As many of you know, I not only blog about personal finance, I also blog about health and fitness, over at No. Calories Needed. I recently started a new eating plan and I’m down 8 pounds. Not only has my diet affected my waistline, it’s beginning to affect my wallet.
Areas where I’m now saving money –
Lower food bills –
The eating plan calls for the slow, conscious consumption of food. Now, instead of eating twenty bites quickly, I eat six bites slowly. As a result, I eat less food. The plan also allows for the consumption of foods that I actually enjoy – so I no longer feel the pressure to buy high-priced, packaged ‘diet foods’.
Lower restaurant bills –
I recently visited on of my favorite restaurants, where I would normally spend $20 to $30, and my total bill was $9. While we rarely eat out, when we do, I like to eat what I want to eat. But, due to the fact that I’m now eating far less food than I did in the past, I was able to order an appetizer and a baked potato, along with my beverage, and leave the restaurant satisfied.
Areas where I’m now spending more money –
Higher clothing costs –
I have begun to run, so I’ve ordered a new pair of correctly-fitted running shoes. The shoes cost more than I would normally pay, but they are designed specifically for my feet. Also, even though I’ve only lost 8 pounds (so far), I can tell that I’ll need a new pair of pants or two, in the next few months. And, as anyone who has ever lost weight knows, once you shed a few pounds, there’s a desire to get rid of the ‘fat’ clothes and replace them with new, nicer items. Of course, I have a closet full of clothes from my slightly thinner days, and I’ll begin to wear them, as I lose weight. For now, the new clothing costs consist of the new pair of running shoes, two pairs of workout shorts, and some socks.
Areas where I will save money, in the future –
Life Insurance –
In October, my current term life policy expires. I recently priced two new policies, one at my current weight and one at my goal weight. The savings were rather significant, especially if you consider that I’ll be paying premiums for the next 20+ years.
Health Care Costs –
I have sleep apnea – a sleeping condition that requires that I wear a mask while I sleep. The mask is uncomfortable and should be replaced every 6 to 12 months. My goal is to lose a total of 80 pounds, at which point I might be able to get rid of the mask. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to sleep without it, but if I could, the costs associated with the mask would disappear. Also, due to the fact that sleep apnea can be fatal, my long-term disability insurance costs are sky high. Getting rid of the mask – and taking a sleep test to verify that the sleep apnea is gone – would go a long ways towards reducing long-term disability insurance costs.
Areas where I will spend more money, in the future –
Running Event Fees –
As I mentioned, I’ve started running. Inspired by my little sister, who ran in a 10k a few weeks ago, I’ve decided to sign up for a local 5k. As I get more involved in the ‘scene’, I’m sure that I’ll want to run in more events. So, I’ll have to figure the cost to enter those events and the cost of gasoline to travel to and from those events. Plus, I’m sure that I’ll want to buy more running gear.
I’m sure, as I lose weight, that I’ll find other areas of my budget that need to be tweaked. If you have lost a significant amount of weight, I’d love to hear how it changed your financial life.