I recently visited the dentist and learned that I had a cavity and needed a filling. My insurance would only pay a portion of what the filling would cost, so I would need to fork out $70 out of my own pocket. Paying money to sit through getting a filling is not something that made me jump for joy. I consider $70 to be a good amount of money and I don’t want to give it up to get dental work done. As I left the dentist lamenting over my $70 cost that I could have avoided had I just brushed and flossed more, I realized that there are a lot of daily habits that cost little or nothing to do, but can save money if done consistently.
Brush and floss regularly
Obviously this is my first one because this is the one that is costing me at the moment. By regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, you severely decrease your risk of getting cavities or worse, requiring a root canal. These are expensive procedures whether or not you have insurance. Preventative care really is priceless.
The big E that many people hate is not just a tool to lose weight. When you exercise it strengthens your immune system as well as your muscles and joints and helps prevent sickness and injury, meaning less trips to the doctor, less medicines to buy, and less time off work.
Drink water- Drinking water helps cleanse and purify your body. It can help flush out viruses and it keeps your skin moisturized and your body running at optimum performance, thus saving on the medical expenses listed above.
Wash your hands
Your mother told you a hundred times, but that’s because she knew that doing so will help you kill germs that spread sickness (again, saving you the medical expenses).
When you eat healthy foods (like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, etc.) you are not only full for longer periods of time (thus requiring you to buy less food) but your body also runs better on healthier fuel. This will give you more energy to do all the things you need to do.
Cigarettes are expensive and so unhealthy. In addition to cartons being almost $6 each, smoking also causes so many health problems resulting in more trips to the doctor.
Get enough sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep your body runs poorly, you often turn to sugary foods and caffeine to wake yourself up (which cost a lot), and you don’t make clear decisions because your brain isn’t running at optimum performance. You are more likely to overspend (and overeat) when you are tired.
Talk through your problems
You are also more likely to overspend (and again overeat) when you are angry, frustrated or stressed. By praying, talking to a friend about it, or by writing in a journal you can deal with your issues without trying to spend the feelings away.
Put away your clothes
I wish this went away in adulthood, but I have to admit that when I get busy, I often throw my clothes on the floor in my bedroom when I’m done wearing them (or if I try them on and immediately change). Come laundry time it’s so easy to throw all the clothes in the laundry whether they are clean or dirty. By putting clean clothes away immediately, it will save you money by having to do less laundry.
Similar to putting away your clothes, reusing towels will also help you use less laundry. It’s easy to throw a towel on the floor and then throw it into the hamper, but by hanging it up and reusing it you will save a lot of money and energy. Honestly, you use a towel to dry off after you get clean, so how dirty does that towel really get? As long as you reuse your own towel, there is no reason that you can’t use the same one at least 2 or 3 times.
Dress appropriately in your house
If it’s a bit chilly in your home, put a sweatshirt on before turning on the heat. That few degrees on thermostat can save you over time.
Recycling is usually free and by doing so, you are creating less garbage, which is what costs you money.
Eat leftovers (or cook only what’s needed)
By eating leftovers you waste less food and have to buy less groceries. You can also save on energy by not having to cook twice. If you really can’t stand eating leftovers, then be sure to cook only what you need each night.
Clutter and disorganization can cost you. Have you ever needed something but couldn’t find it and had to go buy a new one? Ever buy something at the grocery store that you already had in the pantry (but didn’t know because it was behind other stuff)? Being organized not only saves you money by not having to buy extra things, it also saves you time by not having to search for things for hours.
Watch your driving
I’m sure you’ve heard this a lot lately because of the high gas prices, but honestly by driving the speed limit and accelerating slower, you can improve your car’s fuel economy and save money on gas.
Many people don’t think that their everyday habits have any effect on their finances, but that is simply not true. Many things that seem to have nothing to do with money can save you a lot in the long run.
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