Today's blog post comes from a previous client of mine, Cristina Hoyt, an awesome holistic health coach over at Nourish: Mindful Body + Mindful Life! When Cristina and I were first going through her expenses, we bonded over being gluten-intolerant and prioritizing spending on our personal health. Cristina is one of my favorite success stories because not only was she was able to leave her corporate job and pursue her passion to help others get healthy but also because I'm a big fan of the gorgeous groceries she photographs on Instagram so I need to make sure she has room in her budget to keep that up! Since it's January, I figured we're all trying to be a little healthier so I invited her to come give you some advice on staying healthy without busting your budget. Enjoy!
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be so pricey. Despite common thought, eating healthy and going to yoga classes don’t have to put you in debt. In fact, it’s just the opposite! Being healthy isn't only well within your budget, it can actually save money. SAY WHAAAAA?
Yeah, that’s right. It’s true. I promise.
I’ve managed to live a super healthy lifestyle without going into complete debt. In fact, with the help of the amazing Michelle Bobrow, I was able to get out of debt AND maintain my healthy life.
See, we’re not so different you and I.
I used to put my health and mental well-being so high above my savings account that I put myself into a financial burden to live the healthy lifestyle I so desired.
But what’s healthy about that? How is that good for your well-being? Carrying around that extra debt and living paycheck to paycheck in the name of yoga and eating kale actually defeats the purpose behind all of those yoga classes.
It’s all about that mindset – making mindful decisions about how you’re going to spend your money so that you can live that healthy life all the while not breaking the bank. Let’s start putting those yoga vibes into our spending, shall we?
So, how do I manage to stay within my budget and hit my favorite gym sessions and drink all the kefir and kombucha to my heart’s content?
Here are four things that you need to start doing so you can have it all:
I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again, planning your meals and grocery list in advance is a huge saving grace. Be honest with yourself, how often do you pop into Whole Foods and walk out with a grocery bill for over $200? Been there. Done that. Overloading your cart with all of these well-intentioned foods is awesome, but chances are you’re what I like to call “food hoarding.”
Do you really need the 4 bags kale, dandelion greens and spinach? Or by the time you get through it all those dandelion greens are starting to wilt? I know, I get it. Dandelion greens are amazing for those detoxing effects and maybe (just maybe) you are going to do that detox diet you read about this week.
Plan out your week. If you’re actually going to do that cleanse, then it’s vital for you to plan out your meals for the week. Write out the plan, bring the list with you, and stick to it. Don’t get carried away with all of the sparkling natural sodas and 85% cacao chocolate bars. Stick to the list and maybe get one special splurge item. Your wallet will thank you (and so will your liver!).
Join a local food farm share or buy things in bulk.
Farm shares are seriously amazing. You can get a ton of food and it’s all local and potentially organic. The fun part about a farm share is that it’s so much fun to play around with new foods and try new recipes based on your local seasons. Paying upfront can seem burdensome at first, but split the share with a friend (typically there is more than enough food for 2 and sometimes 4 people!). It will save you guys a bundle and you can share recipes!
Here’s the kicker though: vow to eat through the box. This is for the folks out there that are adventurous in the kitchen because you can get stuff you’ve never even seen before. How fun is that! Get creative in the kitchen with all the new goodies. It will be a fun new healthy adventure.
Keep your splurge items in check! Or DIY!
I love kombucha and I love fresh juices from my local kombucha bar and juicery. But it’s expensive. One bottle can run you upwards to $11. That’s enough to put anyone into debt – on juice! I like to make these things my splurge items or special treats, not my regular items.
However, if you just can’t live without them (like I am about Kombucha), learn how to make them yourself! It will blow your mind how cheap it is to brew homemade Kombucha. It’s costs as much as water, a cup of sugar, and green tea bags. I’m not kidding. Your most expensive indulgence can easily become your cheapest with a little research and counter space. Sure, it’s easier to just pop into the health food store and buy a bottle for $8. But what if you could make that same thing for about $1? What would you do with that extra bucks? I’d probably save up and go to the rock climbing gym- what about you?
It's okay to say “Not now, maybe later.”
It’s hard not to say yes to everything, especially when your health is at stake. But it’s fun to have things to look forward to as well. Prioritize your monthly must haves- unlimited yoga, rock climbing gym, spin class, monthly massage? Pick the things that are most important to you and then use the others are special treats to look forward to. I love getting massages, but I love my yoga class pass more. So, I allocate a portion of my budget to yoga (AKA my sanity) and then save for the massages.
Being healthy doesn’t have to bust your budget when you’re mindful about it. So tell me, what are you going to start doing today to save a little and maybe even be a little more healthy?