Only Fools Spend Too Much On Health
With a recorded $3.4 trillion on health care, the U.S. spends more on health than any other country. To put it in simple terms, health doesn’t come cheap, but unfortunately, the results Americans get are not proportional to the impressive health care bill. Experts continue to predict sharp increases in health care spending, with up to $14,944 per person in 2023. For comparison, in 1960, the average cost per person was $146 – even if you adjust the figure for inflation, you can’t deny that the current health-related expenses are too high for the actual results. And that’s precisely why we need to ask: Do you spend too much on your health? The answer is not straightforward, but as a general rule of the thumb, it’s extremely likely that you might be spending too much in the wrong areas, and not enough where it matters. Here’s how to save on your health-related costs without putting your health at risk, and how to recognize essential costs you can’t avoid.
REDUCE COSTS WITHOUT REDUCING HEALTH
There is a big difference between spending wisely on your health and health care, and spending too much. Excessive spending practices refer to the habit of paying more without getting more or better results. In other words, the idea behind reducing your health costs is not an encouragement to quit paying for your medications or your health insurance. It’s about finding out where you can save money and still maintain your health. It’s a matter of answer a simple question: What are your unnecessary health expenses?
Health insurance: You can’t do without but you can do without over-spending
Whether you’re self-employed or whether your work contract doesn’t include health care insurance, you have a duty to yourself to find the appropriate insurance for your lifestyle and your health situation. Thankfully, the Health Care Bill has made it easier for a lot of individuals to have access to affordable options. However, freelancers still need to be on the look for the best low-cost insurance. It’s always a good idea to review your current plan, especially if you find that it doesn’t cover all options or if you find the cover doesn’t suit your situation. Self-employed individuals can use comparison sites to find the best-suited solution for their needs. As simplistic as it sounds, switching health care providers can have a major impact on your budget.
Are there natural alternatives to help you?
Did you know that two of the constantly increasing health expenses relate to antidepressants and smoking? When it comes to mental health, unfortunately, depression and nicotine addictions are common issues that come from a variety of factors from hectic work life to stressful relationships. Do antidepressants and nicotine-patches help? They do, but they create an addiction. Instead, you can rely on natural alternatives to lift your mood. Keeping an active lifestyle with regular exercise can help, especially if you add mindful and positive thinking. Spending time in the direct sunlight can regulate the production of serotonin, the infamous happiness hormone.
Do you need to buy vitamin supplements?
Everybody wants to be healthy. And as everybody knows the importance of vitamins, it’s not uncommon to find a tube of multivitamins in American households. While multivitamins are not a high expense per se, they can gradually cause a dent in your budget if pills and tablets become your preferred intake method. The question is simple: Do you really need to take a multivitamin? On the one hand, these little pills are great to providing people with the right amount of vitamins and minerals designed to assist with bodily functions and mental health, but you should get everything you need from a healthy and balanced diet already. In fact, you might even be wasting money if you stick to a healthy diet already. Consuming more vitamins than you need results in waste, in the best case scenario. In the worst case scenario, a vitamin overdose can put your health at risk.
I buy the vegetarian/vegan version
If, like many, you’ve embraced a meat-free diet, you need to consider your consumption of vegetarian or vegan meat products. Beyond the ethical question of whether fake meat products defeat the point of a meat-free diet, there’s the double matter of cost and processed food to take into consideration. Several cultures across the world have developed balanced meat-free diets, especially in Asian countries. In the long term, a vegetarian curry might be a cheaper and healthier option than a processed fake-meat lasagna dish.
How much do you spend on your fitness program?
Getting fit is a natural part of staying healthy as regular exercises support your bodily and mental functions. However, for a lot of American families, fitness is an unnecessarily high part of the household budget. From expensive activity trackers to trendy fitness fashion, most people make the mistake of replacing mindful activities with mindless spending. The bottom line is that you don’t need to a fitness tracker or an over-the-top gym membership to work out.
THE COSTS YOU CAN’T AVOID WITHOUT RISKING YOUR HEALTH
Not every health cost is unnecessary. There are indeed indispensable health expenses that you shouldn’t cut off your budget.
Your skin needs protection all year round
The skin is the largest external organ in the human body. It reflects your internal health and also needs protection against aggressive external factors. Consequently, maintaining healthy skin is essential to your well-being. While you don’t need to break the bank, you need to implement the right habits: How much to drink, what food to avoid and how to hydrate your skin – Don’t be afraid to ask the expert: Do you really need to put lotion on after every shower? – The better you understand your skin’s needs, the easier it’ll be to keep it healthy. In the end, it’s about knowing where you need to invest for your skin health.
Taking medication? Don’t go cold-turkey
If you are following a medicated treatment, it can be tempting to stop your medication in an attempt to save money. However, abruptly stopping your meds might lead to health complications, especially if you’ve been on a high dose for a long time. But you can approach your doctor to discuss the possibility of reducing dosage with careful follow-ups. Medications used to treat blood pressure, epilepsy, anxiety disorders, seizures, and severe pains need medical advice to be stopped.
Food is not cheap, but cheap junk food isn’t the answer
There’s a common belief that a healthy diet comes at a hefty price. However, there is no scientific fact to back up the price theory. In fact, the dilemma happens at a psychological level: Most people assume that expensive food is healthier. Surprisingly enough, if you choose to focus on the nutritional information on the label, you will notice that more often than not expensive food isn’t always a grade A. For breakfast bars, for instance, the more expensive bars in U.S. shops are graded as a C. In other words, don’t look at the price; read the label instead. While healthy food isn’t cheap, it can be just as affordable than junk food.
Healthy home settings can go a long way
Investing in keeping your home healthy is also an essential part of your health budget. From buying a quality mattress to improving your insulation system, a healthy home means a healthy you.
Health isn’t cheap. But it is a lot more affordable than you might think. It’s not about how much you spend on your health, but about investing wisely where it matters.