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Welcome to February – a time when anywhere between 13% and 80% of people have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions.

We know it started well, with plans to save money and improve fitness. But before you write this off as a failed year, perhaps try and knock both resolutions off at once: use your health kick to kickstart your 2019 finances with a bonus of more than $6,000.

1. Don’t watch your finances go up in flames

If you’re a smoker, you have a ready-made saving in hand that will also boost your finances, People’s Choice Spokesperson Stuart Symons says.

“It costs more than $10,000 a year if you’re smoking a pack a day, but it’s also a difficult habit to crack,” he said. “One way to start is to commit to small steps: one smoke-free day every week can create inroads for breaking the habit and, as an added bonus, you’ll have another $1,450 in your pocket by the end of the year.”

2. Raise one fewer glass to better finances

“If you’re in the habit of having a glass of wine or two with your partner every night, congratulations: a little abstinence can deliver a financial windfall,” Mr Symons said.

“One less bottle of wine a week – or perhaps cutting back from the top shelf – could save you more than $1,000 during 2019. Of course, it’s up to you how you celebrate your improved finances, but your body will thank you for the break.”

3. Explore fitness beyond the gym

“Personal trainers can ensure you are accountable for your 2019 health kick, but looking to other options can deliver a saving of about $1,300 throughout the year,” Mr Symons said.

“By all means hit those training sessions hard, but perhaps cut back on one every week – spend that time doing a run or workout with friends, and keep each other accountable and motivated while you save.”

4. Even if it’s too hot, get in the kitchen

“It’s tempting to turn to takeaway meals, either because it’s too hot, too cold, or too much of a Monday,” Mr Symons said.

“If you can commit to having one fewer takeaway meals a week, you’ll reap the benefits. Not only will you be focused on making a healthier meal at home, you’ll save more than $1,000 by the end of the year.”

5. It’s not too latte to start saving

“Having two fewer takeaway coffees every week can save you more than $500 over the course of a year,” Mr Symons said.

“If you commit to it, you will also be having fewer fats from milk and less caffeine, two outcomes that may help you cut back on unwanted calories and improve your blood pressure. We’re not offering medical advice, but it’s an option that will tick both health and finance boxes for 2019.”

6. Run your own race

“Getting fit is sometimes all about making small changes. Instead of sitting on the train or bus, you can engage your core muscles by standing. Go for a walk to pick up milk or bread instead of driving, and you will sneak in a bit of exercise rather than relying on the easy option,” Mr Symons said.

“While those options will help your fitness, think about improving your finances by gamifying the process. Sit on the train or bus – but transfer $5 to your savings as a cost of comfort. If you’re taking the easy option two days every week, you will save more than $1,000 by the end of the year."

If you need a little help kickstarting your finances this year, speak to one of our Financial Planners for planning and advice. 

“While those options will help your fitness, think about improving your finances by gamifying the process. Sit on the train or bus – but transfer $5 to your savings as a cost of comfort.”

- Stuart Symons, People's Choice spokesperson

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