The Cost of Health
Healthy means different things to different people, but most associate it with physical health. While there are other forms of health, including mental, emotional, and financial, physical health can actually have a significant influence on all of the others. Financial health may be the most surprising of these, but improving your physical health can save tens of thousands of dollars every year. If you’re looking for long-term ways to improve the monthly budget, getting healthy can be a useful tool.
While there may be faster ways to make money, there are few ways to earn a few extra dollars that benefit you in so many ways. Since improving your physical health improves focus, mood, energy, and your annual costs, it can represent one of the simplest ways to make your whole life better. Many of the costs associated with poor health present more indirect expenses, leaving a surprising number of Americans ignorant to what their poor health really costs.
Smoking, for example, presents the obvious, direct costs of buying the cigarettes themselves. Beyond that, the indirect costs include higher life insurance premiums, additional renter’s and homeowner’s policy fees, hugely increased average annual medical expenses, and even a statistically lower salary than their non-smoking peers. Giving up smoking can result in a savings of over $13,000 per year! And that’s assuming you would never contract one of the numerous medical conditions caused by smoking, which can easily push that amount into the hundreds of thousands.
Obesity creates similarly staggering amounts of direct and indirect costs. Improving on diet and adding even a very light exercise program to your daily routine can save tens of thousands of dollars annually. Turning those dollars to better use can cause early debt payoff, creation of vacation funds, and even lead to early retirement.
Check out the data below for a breakdown of many of these costs, and some suggestions on small steps you can make today to improve your health and wealth tomorrow!