THE BLOG

Making Healthy Choices on a Budget

02/17/2012 02:22 pm ET | Updated Apr 18, 2012

By Regina Skirvin, Associate Director of Client Experience & Digital Solutions, Women & Co.

As a self-proclaimed health nut, I'll admit it: I sometimes get caught up in the things I love to do -- like sweating it out at my favorite Pilates class, relaxing with a hot-stone massage, or enjoying an organic meal -- and forget to consider the impact these things will ultimately have on my wallet. Since rebalancing my budget, I have discovered five simple-yet-effective tactics that allow me to continue to take care of myself while yielding a modest monthly financial savings. Here are a few tips for balancing your healthy lifestyle against your savings goals:

1. Consider ditching your monthly membership and paying-as-you-go instead. A monthly yoga membership can get pretty pricey. Currently, I pay $260 per month for my membership at my beautiful, spa-like yoga studio. Although I love the classes, I've done the math, and pay-as-you-go classes would cost me about $100 less each month in the long run. So when my membership expires this year, I'll switch to the pay-as-you-go option to save some cash.

2. Use social media to find deals on the things you love.
It's easy to get caught up in the newest fitness craze. But at $30 or $40 per class, experimenting is expensive. To help curb the cost (while allowing me to continue to try new things), I follow boutique fitness studios on Twitter and Facebook, such as SLTNYC or Refine Method. I also subscribe to health and wellness newsletters and websites - like Well & Good and Vital Juice - that sometimes send me alerts for free trial classes. Once you find a class or program you like, you can search the daily deal websites to find a package at a discounted price.

3. Buy in bulk. Each day I typically drink a bottle of vitaminwater® and a bottle of smartwater®. Although it's convenient to purchase my drink of choice at the corner store, buying one bottle at a time adds up. I've learned that if I buy in bulk, I can achieve a monthly cost-savings of more than 50 percent. The only downside I see? Buying in bulk limits the available flavor choices, but to me, the cost savings definitely justifies the sacrifice.

4. Pamper yourself. Every girl deserves to be pampered! It doesn't have to cost a fortune. If you find a salon or day spa you enjoy, inquire about package deals that reward you for purchasing their services in bulk. Although it will initially cost you more, the savings will add up in the long-run.

5. Don't put all your groceries in one basket.
We're all more conscious about what we eat these days. While I love eating all-organic food, the prices sure can add up! So, although I enjoy shopping at organic grocery stores, going forward, I plan to make my everyday grocery purchases at non-organic stores. Only when I'm buying staple items like fruits and vegetables will I indulge in a trip to my organic grocery store of choice.

Remember that healthy financial habits -- just like a healthy eating or gym habits -- are established over time. Are you looking to get in better shape financially? Get started by reading Women & Co.'s article, "6 Steps to Rethinking Your Budget."

About the Author:

As Associate Director of Client Experience & Digital Solutions, Regina brings experience working in various segments of financial services to Women & Co. Having worked at firms such as Wells Fargo Private Bank, Wachovia Wealth Management and Peoples United Bank, she has a passion to exceed client expectations. At Women & Co., Regina listens to the member and designs systems and programs to best suit their changing needs. She has an undergraduate degree from the Albertus Magnus College and an M.B.A. from Quinnipiac University. In addition to her role at Women & Co., Regina serves on the Citi New York Volunteer Committee as the Co-Chair of Communications and Marketing and is actively involved in community outreach, focusing most of her efforts on mentoring high school students, through programs with Step Up Womens Network, Pencil and iMentor.