Spending on health is a smart investment

Food co-ops are one of the many ways that can make healthy living affordable.
Food co-ops are just one of the many ways that can make healthy living affordable.
Young Money - Vanessa Kunderman
Young Money – Vanessa Kunderman

I’m as passionate about health as I am about finances. Being healthy doesn’t need to be expensive.
One of the biggest struggles for young millennials is finding a healthy balance in our personal and work lives. Many of us can become so stressed that we make ourselves sick. We work full-time and part-time jobs and are still trying to make ends meet. Our finances are often one of the biggest contributors to our stress levels.
When we’re stressed, our bodies need extra care. So why do we skimp on our groceries instead of our cell phone bills? We’ll buy a box of Pop-Tarts on sale instead of fresh organic apples because the Pop-Tarts are cheaper and, hey, I can get four breakfasts from one box!
Why do we second-guess what we put inside our bodies, while those 99-cent apps go down incredibly easy?
Paying $300 per month for a personal fitness trainer seems atrocious but our $150 car insurance, $300 car payment and however many hundreds we spend on gas each month are no-brainers.
Look, I know you’re locked into your cable plan or car loan or even your pricey apartment, but being healthy can be astonishingly affordable.
In fact, it can be as inexpensive as you need it to be.
Moksha Yoga’s karma classes only cost $5 — you can get your fitness in with leftover pocket change. If you can’t justify that, Moksha also has an energy exchange program whereby people in the program help out at the studio for four hours each week in exchange for free yoga. Brilliant.
And our bellies can benefit by getting involved with Winnipeg Food Share Co-op. This organization delivers healthy local food via small, medium and large food boxes at $8, $15 and $20 respectively. Boxes are delivered bi-weekly.
A recent $15 medium box contained apples, bananas, broccoli, cilantro, cucumbers, garlic, mushrooms, onions, oranges, peppers, potatoes and yams. The food is different each time, using in-season fruits and veggies.
You could spend that $15 on Pop-Tarts, eat them until you’re blue in the face – and await your next cold or flu.
Our weary, stressed minds can be soothed at the Sanctuary at the St. Norbert Arts Centre via its healing and meditation community. Each week, the Sanctuary hosts an array of events (with Thursday evenings dedicated to meditation) including drumming circles, reiki, crystal bowls and much more all for a small donation.
I know we can be a bit impatient and want all the cool gadgets, expensive clothes and restaurant dates — but don’t forget about your health. Getting sick costs a lot of money and if you can’t afford your gym membership, you definitely can’t afford to lose your health.
Vanessa Kunderman is a financial security advisor in Winnipeg. She writes every month on money issues facing millennials. Email her at: hello@vanessakunderman.com.

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