Penny Wise, Me Poor

Why is it the first thing we always think about is the cost of things?  If I had a dollar for every time I said, “I can’t afford that”, I’d be rich.  Want to take up yoga but it’s way too expensive to go to a studio?  Decide to eat only organic only to balk at the increased cost of organic foods.  Along this journey, I too have faced these same perceived roadblocks.   But, can you really put a price on our health?   Why in this society is it more expensive to live a healthy lifestyle?  Why are the unhealthy foods so much less expensive?  These questions bring to mind the saying, “penny wise, dollar poor.”  In seeking to save money, you could actually be costing your health to suffer.

As part of our journey, we need to reevaluate our thinking around the cost of things.  At the most basic level, how much are we spending on health care and drugs to maintain our current lifestyle?  Do we need daily prescription drugs to offset the damage done to our bodies?   Do we make frequent trips to doctors because we consistently feel sick?  For me, the answer was yes.

The next area to consider is our daily spending.   For example, when I was first approached about drinking Shakeology, I said no thanks.  It’s way too expensive.  Of course I thought about it and looked into it further.  My wise friend pointed out that I was spending about $5.00 a day on a cup of Starbucks coffee.  The cost of the shake, with my discount, would be about $4.00 a day.  One purchase was full of extra sugar in the form of flavored creamer and one was full of vitamins and nutrients.   Why then was I so quick to say no due to perceived costs?  This realization caused me to really spend time thinking about the money I was spending.

Small changes, big results is my theme, so why did I not think to apply this to my spending.  I can lead a healthy life and not stress over every dollar I spend. I just needed to think outside the box.

First area I evaluated was my monthly gym memberships.  I was spending $75 a month for my yoga membership and $40 a month on a gym membership.  Additionally, I went to a personal trainer at least twice a week for $50.  That’s $165 a month. In thinking about my daily exercise schedule, I found myself rising at 4:00 AM daily.  Heading to either the gym or yoga studio for 6:00 AM.  Showering at gym then rushing to work.  Talk about stress.  If I did yoga, I had to then drive to the gym to shower as the studio doesn’t have showers.  I decided to cancel the gym membership as I have a full range of gym equipment in my basement, including an elliptical and treadmill for cardio.  The yoga is in a heated room and I don’t get the same levels of workout at home, so that I kept.  Savings $90 a month, plus I gained an hour of sleep and much less stress in the morning.  I can even work out in my pajamas if I want and I have!  To offset the trainer and gym class loss, I purchased some workout programs for at home use and joined accountability groups, so no lack of motivation here.

Next, I looked at our weekly food bills. We, like many, were shopping at Costco.  Buying in bulk was supposed to save us money, right?  Wrong!  What it really did was cause us to overspend and buy processed foods.  It even caused us to eat more as the food here was plentiful.  I decided to go back to my Queens roots and only purchase what we would eat and only buy fresh.  No more freezing of food!  Remember the days of walking up the avenue to get fresh meat and produce?  Those days are back and guess what it’s more cost effective after all.  Think about it .   No more over buying or impulse purchases in Costco.   Did you really need that blender, or 40 can box of tuna?

Last, I looked at my daily lunch spending.  Because I was running off to the gym with the roosters, I rarely had time to pack food.  Lunch meals, while healthy, were costing me about 8-10 dollars a day.   Elimating this would save me another $40 a week, or $160 a month!

This week, your job is to pay attention to your daily spending.   Where is your money going after all?   Once you evaluate that, I am sure, like me you can begin to see room  for change.  And, best of all the savings can be redistributed over to purchases you thought you just couldn’t afford.  Write down every penny you spend for one week.  Also, list your monthly ongoing expenses.  I think you’ll be pretty surprised as I was.

I’m hoping you have already made some small changes and are seeing some results.  Please share with me. I’d love to hear! For information on at home workouts, or discounted Shakeology, leave me a comment, or email me.

I’ll be starting an online accountability group in April. No purchase, or fee required to join.  Details will be shared in my next post. Have a great week.


Author: laurakump

I'm a mother, wife and daughter on a mission to reclaim my health. I've watched loved ones suffer from memory robbing Alzheimers and refuse to lose my precious memories to this disease. Small changes have helped me achieve health and fitness. I'm an Elementary School Principal on a mission to impact students lives. I believe we can change this world one child at a time.

2 thoughts on “Penny Wise, Me Poor”

  1. I used to spend do much money buying food during lunch at work. This month when I decided to focus on being healthier, I began to cook more and pack my lunches everyday and I’ve already saved at least 200 dollars doing that alone. Not to mention, I actually know I’m eating good food now.


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