Frugality…Can Your Health Afford It?

Saving more and spending less is a central theme for financial management.  Living a frugal life can have many more rewards than living a frivolous one.  The economic crisis really showed people the importance of saving, and the dangers of spending on credit.  However, that doesn’t mean that being frugal is always a good thing.  Eating right, exercise, and overall healthcare can come at a cost that many consumers aren’t willing to incur anymore.  There truly is nothing more important than your health, and you need to take care of your body because you only get one.

Eating healthy is one of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself.  According to a recent survey done by the United States Department of Agriculture, the average weekly cost of feeding a family of four is $226.  Now consider the number of pizza chains that offer pies for $5.  I love pizza, most people do, it’s easy, tastes great, it can feed a number of people, and most importantly it’s cheap.  But I certainly wouldn’t call pizza a healthy meal, rather a guilty pleasure.  Most fast food chains have increased their low price offerings.  Wendy’s commercials tout their 99 cent Everyday Value Menu, while Burger King has increased their dollar menu to 11 different items.  Bottom line, it’s easy to eat cheap, but this is one area of your life that doesn’t pay to be frugal.

Exercise is another area that is vital in maintaining a healthy body.  Many companies offer their employees discounted gym memberships because they recognize the importance of having healthy workers.  Likewise, many gyms are aware that consumers have become more cost conscious the last couple years and their discounted prices reflect this.  The days of having to pay upfront fees and high monthly membership fees are behind us.  I can still remember paying $400 upfront for an annual membership to Powerhouse when I was 20 years old.  Now it’s 10 years later and I’m paying $20 a month for my Powerhouse membership, no annual contracts, and no upfront fees.  I can’t think of many other goods and services that have become cheaper a decade later.  Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate your fees.  I liken a gym membership to buying a car, there is always wiggle room and a rock bottom price they are willing to accept.  I know many of you are thinking “hey I can workout at home, or jog around the neighborhood for free”, which is very true, but most people don’t actually follow through with it.  When you associate a cost with something, people become more vested in using it. 

The economic crisis drove unemployment to record highs, and while we have seen some recovery, there are still many people without jobs.  There is a strong correlation between unemployment and those without any healthcare.  Nearly 46 million Americans are currently without any form of healthcare insurance.  Either their companies used to provide health coverage, or they had an income to pay for their own.  I genuinely feel for people in this situation, but this is one expense I consider to be absolutely necessary.  Often times single, young, low income workers feel this is an area they can save money on.  I remember when I was 25 years old and chose the healthcare coverage with the lowest monthly premiums.  I figured I was too young to have any health issues that would justify paying more for health insurance, and for the most part that was true.  However, shortly after I found I had a hernia that required surgery to repair.  This was a simple outpatient surgery that came with a hefty $10,000 bill!  I was thankful that my insurance covered $7,000, however, had I paid a few more dollars a month my insurance would have covered the entire cost.  I think back now and wonder what I would have done without any insurance, how would I have been able to afford a $10,000 hospital bill on my own.  Long before you think about buying a home, whether to get satellite or cable tv, how much you should invest in your 401k or IRA, make sure you have more than adequate healthcare coverage…you’ll never make a more important investment than that!

I sincerely hope all of you enjoy a lifetime of good health, but as the old adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  You know my motto, money is the root of all things good, but it means nothing if you aren’t happy and healthy enough to enjoy it!

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19 thoughts on “Frugality…Can Your Health Afford It?

  1. MoneyCone

    Everytime I go through a drivethru, I tell them I don’t want a drink or ask for plain water and they never get it! They insist that the drink is free!

    Hey 40 grams of sugar is something I can do without! I guess not everything free is good!

    1. admin Post author

      I couldnt agree more…not that getting BK or McD’s is good, but I do skip the soda/pop each time, and they will often substitute a bottled water in for free. I love BK, its a vice of mine. I actually haven’t had any coca-cola or pepsi products in many years, with one exception, when my girlfriend and I go to the movies we like to order frozen cokes! It was something I got away from when I had braces 15 years ago and just never went back…

  2. LaTisha @FSYAonline

    The sad thing is, some people who are low income do not value a healthy meal, or they in general do not have the means to put one together. I think education is the most important so that people will know that a burger that costs a dollar may be cheap on the wallet but it’s expensive for the health.

  3. 101 Centavos

    If you look at your body as your personal machine tool, the apparatus or engine that is solely used to generate the income that you need for survival, neglecting its care and maintenance is unwise on its face. You wouldn’t keep driving your car without changing the oil and air filter, no reason to treat your body’s health any different.

  4. Buck Inspire

    Great article and love the new banner as well! Nice points about health and exercise. In this hectic world, funny how the most critical parts get neglected. We have to remember to prioritize.

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    Count me in. I appreciate health and try to maintain it. Fresh fruits and veggies are EXPENSIVE… but exercise does not have to be! Love Tae bo dvds.

    1. admin Post author

      They really are expensive… and Im so busy with work that fruits and veggies go bad in my house quite often.

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    1. admin Post author

      No, when it comes to stuff like that I never really think about shopping around… We have a hospital named Beaumont in the area, its one of the highest rated in the state/nation…I will check out your post though, im curious.

  10. Cindy Merrill

    Want free food? Dandilion greens are now bitter, since it’s now late May, but the buds are sweet and edible, with a taste close to saffron: Pick only the buds that are not yet opened and clean as you would a Strawberry- think of the green bud as the “fruit”.
    Dandilion buds are great in a salad, mixed into a Stirfry, added to Omelets, or gently steamed and added to rice, barley, quinoa, beans, or even added to meatloaf. I have often made low cost meals using cooked grain, beans and dandilion buds.

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  12. Max

    Proper diet and exercise is a must for a person to have a healthy life. Sleeping early and waking early also boosts the body.

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