Better Habits That Lead to a Healthier, Wealthier Life

If you ask most people whether they want to be healthier and wealthier, it’s a no-brainer—yes! But like most of the best things in life, actually attaining these goals is a challenge, one that requires you to dig deep and make lifestyle changes. But the benefits of greater physical, mental, and financial wellness make those changes worthwhile. And there’s really no denying how all these types of wellness are tied together.

Here are a few habits that can lead to a healthier, wealthier life.

Cook Your Own Meals

You’ve probably heard people preach the benefits of cooking meals at home as opposed to eating out. It’s obviously not necessary to completely cut out restaurant meals in order to be healthy and wealthy. But cutting back can really pay off in both of these areas.

First, let’s consider the financial implications of eating out. It costs significantly more to have someone prepare a meal for you than it does to make it yourself. The average restaurant meal will cost around 13 dollars, compared to only four dollars per meal to eat at home. If you eat out 100 times in a year (a conservative number for many people), that’s an additional cost of 900 dollars. Of course, these are just averages. Some meals will be less expensive than 13 dollars—but others will be more. Your bill can really add up if you go out to dinner and have a few drinks.

Another benefit to cooking at home more often is that you know exactly what’s going into your food. One of the main reasons food tastes so good at restaurants is because it’s often loaded with unhealthy amounts of fat and salt. While this is nice for your taste buds, it can take a toll on your body over time. Cooking at home with fresh ingredients allows you to make more nutritious meals at a much lower cost.

Find the Right Exercise Routine for You

Most people accept that exercise is an important part of being healthy. Yet, only about 20 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended amount of physical activity each week. This is much more than an issue of aesthetics. Not getting enough physical activity can lead to some pretty serious health problems—such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and others.

No one wants to deal with these kinds of health issues. But they don’t just hurt you from a wellness perspective. Having these serious medical conditions can cost you a lot of money. People who don’t regularly exercise often find it difficult to get started and stick to a program. For people who need to gain a bit of momentum, taking a daily walk is one of the best places to start. Walking is one of the most natural—and safe—ways to get physical activity. It helps with weight management, preventing disease, and building skeletal and muscle strength. Plus, it’s free.

Avoid Excess

It’s easy to allow ourselves to go overboard with things. Whether it’s eating, drinking, spending money on unneeded items, watching too much TV—or anything, really—being excessive often leads to health and money problems. Financial expert Andrew Housser, co-founder of Freedom Debt Relief, says that reducing these things that aren’t good for you is one of the best ways to maintain wellness. We’re particularly vulnerable to excessive behavior during special occasions, such as holidays or parties. Granted, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to an occasional indulgence. Letting it become the norm, however, can lead to issues—especially if the habit becomes more of an addiction.

Create Short- and Long-Term Goals

Setting goals for yourself can be a hugely helpful way of getting to a better place in your life. However, there are right and wrong ways to make goals. A lot of people set New Year’s resolutions for themselves. The stats on how many people succeed with these are pretty grim: less than 10 percent. There are a few reasons why they tend to fail: They’re too broad; they’re too ambitious; and they have an arbitrary start time.

Creating near- and long-term goals, on the other hand, allows you to really hone in on things that can be achieved now, while also giving yourself direction in life. This is an effective way to improve your situation in terms of health and wealth.

Everyone wants to find fulfillment in their life. But this isn’t going to just fall into your lap. You have to act in ways that will take you in that direction. Incorporating these habits into your life can lead to a healthier, wealthier and happier existence.