Wealthy people tend to be healthier. They live in lovely homes, they have access to great medical care, they can eat organic. But money isn’t everything. It’s perfectly possible to be wealthy, working 18 hour days in a high-stress job and, effectively, a heart attack waiting to happen.
The link is clearly more complex.
When you are looking for a medical professional, personal trainer or even a personal injury lawyer, you are probably going to factor in what you are getting for your money. Though there are some unknowns, you can look at their track record and decide whether what they are charging reflects the results you can expect.
But while you might be comfortable doing this kind of evaluation for a service, you should also be evaluating the cost and effect of everything you do with regards to your health. For example, you might decide to join a gym which allows you to run on a treadmill a few times a week. If you are more inclined to run at the gym, then this is probably money well spent. On the other hand, if you live in a nice neighborhood, you could save significantly by running around your block. You could even set up a running club if you need a bit of motivation.
Anxiety about money is a very real condition and every year it affects more and more people. Millennials, in particular, are heavily affected with more than half of millennials fearing the loss of their job and a whopping 69% worry about their level of income.
It seems that money is stressing a whole generation of people out and triggering bad behaviour responses too. With the pressure of keeping up on social media clashing with keeping up with the bills, the health of the nation is on the line.
Anxiety and stress can lower your immune system, cause stomach pains and headaches, and even trigger extreme fatigue and chronic pain. In other words, stress and anxiety overload your body leaving you with little capacity for dealing with the original issue. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your situation.
Setting a budget is the best way to plan how you are going to make your money work for you each month. This doesn’t mean that you have to be stingy with yourself – budgeting is about allocating funds to ensure that you get a good balance and all the essentials are paid for.
Within your budget, you should start adding to your savings and building up an emergency fund. This is what we mean by investing in the future. The more you can prepare your finances for whatever uncertainty may lie ahead, the less stressed you should feel. Just knowing that you have a fall back will give you a healthier outlook and you might even be more inclined to take risks to get ahead.
You might imagine that the perfect lifestyle only comes with an income of millions. The reality is that this is far from the truth. In fact, a very simple and frugal lifestyle can offer huge health benefits. Looking at your lifestyle in a more critical way will show you which areas are ripe for improvement and what your money can afford.
A healthy diet is absolutely paramount but how many people resort to high fat, high sugar, high calorie food because it is easier and appears to be cheaper? Cooking from scratch is a skill that seems all but lost on people today. This is partly because we have less time to cook and prepare food but it also comes down to what we might call ‘mom tricks’ being lost to time. Batch cooking and freezing food is cheaper than convenience food and when you are in control of what goes in, your diet will improve too. Win-win.
Though living to 100 is partly down to your genes, your lifestyle has a big impact. It’s surprising just how many lifestyle changes are free and can improve your health. Going for a walk at the weekend is free, growing your own veg is pretty cheap (though it requires commitment and outdoor space), quitting smoking and drinking will actually save you money!
How you spend your money and what you spend your money on is entirely up to you. But do consider this when you are deciding: what will have the biggest positive impact on your life? Your health is your most vital asset. Look after it and everything else will fall into place.