs. Add to that the costs of dry cleaning and teeth cleaning that go hand in hand with smoking, and the benefits of stopping now are clear.