Every year, Americans spend over $28.6 billion on health club memberships, $30 billion on dietary supplements and more than $10,000 per person on medical care. Many of us spend much more on products and activities to help us become fit, learn to relax, or eat healthier. Here are some simple ways to help you save money while maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.
With rising costs in the fruits and vegetables isle, planting a garden—or joining a local community garden—can help you save a bushel. You’re also bound to benefit from the extra social time, physical activity, and free healthy food you and your family will have to eat and enjoy almost year-round, depending on where you live.
Do you pay a monthly membership for a health club you use only a few times a month? You may be able to save money on your wellness routine by ditching the membership and stop spending your hard-earned dollars subsidizing the heavy users who are in the facility multiple times a week. But you don’t have to give up staying in shape. Instead, simply ask your gym if they’ll let you pay a day rate, drop-in class rate, or only for a series of classes. Many gyms are happy to accommodate former members.
Working out at the same place week after week can get boring. Avoid the rut and save money at the same time by using offers and coupons you can easily find online. Search Groupon for discounted offers in your local area. By taking a few classes a month with different instructors or trainers at different gyms and studios, you can keep it interesting and learn new things for a home-based routine. Expand your workout options by searching for activities like indoor rock climbing, yoga studios, meditation classes, and outdoor adventures as well as traditional exercise.
If working out is more than just a hobby, consider making it a side gig. Get certified to teach spinning, yoga, or Zumba. You can earn extra money on a flexible schedule and get free memberships wherever you teach. Plus, the social connections you’ll make as an instructor can not only boost your confidence, but provide surprising mental health and wellness benefits as well.
If you have an exercise bicycle serving as a coat hanger or skis you haven’t used since knee surgery, sell those items. You can post on craigslist or have a garage sale to get money quickly. If you have a big-ticket expensive item, like a gym-grade cardio machine, look into unloading it with a commercial buyer who will refurbish and resell it.
When it comes to mindfulness, many of us need a little structure to get and stay engaged. Thanks to inexpensive apps and podcasts like Stop, Breathe & Think, Calm, and Insight Timer, expensive yoga or meditation classes are no longer your only option. Some teach traditional yoga poses, others soothe frayed nerves with calming music, nature sounds, and prompts for deep breathing. To save money, be on the lookout for free trials and discount codes.
Your family’s weekend outings usually include meals. Instead of dining at a restaurant or buying snacks at the movies, why not pack a picnic, become a meal planning guru, or bake some cookies for sneaking into the theatre? You’ll save money, home cooked meals are simply healthier.
If you buy your own medical insurance, check your options at Healthcare.gov. Depending on your household income and family size, your health insurance premiums could be significantly reduced or covered entirely.
Even if you’re insured, you may have gaps—like with drug prescriptions. Fortunately, there are many programs that can help. With pharmaceutical company programs, you typically need to apply with the company; if you’re eligible, the product is shipped to you, your pharmacy, or your doctor’s office. There are nonprofit organizations that help low-income people get their medications. And some state governments also have prescription assistance programs. WebMD has compiled a list of resources to help you save on prescriptions.
Dental care is an important part of your overall wellness. Look into options for free dental services through dental colleges or schools of dental hygiene where student work is overseen by licensed professionals. Best of all, you might just find a great new provider who can serve your family for years to come.
When you improve your financial wellness by cutting costs for self-care, you can lower your stress level and gain peace of mind. And that’s great for your health.
For those who may need some extra support, personal loans can be a smart solution for covering unexpected health and medical expenses. Personal loans provide fixed payments over a set period of time. Depending on your credit history, you may qualify for lower interest rates than credit cards or other types of financing.
Personal loans through LendingClub are not only fast and easy to secure, they can be used for many things. For example, if you need to pay for unexpected medical bills and take care of roof repairs at the same time, a personal loan can help you do both. See your interest rate and repayment options in just a few minutes—without affecting your credit score.1 In fact, you could be approved within 24 hours, and have the money in your bank account in as few as 4 days.2,3
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