Does the bailout boogeyman have you hiding under the bed? Whether we live on Wall Street, Main Street, or Sesame Street we’re all affected by the financial pinch.
The following minor lifestyle adjustments not only ensure better health, they will ease your anxiety as well as your pocket book.
(Photo, right, by Sun Star)
- Cut the Caffeine. One fewer latte a day won’t kill you. A grande every day is running you upwards of $1000/year. Brew a batch at home instead; it will probably be better quality than the brown water spit out by the mega chain machine.
- Avoid the valet/cab. Walk it. At first it may make you feel like a commoner, but in a month or two your legs will be on the ‘A’ list—sooner if you wear heels to dinner.
- Nix the Nicotine. Seriously! Haven’t you done this already? Depending on your habit, you could save over $2000/year. The health insurance companies and your doctors are the only ones losing money on this brave venture.
- Find your inner gourmet. Rather than waste another evening on over-priced vino and mediocre marinara–make it at home. Start a supper club with those buddies and get competitive. The money you save on groceries will allow you to spring for a better vintage and you’ll actually be able to hear yourself speak.
- BYOL(unch). Grab one of the million plastic grocery sacks you have tumbling out of your kitchen cupboard and fill it with a crunchy PB&J. Toss in an apple, some salty nuts and a bottle of water with lemon. Not only are you likely to lose a few lbs., you’ll gain some weight in your wallet.
- Open a window. Let the sun shine in if you want it warmer, or cool it down at night with a soft fall breeze. Do you really need the AC in October?
- Drink water. Why buy a $3 cola? That slice of lemon may make the restaurant seem fancier, but it’s still just a cola. Cut your lunch bill by $15/week just by hydrating. You may even shed a few pounds, while clearing your skin.
- Eat before shopping. And bring a grocery list. Do not put junk food on the list. Only buy what’s on the list. Common sense? Yes, though it’s easier in theory than in practice. So practice, practice, practice.
- Have a yard sale. Digging through all the old stuff you don’t need or use and hauling it to the curb is good exercise for the brain and the body. You also might meet your neighbors—you know, the people in the house next to yours.
- Turn off your computer. And go outside! Sure, there’s a sleep mode, but if you have to wait for the thing to boot up you might think twice and find yourself spending the time (gasp) with your family, instead. Play board games. Watch the sunset. Go for a stroll. Talk. Save energy, burn calories, and build relationships—all at the push of a button.
Nichole Dowlearn is a freelance writer and video producer at Questimation.com.