My Sneaky Little Spending Vice Part 3: Beach Body on a Budget
This is the final installment of the My Sneaky Little Spending Vice series. I have more than 3 spending vices but I have found that these three seem to be eating at my budget the most. You read about my habit of gift giving and my addiction to food and now I will explore more into my obsession with dieting, weight loss trends, exercise equipment and all things health and fitness. This may seem contradictory to part 2- I Eat My Money, but being a millennial in Denver, it’s hard not to latch on to the gluten free, dairy free, granola lifestyle that surrounds me. I haven’t gone so far as to be gluten or dairy free because ice cream is my favorite food. I have, however, in the last 6 months purchased a $40 spiralizer to make zucchini noodles, $50 worth of exercise clothes, $486 of REI hiking gear, and countless hours spent listening to podcasts and reading different health magazine articles. When I total it up, I have spent $576 and some time to chase the next big fad.
What I am really chasing is just to feel good. Feel good in my body and my mind. Health and fitness is important to me but not because I think I know what I’m doing. It’s important because I don’t know what I’m doing and tend to have headaches, stomach aches, and worst of all, anxiety. I get anxious about my health, which means I spend more money on endless gadgets to fix it, and then I get anxious about money and forget about my health…and so the cycle continues. There is also this idea that it is impossible to eat healthy on a budget because healthy food costs more. This is completely false! I was gullible enough to listen to the big brands telling me to eat their processed, added sugar junk because it was cheaper and still good for me. This is an absurd concept and I will prove it to you. I have outlined a mock of our last grocery trip with the total and compared it to what we would have bought 3 months ago.
I went for a few months not caring what went in my body as long as it cost less than $500 a month. We were making all our own meals and it was healthier than eating fast food every day, but we were still eating heavy pasta dishes. At the end of the day, I would feel weighed down, unmotivated to work out, and all around lethargic. Even though we were “saving money” (not really since eating healthy on a budget is do-able) by buying cheap processed food, I was more irritable, lazy and anxious. Ryan and I decided that health and happiness were our number one priority. We started buying fresh produce, grass fed beef and wild caught fish. Yes, these foods are a little more expensive, but we have found that our bodies respond to them much better than the over processed junk we were eating before. Even though I still haven’t gotten an ab roller or kettle bell, I do use the gym at my office during my afternoon slump and have started a dog walking business to get some much needed puppy love and good exercise at the same time. All new and exciting things are happening for us and I am very excited to see where this life takes us.
How healthy is your lifestyle and diet & how does it impact your budget at the end of the month? How do you manage to maintain your beach body without breaking the bank?