If you’re like many people, you’ll be making a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, save more money, or both. If you’re trying to do both, the good news is that weight loss and saving money often go hand in hand. It’s like accomplishing two resolutions at once. Even if you only choose one, chances are you’ll find yourself accomplishing the other without really trying. Here’s how these two resolutions work together.
Restaurant eating is curtailed
When you resolve to lose weight, eating out is often one of the first things to go. Portions are huge and you get too much fat and too many calories. The good news is that limiting restaurant meals also saves money. If you resolve to save money by not eating out, chances are you’ll lose weight, too, even if you don’t intend to.
Unhealthy foods are limited
When dieting, you rely more on fresh produce and simple ingredients. The boxed dinners, frozen foods, and convenience snacks go by the wayside. This is good news for your wallet, too. Processed convenience foods are more expensive than fresh, simple ingredients you prepare yourself. You can make healthier equivalents of your favorite processed foods for far less than the boxed version. Similarly, if you resolve to save money by ditching convenience foods, you’ll lose weight.
Impulse buying of snacks goes down
If weight loss is your goal, you’re likely to think twice before just popping into Starbucks for a treat, or buying a candy bar and a soda as you wait in the checkout lane at the store. Not only does this help control your weight, it also save money. Treats purchased in convenience stores, check out lanes, and specialty shops are expensive. Buying too many of them can put a dent in your wallet and expand your waistline. If you want to save money, you’re always encouraged to stop wasting money on the little things. When you stop buying treats, your savings rate goes up.
You find other things to do
If you want to lose weight, you quickly learn to find other things to do with your time besides sit around and get bored, which triggers eating. You may go for a walk, play with the kids, go to the gym, or take up a hobby. As long as you don’t turn to retail therapy, finding ways to deal with boredom helps your wallet, too. When you get bored, not only do you overeat, you may also engage in mindless online shopping or aimless mall wandering. When you have a constructive outlet for your boredom you not only lose weight, but you save money, too. If you want to save money, it’s essential that you find something to do with your time besides shop. If you take up a physical activity or sport, you’ll lose weight, too.
You get healthier
As you lose weight, your overall health improves. The healthier you are, the easier it is to exercise and find the motivation to eat right, causing you to lose even more weight. As you get healthier, you’ll likely find your health care costs going down, too. You’ll probably get sick less often and find it easier to manage or completely eliminate many chronic conditions. If all you want to do is save money, a phone call to your insurer will likely reveal that they will give you a price break if you exercise, eat right, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This will probably make you lose weight, too.
You might take up gardening
If you want to eat healthier, there’s no better source than your own garden. Gardening also gives you great exercise which leads to further weight loss. Gardening is also a great way to save money since you’re not paying inflated prices for your food. Because of the labor involved and the healthier eating, you’ll probably find yourself losing weight, even if that wasn’t your main goal.
Whether you’re resolving to save more money or lose weight this year, working on one will likely lead to results in both areas. The best thing is that you won’t have to consciously work on both resolutions. Pick your main goal and make that your focus, then enjoy the results you see on both sides. What a great way to take care of two problems with one resolution.
(Photo courtesy of Lauren Manning)