Bike to save on gas and parking fees. / Nathan Mead/Getty Images
Most people know by now that healthy habits make a happy body. But some lifestyle changes also can help your wallet:
Quit smoking. Smokers who purchase their own health insurance pay 14% more a month on average than non-smokers, according to a survey from ehealthinsurance.com, a health insurance exchange.
Keep a healthy weight. People whose BMI (body mass index) is categorized as “obese” pay 22.6% more a month than those with a “normal” BMI, the same insurance study found.
Reduce doctor’s visits. “Some health insurance plans now offer the chance to earn reductions in annual deductibles for consumers who live healthy and keep their utilization of medical care in check,” says Keith Mendonsa, a consumer expert for ehealth nsurance.
Eat strategically. San Francisco-based nutritionist Rania Batayneh advocates cheaper, healthy options, such as eating seasonal foods, buying in bulk and choosing more vegetarian foods over foods with animal proteins.
Brown-bag it. “Bring your lunch in a brown bag rather than buy it,” says Harlan Platt, Northeastern University professor of finance. “It is far easier to control fat content, and you will save about $5 a day.”
Walk or bike to work. Not only will you enjoy the benefits of the exercise, Platt says, but you also will save money on gas and parking fees.