Your Wealth, Your Health: How Your Money Can Make You Ill
Our health is the most precious thing that we have. Often we don’t realize how important it is, unless we are unfortunate enough to experience a serious illness. When your health is compromised, everything else in your life grinds to a halt. There’s a lot of truth in the old saying ‘health is wealth’. But the reverse is also very true. If you aren’t on top of your finances, it can have a real, physical impact on your wellbeing. Here’s how:
Did you know that the amount you sleep is inextricably linked with both your finances and your health? And lack of sleep can lead both to various medical complications but also poor decision making and impulse control – so that’s not great news when it comes to making smart financial decisions. From the little mistakes that trip us up, such as buying a few too many takeaway coffees when we’re feeling sleepy, to more drastic decisions like taking out a card with an extortionate APR and ending up in credit card debt relief, this is bad news. So practicing sleep hygiene, making sure we go to bed early enough and maybe even fitting in a nap on the weekends could actually benefit our financial state.
We all know that relying on fast and to-go foods isn’t good for our waistlines or our wallets. But it goes deeper than just paying too much for dinner. The high fat and salt found in fast food can also impair our mental responses. Discipline is a mental skill that transfers, whether it’s saying no to that burger with extra fries or to another impulse purchase. The good news? Making a habit of planning in advance could change your life in a few weeks. Making a shopping list and prepping your meals in advance will save money and improve your health.
It won’t surprise you to find out that exercise is also linked to health and money. The enhanced blood flow produced by regularly working out boosts your brain power as well as your muscles and also sharpens your memory. And having regular exercise and all the benefits that come with it can also make you more confident, which in turn can lead to more informed decisions. The tip is to find something you enjoy and look forward to, from a Zumba class to a fast-paced game of squash. The pleasure you can from improving your skills makes a positive feedback loop in your life that can have far reaching consequences. It gives you that much needed self-control that can be applied to all areas of your life.
The link between your bank balance and your physical well-being runs deeper than it may appear, but the good news is that a few positive steps can have a ripple effect in your life. The evidence is compelling. A recent study found that low credit scores could be used to predict an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. So stop the cycle and make this year the year of better health – and even better finances.