As February draws to a close, many people have already given up on their New Year's resolutions or are wavering. There is a good reason to keep your resolutions that you may not realize: to save money. Once you see how much money you can save by keeping your resolutions, you might want to recommit to your resolution and find your resolve strengthened.
If your resolution is to max our your Roth IRA contribution or to save more money, it's obvious how keeping your resolution can save you money. But it isn't always obvious how keeping your resolutions can help you save. Even non-financial resolutions can still save you money. One category of resolutions that has a lot of potential for savings is health. Here are the most common health-related resolutions and how they can save you money.
• Drink less. Alcohol is expensive, especially if you buy it in bars or nightclubs. In addition to the cost of buying alcohol, you need to consider the cost to your health. There is an abundance of evidence that drinking too much can be detrimental to your health. This can result in expensive medical bills and hospital stays. Drinking less could lead to lower future healthcare costs.
• Lose weight. Dropping pounds can save you money because you won't be spending money on excess food and eating unhealthy restaurant meals. You can also save money on your health insurance. Most health insurance plans charge you extra if your body mass index is high enough for you to be considered obese. There also potential future healthcare costs to consider.
• Stop smoking. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is about $5. A smoking habit could easily cost you well over $1,000 a year. In addition to the cost of buying tobacco, smokers also have to pay higher premiums for their health insurance. Once again, there are future healthcare costs to consider.
When you are tempted to break your resolution, think about how much it will cost your health and your wallet. By keeping resolutions that will improve your physical heath, you can also help your financial health
Andy Hough writes about frugality and living well on a small income at TightFistedMiser.com.