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DigitalBlue's avatar

What are some really small goals for improving health and financial habits?

Asked by DigitalBlue (7072points) January 8th, 2014

For example: eating two servings of vegetables every day for a week.
I’m looking for weekly goals dealing specifically with health and money that are more confidence-building than anything.

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27 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Don’t eat out. That’s the biggest single thing you can do for both.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Make a grocery list at home and stick to the list in the store. No impulse buying. Clip coupons for products you already use. We routinely save between $8—$12 a week on things we planned to buy. It more than saves the cost of the paper. Learn to read labels. How many servings per container, how much sodium, etc.

Kardamom's avatar

There’s a bunch of online resources for planning healthy meals, cooking them all on one day, and then freezing them, so you’ll have healthy foods, already made for an entire month. Here is an Example

Here’s another site called 100 Days of No Processed Foods Crockpot Style. Easy and healthy.

Here’s another Make Ahead Freezer Meals on a Budget.

The other thing you can do is figure out how much you might have spent eating lunch at McDonald’s or Denny’s or wherever it is you might have gone. The average amount you would have spent. Instead of eating out, put that money into a jar (or put it weekly into the bank) and you will have quite a bit of money saved up in just a month. Even if it’s only $5 a day.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I should clarify.
Not how to spend less or be more frugal, the person that this is for doesn’t need help with that. He does want to learn how to be more financially responsible, though. Starting a savings account and actually putting money in it, for example.

Kardamom's avatar

Part of being financially responsible is learning how to be frugal, even if you’ve got lots of money. You’ll have lots more money if you’re frugal than if you are not.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@Kardamom I know, I agree, I’m an extremely frugal person. I just was thinking from reading these that it’s not that he needs help learning how to be frugal, but rather that he has no idea how to manage his money otherwise. Refining my question through the responses I have so far. He wants to learn how to stay organized, pay bills on time, put what is leftover into savings rather than spending it because it’s there, etc.
Does that make sense?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

One of the best ways for me to build my savings was to have an amount deducted from each paycheck and deposited directly to my savings account, so I never saw it. The savings grew without me even noticing the money going in. An auto deduct would work the same.

Seek's avatar

Very small financial:

Every day, when you come home, empty your pockets and place all change in a jar, piggy bank, whatever. Do not – repeat – DO NOT open the jar until it is completely full. Then take that jar to a Coinstar or your bank, and deposit it into your savings account.

Very small health:

Stop drinking soda and sweet tea. Keep a small bottle of lemon and/or lime juice in the fridge, within easy reach. When you pass your kitchen, fill a glass up with water and give it a squirt of lemon juice. Increases water intake and decreases sugar intake, badabing.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe oh, no shit, I didn’t even know they could do that.

Seek's avatar

My old bank used to allow you to have $1 transferred from your checking to your savings every time you used your debit card. That was really cool. I’d think I was totally broke, then remember I had about $50 in the savings account – enough to give me gas money until payday or whatever.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr that is really cool, too. I don’t really use a bank for anything except paying a few very specific bills, so I don’t really pay attention to any of the bells and whistles. Those are things that I wouldn’t have ever thought of on my own, simply because I haven’t ever heard of them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Another thing he could try would be to take the additional money in a paycheck each time he gets a pay raise and put the additional money in the savings automatically. Everybody lives off what’s in each check. When the check gets a little bigger keep living off the old amount and put the new money into savings. If he does that each time he’ll have a lot going into savings.

LilCosmo's avatar

One idea for both might be keeping a food diary and a spending diary.

Seek's avatar

He could try looking into a FarmShare program, sometimes called a food co-op or a farm co-op.

Basically, it’s a local farm selling its produce in bulk to a central hub, that distributes it to everyone who pays in.

This is a good way to get fresh, local produce, often organic, and often much cheaper than buying it at the grocery. It’s a little fun, too, because you never really know what’s going to be in that week’s harvest.

DigitalBlue's avatar

All helpful suggestions, thanks.

Seek's avatar

I do this to my husband every so often:

Serve dinner on dessert plates.

Smaller portions look huge. Tricks your brain into eating less. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

Also, never, ever, ever eat in front of the television. Unless it’s popcorn. If you get the regular butter popcorn the calories are negligible.

Judi's avatar

Put the money spent on 2 Latte’s (or whatever your indulgence is) a week in a jar or piggy bank and commit not to touch it for a year.

Pachy's avatar

I listen to the Dave Ramsey radio show regularly. Tons of great and very practice financial advice.

Judi's avatar

Dave Ramsey has some very good advice about getting out of debt but he can also be a real ass hole. Dave Ramsey

talljasperman's avatar

Drink a glass of tap water when you are hungry or want a glass of pop. For me I regulate the amount of pop I drink by drinking out of the bottle that way I only get precisely the amount I want.

flutherother's avatar

1.Cook your own food.
2.Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.

pleiades's avatar

Lower coffee intake, quit processed foods or try to at least cut out a lot of it, take in more alkaline vs bad acidic products like sodas and other fake fruit juices try to live gluten free the gluten that is made these days is beyond processed and hardly recognizable by the tract system in our guts, it’s hardly able to break down the protein in the gluten made in todays society vs that of say the 1950s and older.

More fruits and vegetables = better alkaline intake = better pH balance = smoother digestive track = over all better immune system.

Always remember you are what you eat! If your digestive system is taken care of, the chances are most likely your immune system is well equipped.

Other tips. If it’s cold outside, don’t try to be the tough butt by braving the cold, bundle up! Your immune system works better when the body is warm. Also limit animal protein in take.

Try to avoid saturated fat. This is a huge one. Also avoid the bad cholesterol LDL. Eat more HDL cholesterol foods like Salmon, but nowadays you gotta watch out for Pacific Salmon because of the radiation from Fukishima. I’m honestly not too sure which is better for you, wild salmon from the Pacific OR farm raised salmon (fed junk on top of junk).

Coloma's avatar

My 2 are not buying bottled water every day and filling a bottle for my car at home from the purifier, and walking 30 minutes every other day at least.
Baby steps. I refuse to give up my bi-monthly massage though, my body NEEDS the work.
Saving $2 a day on bottled water almost pays for my 1 hr. reflexology massage.

gailcalled's avatar

Eat non-animal protein. 25 lbs of black beans cost c. $37.

Cheap ground beef from Walmart’s at $2.25/lb gets you 25 lbs. for $56

Put a dollar bill (or two) into your savings jar every evening. At the beginning of each month, deposit the $31 or $30 in a savings account. That’s $360 (0r $720) saved at the endof the year.

Park car at the farthest spot in the parking lot when going to the supermarket. Bench press your bags of groceries.

johnpowell's avatar

I write down all I spend in a moleskin. I also write down what I owe and when and my balances. Sometimes paper is better than computers.

pleiades's avatar

I missed this one too thanks @gailcalled

“Bench press your bags of groceries.”

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