6 healthy habits that can boost your bank balance

Many of us started with the best of intentions to improve our health and money situation at the beginning of the year, but then somehow six months flew by and suddenly it occurs to you that very little has changed in your life…

Perhaps you’re still ordering takeaway on a weekly basis, drinking out as much as ever, while that debt you were hoping to have paid down hasn’t gone anywhere and is even potentially growing due to the interest you’re paying on top.

Before you feel too depleted by the situation though, it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to put those healthy habits into practice (better late than never, right?).

There are a lot of relatively simple ways you may be able to benefit your health and wellbeing while upping the change in your back pocket at the same time.

In fact, these simple changes could potentially save you more than $20,000 a year!

Here’s how….

1. Ditch the takeout for something home-cooked

Have you ever added up what you spend a week on takeaway food? Figures from Mozo earlier this year revealed you could save around $3,000 annually by swapping three takeaway dinners for home-cooked meals, plus a further $2,400 by having leftovers, rather than buying a $10 lunch down the road. This will not only have a positive impact on your wallet but probably also your waist.

2. Bin the booze

The savings you make by making home-cooked meals can all become undone on the weekend, especially during those after-work drinks when the inhibitions are quashed. Disciplined savings and budgeting processes often fall by the wayside once the drinks start flying. If you don’t have a boundary there that stops you from going too far, especially once you’ve had a few drinks, you’ll tend to just keep rolling on. In fact, cutting out just two nights of drinking a week could save you around $4,000 over a 12-month period according to Mozo.

3. Write yourself a grocery list and stick to it

Over a 12-month period, Australians will waste enough food to fill 450,000 garbage trucks, a convoy that could bridge the gap between here and New Zealand more than three times. With that in mind, having a grocery list based on what you need and plan to cook means you can avoid buying too much, as well as food that mightn’t be as good for you.

4. BYO coffee

The biggest damage to most accounts comes from the smallest of transactions. Your intake of coffee mightn’t be a bad thing but giving up one takeaway coffee Monday through Friday could save you around $1,000 a year.

5. Socialize and exercise

Rather than meet up for brunch, lunch, dinner or drinks (as good as it sounds), why not swap that for a scenic walk or swim at the beach with friends?

Meanwhile, if you’re able to stick to this plan and haven’t been using your gym membership that much, opting for a DIY-fitness plan, and canceling any unused memberships could save you around $800 a year.

6. Walk to your destination

You might not be able to walk all the way, depending on where your destination is located, but you may be able to shave off some of what you pay on petrol, tolls and public transport by walking or riding your bike part of the way while getting some exercise at the same time.

These ideas might not be anything new, but when you see the figures and realize the potential savings you could make, you might be more inclined to stick with healthier habits, particularly if it means the end reward is enough cash for a holiday or some new threads.

This article first appeared on A Girl in Progress.