This is a phrase I hear over and over again. I can’t deny that eating healthy will increase your food bill at least 25% compared with eating ramen noodles, and lucky charms. But what is that doing to your body long term, and what is the showing your kids?
I have talked about this before, but in America we spend about 7-8% of our income on food now, compared to close to 20% back 100 years ago.
What have we done with that extra money?
We have bought bigger homes that have rooms we never live in.
We have bought huge TVs, and killer sound systems to blast our eardrums.
We have bought new cars when 5 year old cars would do.
We have bought our kids brand name clothes (that in a year they will outgrow) when used clothes from Goodwill or garage sales would suffice
We have expensive cable TV instead of being outside more
We have enrolled our kids in 10 activities when 1-2 could have done.
We have purchased hundreds of toys for our kids when a handful is all they really need.
We take lavish vacations, when a camping trip to the lake could be just as memorable.
We upgrade the entire families phones every 6-12 months.
We update our wardrobe just to stay current on the fashions.
Listen, none of the stuff mentioned above is wrong or bad, but I believe that if it is coming at the sacrifice of not having the resources to buy great food and hire great coaches then something needs to be changed.
If I wasn’t in the fitness world, I would be in the money and budgeting world. I am fascinated by how people vote with money where their priorities are.
The past few years I have began hanging around more friends who are part of a “minimalist” movement. A movement to get rid of most possessions and only have the necessities that provide you with the most value on a daily basis. I have not taken this very far myself, but I really admire and appreciate those who invest in what they believe in and restrain from getting things that are solely to “keep up with the Joneses.”
Maybe my beliefs on this subject stem from my own upbringing.
My parents bought the only house we lived in for $12,000.
We never own a car in the same decade that we were living in and I think $2500 was the most we ever paid for a vehicle with about $1500 being the average.
My mom would get all our clothes used (sometimes including underwear) used at garage sales, except for the one back-to-school outfit that we would get to pick out in August.
We traveled a lot, but I only flew maybe twice until I would 18. We would drive in our car and sleep in it many times.
I didn’t participate in any sports or extracurricular activities until 7th grade.
Our family of six lived on less then $40,000 per year, yet never once can I remember us not having healthy food in the house. This is one thing my parents made sure of. Looking back I don’t think my childhood would have been any “better” if I had the nicer things.
Sorry this has become a little bit of a rant, but I hope the Fit Moms For Life movement is also about getting back to the family, living within our means, and spending money on things that will bring us long term health and happiness.
-Although I quoted Joel about organic food, my post wasn’t intended to say you need or should be eating ALL organic. I was more referring to eating as natural and local as possible. Trying to eat grass-fed beef, free range eggs and chickens, and non-GMO foods.
-I wasn’t going to mention it, but someone else did, do you have any idea how much people spend on alcohol, soda (or other sugary drinks), cigarettes, and we can even add diet pills into that. Eliminating these things would save the average person I would guess at least $50,000 over their lifetime.
-Starbucks… Enough said.
-It is a process and all about progress. Don’t try to change everything at once, but pick a couple things where you are spending money on right now that don’t align with your values and put that money into something else that aligns with it more.