How Healthy Living Saves Money

Many of the self-improvement goals that people set for themselves boil down to one of two things: improving your health or improving your financial situation. 

Health improvement and financial improvement have a lot in common: they both require you to focus on making changes to your daily life, and they both take a while to start showing noticeable effects. But if you stick with the changes, the positive effects can be profoundly life-altering.

Here’s the kicker: When you take steps to improve your health, they often also cause improvements in your financial life, too. Many of the things you do to improve your health, if done with thought and care, result in big long term financial benefits, and even some short-term benefits.

In this article

    How healthy living improves your financial life

    Unhealthy vices are expensive

    Most consumption-related vices, such as smoking, alcohol use, substance abuse, and soda, are not only detrimental to your health, they’re also expensive. All of those things have an out-of-pocket financial cost, then you consume them, then you’re left with nothing more than an emptier pocket.

    Healthy living prevents many costly medical conditions

    Many of the basic steps of healthy living, such as a better diet and some level of exercise, reduce your odds of developing medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, which can result in enormous increases in your out-of-pocket medical costs. Even a 5% reduction in weight can result in enormous declines in the odds of a whole host of costly diseases.

    Raw healthy foods are actually pretty inexpensive

    The cornerstones of a healthy diet, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, are actually pretty inexpensive. Many fresh fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, carrots, and cauliflower, are always inexpensive, and fresh fruits and vegetables are often on discount. Frozen vegetables are usually inexpensive, too. Items such as dry beans, oatmeal, brown rice, cottage cheese, and quinoa are almost always very inexpensive, as well. Making these items more central to your diet can save you a ton of cash compared to the typical American diet.

    Healthy living improves your insurance rates

    Life, medical, long term care and other types of insurance rates are going to be lower if you are healthy. Some major determining factors for the cost of many insurance factors include your weight, blood pressure and the result of a basic blood test, all of which can be improved with some simple steps to keep your health in a good place.

    Compare Affordable Auto Insurance Rates

    Save money on auto coverage with our simple comparison tool.

    Matching you with providers.
    We found results in
    Click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

      Powered by (NPN: 8781838)

      Simple low-cost practices for healthier living

      While those benefits sound great, there’s a perception that healthier living is more expensive. That’s simply not true. 

      • Cut out tobacco, alcohol and soda. This is a no-brainer.
      • Eat more fruits, vegetables and grains. We talked about the low cost of many fruits, vegetables and grains.
      • Exercise is always good, but you don’t need to get a gym membership. Make going on a walk part of your daily routine.
      • A full uninterrupted night of sleep in which you arise naturally in the morning has enormous health benefits beyond simply feeling better the next day. Try going to sleep earlier, ideally early enough that you rise naturally before your alarm goes off.

      We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at with comments or questions.

      Trent Hamm

      Founder & Columnist

      Trent Hamm founded The Simple Dollar in 2006 and still writes a daily column on personal finance. He’s the author of three books published by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press, has contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and his financial advice has been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.