For most people, creating a healthcare budget is a top-level priority. It’s not always a load of fun, but those people who do it well are rewarded with a little more cash in their pockets at the end of the year.
What’s the best way to spend your leftover healthcare budget? If you’re interested in saving even more, then the answer is to re-invest in your health and well-being.
Here are 9 ways to spend that leftover healthcare budget that will keep you feeling healthy and happy, while paying less for medical expenses, year after year:
1.) Invest in a Gym Membership
When it comes to keeping your body in tip-top shape, you can’t beat the versatility and convenience of your local gym. Not only do they have better equipment and more space than your living room, but they can instill a sense of community that can help to keep your health goals on track.
Some health plans offer discounts for gym memberships; Check your member guidelines to find out.
2.) Upgrade Your At-Home Fitness Center
Not much of a gym rat? Over the last few years, at-home fitness technology has come a long way. Whether it’s a new rowing machine, stationary cycle, or even just a set of free weights, it’s never been easier to build out a great home fitness center.
3.) Buy Better Shoes
According to many podiatrists, keeping your feet and ankles healthy can have big benefits for your overall well-being. A sturdy and comfortable pair of shoes can prevent back problems, improve skeletal alignment, and make you feel less fatigued.
4.) Start an HSA
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are tax-advantaged investment vehicles that are changing the way people save for retirement. Any money you put into an HSA comes from pre-tax dollars, and then it can grow on a tax-deferred basis. As long as you only use the funds for qualified health expenses, you’ll never have to pay taxes on it.
Considering that Americans are paying as much as $300,000 for healthcare in retirement, having a tax-free “health nest egg” can help protect your other assets.
5.) Make Your Maximum Contribution to Investment Accounts
Whether it’s an HSA, HRA, or 401(k), making your maximum annual contribution is an easy way to exponentialize your savings. By making your contributions as soon as you are able to, it’s even possible to get additional tax benefits.
6.) Start or Maintain Your Emergency Fund
The general rule for an emergency fund is to try to have at least 6 months’ worth of expenses in your savings account. This can protect you and your family from medical accidents, home appliance issues, car issues, or unemployment.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, you can start small and work up from there.
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7.) Dive Into a New Outdoor Hobby
Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work. With a new mountain bike, stand-up paddle board, or rock-climbing harness, you can achieve a higher level of personal fitness while also having a lot of fun.
8.) Plan a Vacation
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your body. By scheduling a vacation, you not only have something to look forward to, but you’re guaranteeing a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle, giving you a chance to recharge those batteries.
9.) Re-Evaluate your Plan Options & Healthcare Budget
No matter who you are, your healthcare budget is going to change from year to year. Similarly, your health needs will evolve. That’s why it’s important to review your healthcare strategy every year. There could be a better plan out there for the same price, or even one that’s a little bit cheaper.
Questions about your health insurance? Call 800-913-0172 to schedule an appointment with your Personal Benefits Manager.
Here are some additional articles on healthsharing programs: 6 Things Your Health Insurance Company Would Never Tell You | 6 Interesting Facts About Health Sharing Plans
Mike Montes is a Personal Benefits Manager at HSA for America. His aim is to help you make smart and informed healthcare coverage decisions that will fit your needs and budget. Read more about Mike on his Bio page.