Get Healthy, Save Money

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ROSELAND – There are obviously many good reasons to maintain good health, but did you know there are some great financial reasons to do so, as well? The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) explains:

Cut Health Care Costs
You should never scrimp on necessary medical services or medications, but there are ways to reduce your need for medical care. You’re probably well aware of the skyrocketing price of health coverage in the last decade. In fact, according to a Commonwealth Fund study, people with employer health insurance paid an average of more than $700 annually in out-of-pocket costs for medical care, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. That’s up a whopping 34 percent from three years earlier. Of course, when you take care of your health, you will need fewer medical services, which could potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year.

More Smart Steps
Not convinced? Some commonly used medications are used to treat problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. While there are many factors behind these conditions, they each can be worsened by a poor diet and lack of exercise. That means taking preventive steps can potentially help you avoid the costs of medications or further procedures to treat such conditions in the future.

Eat Right
Meals using fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein are often cheaper than processed foods or takeout dinners. Local farm markets and warehouse stores frequently offer good prices on fresh ingredients. Cooking at home is another great way to lower your costs and improve your health. Prepared meals are not only costly, but may be full of salt, fat and calories. When you make your own meals, you can skip all those unhealthy ingredients. Check online to find sites with healthy recipes that will get your home cooking started.

Get Fit
It doesn’t have to cost a lot to stay fit. Instead of joining a gym, start walking or running in your neighborhood. If possible, walk or bicycle to and from errands. This will not only improve your health, it will cut down on gasoline costs (which is good for the environment, too). The stairs are also free, so use them instead of an elevator whenever possible, and park in the farthest spot in a parking lot. An inexpensive set of barbells can help you with strength training, and a jump rope and stability ball are other cheap fitness options. If the price of new equipment seems too high, check out local garage sales for less expensive finds.

Quit the Habit
With a pack of cigarettes running more than $6, pack-a-day smokers would save more than $2,000 a year if they gave up the habit. If that’s not enough incentive, many companies are no longer hiring smokers. Add to that the costs of dry cleaning and teeth cleaning that go along with smoking and the benefits of stopping are clear.

Consult Your Local CPA
You may be surprised by the changes you’ll see if you make healthy changes in your lifestyle and eating habits, as well as find a little more money in your bank account at the end of the month. If you want to learn more about how to spend your money wisely, your local CPA can help. Turn to him or her with any questions you may have about your family’s spending or saving choices.

If you don’t have a CPA, you can easily locate one online using the NJSCPA’s free, online Find-A-CPA service. Just go to www.findacpa.org, and in a few clicks you can locate a highly qualified professional who can assist you.

For more information on various personal financial matters, visit the NJSCPA’s public service website at www.MoneyMattersNJ.com. While visiting, you can subscribe to Your Money Matters, the NJSCPA’s free, monthly email newsletter to receive valuable personal financial planning advice throughout the year.


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