One change—many benefits

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“Harbourview Park” by Jeff S. PhotoArt at HDCanvas.ca

I have long been a fan of small actions that create multiple benefits. Things that are both frugal and healthy, for example, or that both save money and have less of an environmental burden. I have realized one of our daily habits has not one—not two—not even three benefits—This action has four amazing benefits and I’m going to tell uou about it right now.

This quadruple-win that I’m going to share with you touches on health, food, finances and ecology; I think you’re going to love it!
My partner and I are fortunate to both work within walking distance from our centrally-located neighbourhood. When he first started his job, he decided to try to “get healthy” and he got a membership at the YMCA across the street from his office. He would go and work out on his lunch hour, and then grab a coffee and maybe a baked item from the bakery in his office building.
This seemed like a “healthy” choice except:
– he hated the treadmill
– he was spending close to $10 a day on eating out
– he was not eating the healthiest lunches
– he was spending over $50 a month for his membership
After a few weeks of doing this, he found out that his co-worker (who happens to be our neighbour) was walking home for lunch some days. It didn’t take him long to figure out that the extra 15 minute walk each way was equal to the amount of time he was spending on the treadmill. He quit the gym, saving around $600 per year, but more importantly, he LIKES walking!
This alone is great, but it gets better! He and I were already walking together in the the morning and after work, but we started coordinating our lunch times too. I often make a big batch of soup for us to warm up at our weekday lunches, or we snack on “home food” that is always cheaper and healthier than anything from the cafe. At a restrained estimate, the home lunches and coffees alone are saving around $5 per day, which equals $1200 per year. (I was already doing these things so I’m not counting the savings on my end.)
The quadruple benefits of walking home for lunch with my loved one are:
– Healthy, sustainable food choices (with no packaging waste)
– Enjoyable exercise outside
– Quality time together as a couple
– Saving around $1800 per year
We’ve never felt closer as a couple, or healthier or happier in our lives. In our conversations, we find ourselves naturally talking about our financial and health goals, so consequently we are making more progress in those areas. I feel so fortunate and grateful that the stars have aligned and we have made the choices that allow us to enjoy this wonderful life.
I would love to hear about any small habits or changes you have made that bear fruit in several different ways. Leave a comment or shoot me an email! I love hearing from you!