What if you could save more money and get a little healthier into the bargain?
Most people aspire to one or both of these goals at some time or another, but is it possible to get the two to work hand-in-hand? We think so, which is why we’ve created our top ten money saving tips to help you achieve a healthier AND wealthier life. Free up more of your cash to add to your Wealthify Investment Plan, get a whole lot fitter and feel great in no time.
1. Go by bike, foot or skateboard (saving approx. £2,400 per year)
While it may sound obvious, every trip you make by bike, foot, skateboard or any other self-powered transport will save you money on fuel for your car or the cost of public transport. Just as obviously, it’ll add to your weekly count of cardio vascular exercise, so win-win!
If you take it seriously and replace the daily commute with a cycle journey instead, you could be saving anything from £5 - £20 per day (depending on the length of your commute), which would amount to an extra £2,400-5,000 per year in your pocket.
2. Get a home gym to replace your gym membership (saving approx. £500 per year)
Gym membership is pretty pricey, but when you also factor in the amount you actually use it you may well be throwing money away week after week. Instead, you could invest in a home gym and cut out the cost forever. You may still only use it every once in a while, but at least you won’t be burning cash while you’re not burning the calories.
If your gym membership is £35 per month, that would net you £420 per year, but you’ll also save the money you were spending on travel to and from the gym, so it could end up being more like £500 saving per annum. The next step is to up your home gym use to get a little fitter too, so you might want to start combining your nightly boxset catch-up binge with some light treadmill action to kick things off.
3. Go veggie (saving approx. £520 per year)
The cold, hard reality is that vegetables are much less expensive than their meaty mates, so if you can cut two meat-based meals out of your weekly diet and replace them with vegetarian options, you could be saving around £10 per week. Go fully meat-free and you could save even more. If you focus your effort on cutting out red or cured meats, you’ll also be stripping out the unhealthier portion of your carnivorous appetite in the process.
4. The power of the packed lunch (saving approx. £1,100 per year)
This one takes time and preparation, but if you can get into the groove of making a packed lunch every day, instead of buying an expensive supermarket, pub or deli meal, then you could be saving upwards of £3.00 a day with ease. Strip out the occasional more expensive lunch meal and your daily coffee shop treats too, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be saving in the region of £5 every working day.
You’ll also cut out some of the processed food from your diet, helping you to reduce the amount of high calorie, high salt and low vitamin meals you may be tucking into on a day-to-day basis.
5. Inject some Pokémon Go into your weekends (saving approx. £520 per year)
We love a little tech and there’s a whole lot of it wrapped up in the augmented reality of Pokémon Go. Cynics may well scoff at the prospect of using the app to save money and get fit, but there’s actually a lot of money saving and calorie burning potential wrapped up in the biggest gaming phenomenon of the year, especially if you’ve got a family to keep entertained.
Instead of heading out on expensive day trips, or staying in the house and using electricity and fuel to keep the kids happy, simply fire up Pokémon Go and hit the streets to save around £10 per week. With eggs to hatch, PokéStops to call in on, wild Pokémon to hunt down and gym battle challenges to get into, you’ll wrack up the miles, cut down your outgoings and get your family a whole lot more fresh air.
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6. A cycle staycation (saving approx. £1,000 per year)
If you want to crash save, you can do so fairly easily by stripping one of your holidays out of the budget, netting you around £1,000 in savings for the year, if not much more. Instead of heading abroad, simply saddle up and have an inexpensive cycle staycation. Throw a little Pokémon Go into the equation and you’ve probably got the makings of an excellent family adventure on the local cycle routes in and around your home town. The National Cycle Network passes within a mile of half of all UK homes and stretches over 14,000 miles across the length and breadth of the UK.
7. Go carless (saving approx. £1,000 per year)
This one is fairly extreme, but if you can go without your beloved four wheels, or drop down to one car for the family, then you could be saving £1,000 comfortably per year, when you take into account the cost of the car itself, insurance, tax, MOT, repairs, maintenance and services. You might want to try our opening tip (get on your bike) to test out how well you can make the sacrifice, but if it goes well then it’s an option you could consider to re-route the money into your savings and investment portfolio. When you consider the negative impacts of depreciation and inflation, your money could be working much harder for you.
8. Sign up for a charity fun run (priceless)
OK, so any money savings you make on this tip are probably going to be marginal and related to diverted weekend activity, but you can’t really put a price on giving a little back. Signing up for a run is a sure fire way to nudge yourself into doing a little more exercise, but if you’re also getting sponsorship for charity you’ll probably take it all even more seriously, making this our priceless tip of the list. There’s plenty of ‘Couch to 5k’ plans free to download online and the fewer hours spent snacking and watching TV will add up to a few more pounds in your pocket and a few less on you.
9. The fruit and water diet (saving approx. £300 per year)
We’re not total sadists, but there is something to be said for the wonders of water. It contains no added sugar, has zero calories, costs very little and actually rehydrates you. Cut out on the squash, fizzy pop and energy drinks and take things back to the simple life of a glass of H2O instead and you’ll be surprised about how much money you can save and how much junk you can remove from your diet.
If you can do a similar switch away from chocolate bars and crisps to the inexpensive goodness of fruit, then you’ll be even more zen-like in your health and wealth quota.
10. Don’t look back in cigarettes and alcohol (saving approx. £700 per year)
While this is another obvious one, and doesn’t really apply to all readers, it’s definitely one that’s worth mentioning. Our savings estimate of £700 for reducing or quitting even one of these is fairly conservative, and the health benefits are considerable, so it really is worth considering a review of how much you spend on smokes and booze.
Total approx. savings per year = £9,000
Value of savings after 15-years in our most cautious investment plan = £17,1021
If you did that every year for 15 years, that would give you a hefty £189,4451
1 Predicted value as at time of writing. These forecasts are a guide only. Your predicted value is not a guaranteed return. With investing, your capital is at risk and you could get back less than you put in.
The ‘predicted value’ is an indication of what your money could be worth at the end of the timeframe. To calculate this figure, we use ARC benchmark data, an industry-standard measure that gives us information on past performance of hundreds of comparable private investment plans. We use this data to help predict the most likely future value of your investments. Naturally, figures are not guaranteed and predictions are never perfect, but this will give you a good idea of what your investment could be worth.
Please remember that the value of your investments can go down as well as up and you can get back less than invested.
The comments and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and should not be taken as financial advice from Wealthify.