It’s tough times; bills are increasing, interest rates are going up and even food is more expensive – or, in some cases, scarce. It’s therefore natural to want to take a second look at your monthly budget and reduce your outgoings.
BUT before you slash some costs off your expenditure, it’s a good idea to consider how important the bill is and what kind of negative effect it may have on your life if you ditch it.
If you need a hand with planning your outgoings, you can download a free budget planner from my Resources Library and there you’ll also find a workbook to help you find more money too. Nonetheless, there are three areas where you shouldn’t consider scrimping…
Everything else becomes easier if you have health. Just imagine how much more difficult life would be without it – work, family, finances, fun – it all becomes tougher if you’re struggling with an ailment. So, your health and wellbeing is just one of the areas of your life that you should always prioritise and not scrimp on during budget cutbacks.
I’m not suggesting keeping that gym membership (as there are plenty of ways to get active for free) but I am talking about dental care, getting health check-ups, taking care of your vision and so on.
It may be tempting to skip an appointment if it’s going to cost you money to get that check-up, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. I know that in some areas, even visiting a doctor or dentist can be a costly exercise, so that’s when it makes sense to research health insurance for low income families or look into dental plans to spread the expense.
Similarly, try to take care of your body as best you can in order to minimise your chances of experiencing avoidable conditions. You could do free activities that’ll get your body moving, such as walking outdoors, jogging around the park or dancing at home. Plus, you could join a cycle to work scheme, which is free for both businesses and employees to join and means you’ll be getting active every day on your way to work.
And that brings us nicely to the next element you shouldn’t scrimp on…
Although it seems like supermarkets are putting up prices every week and are running low on stocks of some hard-to-source items, please don’t be tempted to switch healthy, nutritious meals for low-cost, low-benefit ones.
The trouble is that processed, high-fat, high-sugar foods often seem to be cheaper than buying fresh and they fill you up – but not with the kind of good nourishment that you need to stay healthy. So trying to cut the cost of your food shop by downgrading the nutrition of your meals isn’t a good idea.
That said, there are ways that you can cut costs on food. For example, you could eat in more often than you eat out and you can prepare your own meals from scratch. You may already be doing this with a fresh meal delivery service such as HelloFresh or Factor 75 but that’s not the thriftiest way to eat either.
Although there’s practically no wastage with delivered weekly dinners, you’re still paying over the odds for meals compared to buying the individual ingredients and making dishes yourself. So, find out how to cancel your meal delivery subscription so that you can start making savings on food straight away.
Instead, what you CAN do is shop for supermarket own-brand basics and then bulk those items up with fresh additions of fruit, vegetables and salad. It’s often possible to get lovely fresh produce at a lower price from local markets, so check out those instead of supermarkets.
Plus, if you’ve considered growing your own, now is the right time of year to start planting some seeds to harvest your own veg and salad in the summer., saving you loads of money. It’s often possible to get lovely fresh produce at a lower price from local markets, so check out those instead of supermarkets.
Also, don’t forget that frozen fruit and vegetables are packed with just as many vitamins as fresh produce, but it often costs less by weight and it won’t go off – you can just use the amount you need for each meal. You’ll find plenty of low-cost, healthy meals in my budget recipes category.
Right, this is a really worrying one. I know that energy prices are through the roof right now and that bills are sky-high for gas, electricity and oil. While it makes sense to see what you can do to stay warm while reducing your bills, turning off the heating completely might be a false economy.
Firstly, it’s not good for your health. Being too cold can cause all kinds of problems for your body. The Centre for Sustainable Energy reports that health problems caused by cold homes range from being more prone to catching the common cold to suffering from severe conditions.
Also, if your home is constantly cold, it’ll become damp and mould will develop, which is extremely bad for respiratory conditions. There are many things you can do to reduce mould and moisture in your home and the CSE website also shares the recommended temperatures for occupied rooms so be sure to follow the guidelines.
Your health depends on the heating so that’s one of the key things not to scrimp on when you’re trying to save money on your bills.
I hope these suggestions will help you to stay healthy during the cost of living crisis. Let me know if you have any other ideas for reducing costs and staying healthy in the comments below. 🙂
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