Losing Weight Can Expand Your Wallet While Trimming Your Waist!
The number of Americans that are overweight or obese is approximately 72 million per the CDC. Most are not motivated to lose weight but obviously we are or you would not be on this website. What can I do to help motivate you to stay on this path to fat loss and better health? Let’s talk a little about a financial incentive.
We all spend a lot of money trying to lose weight. Over fifty percent of Americans make a New Years resolution to lose weight or become more healthy. The average American will gain about 0.82 pounds of weight each holiday season that sticks around every year. Some will obtain a gym membership at $65 a month on average.
Over the past several months as I have lost weight, I have noticed that it has saved me a little bit of cash. It will not make me a Trump size fortune, but it might keep me out of the poor house. I have found that weight loss is beneficial to more than your waist line. This article will focus on the monetary incentive to motivate you to fat and weight loss success. We focus on the health benefits of weight loss but can it actually save you money? The answer is a resounding YES.
Ways that fat loss or a shrinking waist lines Can Save You Money:
Eating Out Less. In the past, I ate out about 1-2 times a week. That is an average $12 a meal or $24 dollars a week. For an individual, that is a savings of about $1250 without tips. I have a family so it is more for me. This estimate is a conservative estimate. I still eat out about once a month.
- Bring Your Lunch to Work. I used to eat at the cafeteria at work or go to the vending machines. That was about $5 a day. I now bring a wrap or salad, apple, and yogurt for lunch. I now eat for about half that since I bring my lunch. That is a savings of about $560 a year.
- Make your meals instead of prepared meals. I buy fresh foods and make my meals for the week on Sundays. This allows me to proportion out healthy meals ahead of time. I sometimes freeze them on Sunday and thaw them the night before I eat them. It costs me about $6-8 a week to make my meals or $12-15 for pre-made frozen meals. That will save about $360 a year.
- Ask for a Doggy Bag. Even if I do eat out, if I split the meal in two and take half home, that saves me from making a meal. If my wife is out with me, that saves us the price of one entrée. That is about $90 a year.
- Drink Water. If you skip the carbonated stuff, it will save you calories (if it is the full sugar version) and a significant amount of cash. A carbonated fountain drink is about $1.50-3.00. I was drinking 3-5 a day. That is at least $8-10 habit or about $2,000-3,000 a year. Your costs may be less but you can do the math.
- Insurance Premiums. If you are within 10 pounds of you ideal weight based on Body Mass Index, your premiums will not go up, but if you have a BMI of 30 or more, you expect to pay 25% more for health and life insurance. This is because of the increased risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease. I would pay $240 a quarter and mine would increase to $313. I would save over $280 a year since I lost weight and am no longer in the overweight category.
- Medical Costs. In the day of the ACA, co-pays are skyrocketing and you’re out of pockets costs may have tripled or more. If you are of a normal weight, the average obese American saves $1,430 a year per the CDC in annual medical costs. Some of this may overlap with insurance premium drops. The CDC is not clear what they included in that number.
Earn more money. The average obese female earns $14,000 less per year. As little as 25 pounds can make a difference.
- Write off Your Gym Membership. Yes, gym memberships may be tax deductible. Discuss it with your accountant. That could be up $2,000 a year. I am not saying you will not get audited so discuss this with an accountant.
- Buy smaller plates. Instead of buying a plate set, go to your local discount store and get 4-8 small plates and 4-8 bowls. That is a total cost of $8-16 versus $24-36 for a full plate set.
- Buy smaller cups. It is the same concept as above. I bought eight 9-ounce cups at Dollar Tree. This allows me to better drink 8 ounces of milk. I put a line on the glass with a permanent marker to show 8 ounces. The average person drinks 10-12 ounces a cup of mile. The serving is 8. They will add a few extra “cups” per gallon.
Recommendations of saving money through weight loss: Act now and make a positive move toward healthy habits. You will be happier and healthier and may even save some money over time.