Without our health, life becomes very difficult. You try your best to live as healthy as possible, just to be caught in the whirlwind of continually changing “science.” And with each scientific update, there seems to come with it additional costs. I hear many people ask… HOW DO YOU AFFORD A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE????
When “healthy” isn’t always healthy
Organic food. Probiotics. Prebiotics. Supplements not containing harmful ingredients. True essential oils. Cleaners free from harmful synthetic chemicals.
What do they all have in common? When you purchase high-quality stuff that is beneficial to your body, it often comes with a higher price tag.
Unfortunately, the more cost-effective options are chock-full of fillers that can be harmful at worst and ineffective or marginally effective at best.
The sad part is… we often don’t realize how well the high-quality stuff works if we never invest in it. We won’t ever know how good we can actually feel, how productive we can actually be, or how much time in our lives we can actually enjoy… without finding the excuse to take a chance and give it a try.
“I just can’t afford a healthier lifestyle…”
I totally get it. Really, I do.
I spent 8 excruciatingly long years with chronic autoimmune, neurological, and weakness issues… and during that time was homeless… only had shelter over my head by the grace and support of a few friends, all while I was turned away from local services because the Veterans Hospital should help me… and the people who should have helped me at the Veterans Hospital decided the local civilian offices should help instead. I was only making $974 per month on veteran’s disability, meanwhile, my 32-doctor medical team wasn’t able to help me figure out my condition enough for me to be able to work. Some days (ahem… weeks) I couldn’t even get out of bed.
I don’t know how many times I said that. “I can’t afford luxury items,” I said so often I truly believed it. And make no mistake… attempting life while my only monthly income amounted to $974, and often wondering where I would sleep the next night… I was fully aware of what I could and could not afford.
Life is expensive, especially when barely scraping by and on the verge of being homeless.
If you haven’t read my story, I highly encourage you to do so. My body was broken… my career went down the drain… all hope was lost… and affording anything more than food, discounted rent sleeping on a friend’s couch, and my phone bill was a challenge.
There I was… looking down the barrel of my 10-year high school reunion… unable to afford life… and being taunted by bloggers all across the internet talking about how they healed their body by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Meanwhile there I was… thinking I knew a thing or two about health… even still remembered the “food pyramid” from back in the day when they taught us about eating healthy in school.
I quickly realized… I didn’t know anything about truly living healthy.
Upon hearing my neurologist tell me adopting a healthier lifestyle would kill me faster than my condition would… I went for it. I mean… either my doctors or the bloggers were right… but either way… my suffering had to end. Even if that meant further stretching my already stretched budget.
Then… I had a major shift in perspective…
Instead of focusing all my energy looking at my bank account… thinking…
- “man, I wish I could afford that…”
- “if only I could afford that too…”
- “it must be nice to be them… they can afford that…”
A lightbulb went off in my mind…
If I was going to be able to afford it… I needed to find a plan. Instead of wishing, hoping, and being jealous of everyone I read about… I focused my attention more productively…
This is what I hope happens to you. If you’re going to be able to afford it… then you need a plan.
I saw a quote pop up on my Pinterest newsfeed that said:
“Change your life by asking better questions.”
Are you asking questions? Or are you complaining and feeling stuck?
I realized I wasn’t asking questions… I was complaining about what was currently happening and declaring it as fact. And it dawned on me… my current situation is because of what has happened in my recent past… and the only way to change what was going on in my life is to change my perspective and make changes to the little things I was doing to create a better future.
What I did that I hope you do too:
- Stop talking about what you can and cannot do…
- Stop making excuses.
- Prioritize creating a healthier lifestyle
- Prioritize ending your suffering…
- Sweep your excuses out the window, and started asking better questions.
For example… instead of declaring “I cannot afford a healthier lifestyle,” ask yourself:
“How do I afford a healthier lifestyle???”
I receive requests for this a lot… hearing how pervasive it is to not be able to afford to live healthier without toxins in your home… but desperately desiring to make changes to become healthier and stop burdening their bodies with toxin exposure.
So… what do you do when we are quite literally unable to work, unable to find a new job, and unable to change what we think we need to in order to earn a larger income so we can live healthier and happier?
Make it work… despite the fact you can’t afford it…
Sometimes all you need is a change in mindset and a little bit of creativity.
The great thing about getting creative is that possibilities are endless.
Organic food is expensive. So are quality essential oils, safe cleaners, quality supplements, and quality personal care products.
I felt overwhelmed… as if everything I wanted to change in our home would end up costing me more than my paycheck.
Think about that for a moment… what does it mean to be overwhelmed? The simple answer: you’re overwhelmed because you don’t have a viable plan.
We started small. I encourage you to do the same.
6 Creative Ideas to Afford A Healthier Lifestyle
- Switch your diet to only include whole food items
- Grow all the berries and vegetables you are able to at home
- Learn to make first aid supplies, DIY cleaners, and DIY skincare from what you grow at home as much as possible (for example, witch hazel)
- Find ways to supplement your income
- Join a team to help you
- Get creative
Grow All The Produce You Can At Home
First… acquire some veggie seeds to create a veggie garden (Annie’s is my favorite place to acquire seeds). I grew all the veggies I normally ate in a small 8’x8′ raised garden bed. Squash, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, jalapeños, bell peppers, onions, and peas.
And set up a timer on our hose to automatically water them for me, just in case my health symptoms got in the way of my ability to water my new garden.
My husband and I were astonished at how much better food we grew tasted compared to our grocery store… and how GOOD eating it made us feel. Not to mention how much money we saved growing them ourselves… especially when a packet of seeds costs less than one of the veggies we used to buy at the store. And that also isn’t speaking to how mentally therapeutic it is to dig around in the dirt growing plants.
AND… when your home is filled with delicious veggies you cultivated yourself… you’re more inclined to indulge in healthy snacks than buying and binging on a bag of Doritos… or any other unhealthy snacks that were too convenient not to buy at the grocery store.
Changing our food habits ended up having a major impact on my health.
My seizures decreased from on average 6 a day to an average of 2 each week, just within the first 30 days. I became more capable every day, and it was amazing.
What If I Don’t Have Space For A Garden?
The garden tower can be used on a balcony, or even inside (with or without optional grow lights).
Learn To Make Your Own Supplies
While you’re not able to afford to purchase higher quality products, do what you can to make your own.
For example, witch hazel is easy to grow and process into an astringent that can be used for first aid and an ingredient for numerous DIY cleaning products and skincare items. Same with aloe vera gel and vinegar.
Find Ways To Supplement Your Income (With or Without A Team)
There is no shame in taking on a side hustle or creating a flexible home-based business based on something you enjoy doing to earn some extra income.
While many business ideas, like DIY crafting, selling produce or herbs from your garden, digital services… etc, are typically income-producing ideas you would do by yourself, there are many other business ideas you can do that will give you a team to help mentor and guide you through the sales and earning process. Some even include healthy home products.
If earning money by selling something you make, affiliating with another company, or selling a service doesn’t sound like something you’re comfortable with or you’re struggling to find other people who can afford what you want to offer, consider bartering.
Bartering opens up a whole new world of opportunities. You can trade a helping hand at a local farm or homestead in exchange for some of the food you help grow. You could also make homemade witch hazel, aloe, herbs, vinegar, or other items you’re able to grow and process yourself to use to trade for other items.
When I was young, my mom often bartered haircuts for food, clothes, cleaning supplies, toys, and pretty much everything else we needed.
Next up… we invested in wellness products
You may be wondering why investing money you’re no longer spending on quality wellness products? Well… with dramatic shifts in my health, I spent a LOT less time at the hospital and in doctor’s offices (thankfully those expenses were covered by my veterans’ benefits, but I know most people don’t have that financial buffer). With more time feeling healthier, I was able to maximize that time to grow a business (earning more money), and spent less on gas expenses. Not to mention, when you start feeling healthier, you start thinking healthier… and reducing a significant amount of stress is a major benefit with a priceless price tag.
We found an alarming amount of harmful chemicals in our “healthy” personal care products, cleaners, and cosmetics. And decided to give it a shot to remove toxins from our home and see what happens. We started out DIYing everything.
I was previously gifted a few essential oils after spending a few years not using them at all, and loved how much they were actually helping with how I felt each and every day… so I felt it was a good time to add them to our permanent daily routine. We took the plunge and invested some of our grocery savings into high-quality essential oils. And continued to allocate part of that grocery savings into the purchase of our monthly oils, about $115 per month (including tax and shipping).
To say essential oils changed my life is a huge understatement. They have enhanced our lives in so many different ways… ways that have inspired me to start blogging about it so we would have an easy place to share our experiences with friends and family.
Plus, we were ready to get rid of all the harmful chemicals in our home… and knew essential oils would perfectly augment the DIY cleaning supplies I was already making.
I had all the excuses…. nothing was going to work… I couldn’t afford it anyway… what’s the point… and I did it anyway. I found a way to make it work… and the return on my investment was more than I could have imagined.
Thank Heaven I gave it a try… that faithful decision was a total life game-changer for me. My seizures stopped… my chronic weakness stopped… my pain stopped… my insomnia reversed… my infertility reversed. My Autoimmune Hell was over. I proved my doctors wrong.
Gratitude… doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel now. Grateful I have my body back… thankful I have my life back…
So… when your friend tells you… you’ve got to try these little bottles of awesome… I believe you should take a chance… find a way to prioritize making an order… and be open to receiving unforeseen abundant blessings in your life.
A Note From Nicole
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Nicole is a military-trained research analyst, homeschooling mom, healthy lifestyle coach, flexible business consultant, and writer for MotherhoodTruth.com and GracefullyAbundant.com. After living through and overcoming a season of homelessness and chronic health, Nicole developed a passion for helping others develop healthier habits using functional nutrition, herbalism, and renewing faith.