I came across an article this morning that discussed the weight factor in how much money you spend/save. Turns out that losing weight can save you a ton of money, sometimes in places that you wouldn’t even think of. A few weeks ago I wrote a post called How a $3.85 drink at Starbucks affects your bottom line. that talked about how much buying Starbucks can cost you over time. I didn’t even take into account the health/weight issues that went along with this idea. But the post I read from Smart Money did, and this is what they had to say about how losing weight can fatten your wallet:
Latte Factor: $783
“Consider the costs of that unhealthy habit,” says Barbara O’Neill, co-author of “Small Steps to Health and Wealth,” a financial and weight management series produced by Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Sugary snacks aren’t just padding your waistline “” they’re also depleting your wallet. Swap out that 16-ounce Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte ($4.40, 340 calories) for the same size black coffee ($1.89, and a mere 10 calories) every workday, and you’ll save $653 a year.
Life insurance: $275
Losing a little weight can do plenty for your health. Just a few of the touted benefits: Increased energy, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. That in, turn, can lower your life-insurance premiums.
Health insurance: $680
Most insurers consider your body-mass index, or BMI, before offering you insurance (not mine, says My Two Dollars), says O’Neill. (BMI is a measure of body fat based on a calculation of your height and weight.) Insurers generally will not offer coverage to someone with a BMI of 39 or greater, according to the Department of Managed Health Care, a California-based government organization. Overweight or obese consumers may pay up to 30% more for premiums. Considering that the average consumer pays $2,268 for individual health coverage, losing weight could cut your annual costs by as much as $680.
Health-care costs: $151
If you’re overweight, reducing your body weight by 10% can lower your lifetime medical costs by $2,200 to $5,300, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Employer Incentives: $600
“Employers are at their wits’ end trying to manage rising health-care costs,” says Linda Cushman, a senior health-care strategist with Hewitt Associates, a global human-resources services firm. About 70% of a given employee’s health-care costs comes down to lifestyle, she says, so it’s no surprise that employers want healthy (and cheap) employees.
Go read the rest of the article at Smart Money if you want to see more details about what they were talking about. But generally, the bulk of it (pun intended) is right here…lose weight, save money. I wish I had thought about it when I wrote my post about Starbucks, those frou frou drinks have so many calories its scary!