Put a stop to debt stress and take control of your health with this plan from financial expert Ric Edelman.
Step 1: Rob Your Unhealthy Habits
What keeps many people from getting rich and healthy are the unhealthy habits that they use to cope with the fact that they aren't rich and healthy. This creates a cycle that repeats itself. A new way to look at these unhealthy habits is as your untapped source of income. Take the money you normally would spend on cigarettes, fast food and soda and shift it to save not only for your future, but also for the things that keep you healthy. You'll be amazed at how cutting your spending on just a few unhealthy habits quickly adds up in the bank.
Step 2: Take Healthy Shortcuts
There are unlikely places you can save money on things that keep you healthy, from your supermarket to your pharmacy. By making small changes, you can save hundreds of dollars, and by putting those into a savings account you can turn that into thousands. Here are a few shortcuts to take:
- Cut your grocery bill by going meatless two days a week. Vegetables are a lot cheaper than meats, plus they are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You don't need to become a vegetarian, but cutting meat from your diet just two days a week can save you $400 per year. Invested right, that can grow into $2,500 in five years.
- Save on your prescriptions by asking your doctor to prescribe twice the dosage and then cut the pills in half. For example, if you need 5 mg of a certain medication, you might be able to get your doctor to write a prescription for 10 mg and cut the pills in half, reducing your cost by 50% but giving you two doses for the price of one. You should cut only pills that are FDA approved for splitting. Never split a capsule or extended-release medication, and always check with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Step 3: Run Your Home Like a Business
All big decisions should be made at the kitchen table. Your home needs a board of directors, and all big financial decisions (any purchase over $100) should be made by the committee, meaning you and your partner. This eliminates the chances of impulse splurges. Make a standing appointment with your partner to sit at the kitchen table once a week and make the decision together. This will make you a happier, wealthier couple.