Practice Good Hygiene (216/365)

Much like yesterday’s entry on washing your hands, this feels like a common sense tactic. Good hygiene is something most of us learned before we were in kindergarten, after all.

Yet, just like washing your hands, it’s something that many people overlook. Take a careful look at the people around you. Inevitably, you’ll notice someone who has yellowed teeth and someone else whose hair doesn’t look too clean. You might get a whiff of someone with bad breath or someone with some body odor.

These are simple things to take care of. They’re also things that people sometimes overlook in the busy routines of their lives.

It’s something that can cost you.

Practice Good Hygiene (216/365)

Here’s a very simple way of looking at it. Let’s say you’re at work and you have the option of engaging in a project with your choice of two people. Professionally, they’re pretty much identical. You get along fine with both of them. However, one of them has yellow teeth and often has bad breath, while the other one smells great all the time and has shiny teeth.

Which one will you choose to work with? The vast, vast majority of people will choose the situation with less odor.

Eventually, those little choices begin to have a professional impact. One person builds up a stronger reputation at work and gets ahead of the other for a promotion. One gets chosen to go to a key conference where professional connections are made. Eventually, when the company has to choose, one or the other of them is kept on board.

Beyond that, there are the health-related concerns. A person who does not care for their teeth is going to have more dental expenses than someone who puts in the effort. A person with poor hygiene is more susceptible to illness than someone who bathes and cleanses themselves daily – and illness has many costs, as established yesterday.

All of this can be avoided by being mindful of your hygiene. We all know the basic steps. Bathe daily. Brush your teeth at least once a day. Use deodorant. Rinse your mouth regularly. Floss regularly.

Thankfully, for most of us, this is just the normal routine of a normal day. If you read this post and just shrugged your shoulders because it just seems normal, then you’re in the right place.

However, if you found yourself checking your teeth or sniffing your arm while reading this, you’re going to be very well served by establishing a hygiene routine as soon as possible. It will save you on health care costs and help you with your career, too.

This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. Images courtesy of Brittany Lynne Photography, the proprietor of which is my “photography intern” for this project.

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