If you’ve ever gotten a medical bill in the mail, had a surprise cavity, or a trip to the ER, you know how costly health issues are.
There’s no denying it – healthcare costs are sky-high. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US healthcare costs have risen to $3.5 TRILLION per year.
I’ve had plenty of planned and unplanned health-related expenses to deal with for myself and my family…
So, I’ve come up with 5 ways to save money on health-related costs.
1) Get Regular Check-Ups
Prevention is key! Prevent physical health-related issues by getting regular check-ups. Make sure you take advantage of your annual physical. Most health insurance plans offer a free annual physical – there’s a reason for this…prevention is cheaper than treatment! Physicals help to keep you well and to catch ailments early. They also help to save you money.
2) Get Regular Exercise
You’ll sense a theme in this list…PREVENTION. Getting healthy and staying can easily save you thousands in health-related costs over time. Not sure how much exercise/activity you and your family need? The CDC has you covered! The CDC answers the question: How much physical activity do you need? Check it out to make sure you and your family are getting the exercise you need to best prevent health-related expenses.
Bonus tip: This Christmas, to help boost my and my kids’ physical activity during the winter, I got this small indoor trampoline from Amazon “for the kids” (but made sure it would hold my weight, too) for indoor family fun and exercise!
3) Rest as Needed
By rest, I don’t mean sleep. I’m talking about down-time. Time for yourself, away from work and responsibilities. Trust me, I know, easier said than done! But, in my experience, resting as needed can help prevent physical fatigue as well as mental and emotional fatigue. I spent a large part of my life being unable to rest. When I was resting, sitting still, or unoccupied, I became increasingly anxious.
I constantly busied myself – which led to wearing down both physically and mentally. I was sick more often which led to lost wages and increased healthcare costs (both in doctor’s visits and buying OTC medication). Make sure to prioritize a balance of rest along with exercise and activity.
Advocate for yourself.
Talk to your friends and family about needing to schedule time for yourself. Find a hobby – even if it costs some money (remember: think FRUGAL, not cheap. The cost of a hobby will likely be much less than the cost of physical and mental healthcare).
4) Get Enough Sleep
I like referring to the CDC, because it’s reliable information. So, here we go again – according to the CDC, adults ages 18-60 need at least 7 hours of quality sleep per night. The CDC associates lack of sleep with: physical injuries, chronic diseases and conditions (such as depression and obesity), mental illnesses, poor quality of life, increased health care costs, and lost work productivity. Sounds awful and awfully expensive, right?!
Each night I fall asleep quickly to Ambient Music for Therapy binaural beats on Amazon Music. I typically get enough sleep each night; but, I know my quality of sleep isn’t good. I toss and turn and wake up at least once most nights. I have a hunch my bed is to blame. I bought it new 14 years ago and it’s pretty dang worn out! I’ve been seeing a lot of ads and great feedback on the Casper Sleep Essential Mattress. I think I’m going to try it – 100 night trial period with free return option…nothing to lose!
5) Get Mental Health Support
I LOVE the continued awareness being brought to mental health! Mental health and wellness mustn’t be brushed aside. We should all have (at least) annual mental health check ups with a professional specializing in mental health – just as we are entitled to an annual physical check up.
It’s not always easy to recognize a mental health issue in yourself.
For me, I needed an outsider’s prospective to diagnose post-partum depression that I wrote off (for 8 months!) as “just being how this must feel to be a mother of two.”
I turned to food as the only way to feel…anything. When I was eating sugary, fatty foods I felt something other than numbness.
How does this relate to saving money?
Buying that much junk food was expensive! Plus, I gained 45 pounds. I was getting tumultuous sleep. Both of which put me at risk for increased healthcare costs.
With the help of my amazing primary care physician, I got the help I needed with a psychologist – and since, I’ve lost weight, I’m sleeping pretty well overall (with the exception of my bed), and I’m able to get exercise and be active with my family.
Of course, there are more ways to save money on health-related costs; but, I’m writing on my personal experiences. So, as they come up, I’ll share them with you.
Stay frugal and healthy, Savers!
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