I get it. Everyone is telling you that there is nothing more important than starting a budget, or making adjustments to the one you have. Experts have been boisterously banging the budget bongos for a very long time. One could be forgiven for thinking that a good budget is always the top priority of anyone serious about their future.
At risk of dancing to the beat of a different drum, it is time to consider other possibilities. While it is true that house in Santa Barbara for which you have been saving will remain forever out of reach without a good budget, there are a few things you need to consider first.
If you don’t have your health, all the money in the world will not matter. You cannot achieve, let alone, enjoy financial health without physical and mental wellness. Here’s why the wellness horse must always remain in front of the budgetary cart:
Healthcare Does Not Always Fit Neatly into a Budget
You cannot plan your health around a budget. You must plan your budget around your health. If you have insurance, that does not eliminate all costs. In places where there is no universal healthcare, there is always something to be paid out of pocket.
Some health issues are more costly than others due to the nature of the illness. A person suffering from substance abuse disorder is hardly in a position to follow a budget. So before putting a downpayment on your dream home in Santa Barbara, You might want to look into addiction treatment in Santa Barbara.
Once you have the insurance sorted, you have to be prepared to work through what might potentially be a long-term program. You must also consider how that treatment will affect your work. It might be necessary to temporarily switch to part-time during recovery. This is a decision best made with your treatment specialist.
Ultimately, when recovering from any illness, your health has to come first and your budget must adjust to the new reality. At no point should you stop a necessary treatment for budgetary concerns.
Special Diets Can Be Expensive
If you have ever gone on a diet in an attempt to eat healthier, you may have been hit by unexpected sticker shock. There is a reason why convenience food processed to within an inch of its life is often marketed to the poorest among us.
According to a 2013 report cited by WebMD, it really does cost more to eat healthy. That said, it is not as much as you might think. For a family of 4, it will be an increase of over $2,000 a year. And that is if you are very thoughtful about your purchases.
It takes some time and practice to learn the ins and outs of healthy shopping, cooking, and eating. A preset budget that is too rigid might short-circuit your plans for healthier eating, especially if it involves words like organic and gluten-free. Set your healthy diet first and your budget after that.
Exercise Is Not Always Free
Sometimes, all you need for exercise is a yoga mat or a pair of running shoes. But health issues vary. And that might not work for everyone.
If you have overcome injuries or surgery, you might need to get a gym membership to have access to a greater variety of equipment. You might not have a safe place to run outdoors and require a treadmill or stationary bike. For safety reasons, you might require the supervision of a professional trainer. The point is exercise is not always free.
Get whatever it takes to get healthy and stay healthy. Whether it be a recovery program, a better but slightly more expensive diet, or reliable and safe exercise equipment, get it first, then work your budget around your first-order needs. Your health and wellness and that of your family is the highest priority you have.