With my busy and active lifestyle I have always questioned myself on how can I be eat healthily? With graduates average wage in London £27,000 for a 40 hour week, how can one still eat healthily without being bankrupted, the government isn’t helping with the increased taxes and VAT. Let’s do a bit of maths here, assuming your wage is £27,000 (based in London) and you pay National Insurance and 1% Pension. That’s £1,776.16 after tax, in your bank each month and with all the other expenses such as the London the average rent of £1,211. The monthly utility bills which includes electricity, heating and water £149.21, Internet £19.13, Travel Pass £130, Council Tax £70 that means you have £196.82 for living for the rest of the month. Let me be more depressing that means you have just £49.20 to spend per week.
I am pretty sure you mind now is frazzled with all the maths but do one more thing for me, now count how many times you eat out at lunch? Pretty much everyday, and being healthy you probably go for a salad which cost will you spend £5 per day and a sandwich chain. That’s £25 in your stomach, and you are probably spending more than £5 a day! Don’t forget those pick me up lattes, £2.20 at well-known chains and sooner or later you have less and less to spend on your healthy living. That leaves you around £20 for all your breakfast, dinner and your weekend. With your wallet now getting tighter and tighter, you can no longer afford to be healthy, your usual snack of that small bag of nuts from a coffee chain at £1.50 gone, and you can see your hands slowly reaching for that bag of crisp just because you are hungry and that’s the cheapest thing!
So how can you balance that healthy eating and money eating? I am not saying you have to do this and that but here are a few tips that should have in the back of your head so you can have better option. The main idea I want you to take after reading this article isPREPARATION. With our busy lifestyle you will always find it hard to not eat out at lunch, and here is the reason why. 1. Who wants to eat their left over from the night before? 2. The same meal is not very appetizing. Eating out for lunch is now more of social aspect of work life! Let face it who doesn’t like a bit of gossip now and again? Making lunch is a good idea at the start of the week but as the week goes on and you get more and more tired, next day’s lunch is the last thing on your mind (where did that glass of white wine in your hand come from?).
With the start of the week and the having the whole weekend to organise your food you probably have Mondays and Tuesdays lunch prepared. There you have an extra £10 to spend on the rest of the week to be healthy, you can now afford that bag of nuts at £1.50 from a coffee chain or that dark chocolate rice cake at £1.50 from a sandwich chain.
Now you want to save more money so you can get a new workout top or trainers? Here are two more tips to get that extra saving. You can stop buying the snacks all together if you buy one big bag at the weekend and bring that with you to work on Monday. If you are a grazer here are a few tips to top you eating the whole bag in one sitting. Make accessing of the food inconvenient for you. This can be done by either placing the food at a distance away from you, or clip a bulldog clip on the mouth of the bag and then place it in the container. It may sound like nothing but all that action can deter you from reaching that snack. Also really think do you actually need that snack? Most of the time when you sit at your desk and feel hungry and in need of a snack because you are either a. bored or b. dehydrated. When you think you are hungry just go for a quick walk? This walk might save you from the hand to mouth action and instead give you the money in the pocket action.
By Alan Yan