MONEY DOESN’T GROW ON TREES
When last did you hear this saying? Probably when you were a child, a few decades ago...This expression has slowly been silenced by the loud announcements in our consumer driven society. All the messages that are pumped through the media and social networks tell us to consume; not to save and re-use. Yes, times are tight and money certainly doesn't grow on trees, but we have developed a mentality of exploring deeper debt in order to replace things that maybe don't need to be replaced.
Sure, there are those of us who are beginning to do our bit, but the main message is still consume, consume and consume!We normally name America as the consumer-driven bad guys, and with obesity as one of the greatest health threats to the U.S, it’s easy to see why. Obesity contributes significantly to a variety of serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers as well as poor general health.
Obesity is a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and the direct medical costs associated with obesity in 2008 were estimated at $147 billion (currently, that would be about R1.3bn!). The 2008 stats show that almost 30% of Americans had a BMI (body mass index) of over 30.0! A BMI of 25 is the considered peak, with 18-25 being a healthy place to be.
What does this mean? It means that our lifestyles are the biggest cause of our financial problems! Here are four savings tips that are directly associated with our lifestyles!
1. CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET
Go through your closets and try to get rid of some of the stuff in there. You can have a car-boot sale with it, take it to a second-hand shop, or even donate it for the tax deduction – all of which turn old stuff you don’t want to use any more into money in your pocket. Not only that, it’s often a psychological load off your mind to clean out your closets.
2. BUY VIDEO GAMES THAT HAVE A LOT OF REPLAY VALUE – AND DON’T ACQUIRE NEW ONES UNTIL YOU’VE MASTERED WHAT YOU HAVE
This may not apply to you now, but consider the future possibilities if you have kids in your life... Focus on games that can be played over and over and over again, and focus on encouraging your kids to master the games that you buy.
Good options include puzzle games and long, involved quest games – they maximize the value of your gaming spend! Also, if you buy games that are multi-player, it includes friends and siblings – getting even more entertainment out of just one game.
3. DRINK MORE WATER
Not only does drinking plenty of water have great health benefits, water drinking has financial benefits too. Drink a big glass of water before each meal, and not only will you digest your meal better, you won’t eat as much, saving you cash on the old food bill. You’ll also find yourself feeling energized and more alert as you begin to get adequately hydrated (most of us are perpetually somewhat dehydrated).
4. CUT BACK ON THE CONVENIENCE FOODS
Instead of eating fast food or just nuking some pre-packaged food when you get home, try making some simple and healthy meals at the beginning of the week to take you through to the weekend. An hour’s worth of preparation one weekend can give you a ton of cheap and handy meals that will end up saving you a lot of cash and not eat into your time when you’re busy in the week.
Cook a larger than needed bolognaise and freeze the leftovers for a meal later in the week. Roast chicken pieces instead of a whole chicken and you can pop the cold-meat leftovers into your lunch bag for healthy protein meals at work. Make a Cous Cous salad with roast butternut, feta and seeds and you can have it with a meal, or as a midday snack. It’s savoury, healthy and delicious and goes really far! A tin of tuna, wholewheat wraps, a bag of lettuce and some mayo is a super tasty and super quick meal to make.