You follow inspirational fitness bloggers on Instagram. You get Gwyneth Paltrow’s weekly Goop newsletters. You already know about the latest supplement before your local grocer even carries it. And you know that a big trend in wellness right now is luxury health products, including high-end fitness gear, costly supplements and expensive retreats and detox boot camps. But is your health obsession making you broke, or worse sick? Debt expert Sandra Hanna, founder of smartcookies.com, weighs in on when investing in health is healthy and when it can be troublesome.
Debt affects health and mental wellbeing
“Debt can be a healthy and productive tool to reach our financial goals. For example, taking on debt in the form of a mortgage or student loan is great when it’s part of a long-term strategy that’s rooted in a goal you feel good about. Something I like to do to make spending even more productive is to use a credit card that allows me to earn points while investing in my health. That being said, debt that isn’t rooted in our goals is less productive and can leave us feeling unfulfilled. Furthermore, worrying about money and debt can result in things like, loss of sleep, which can affect our physical and mental health.”
The true value of luxury health
“Investing in our health is important, as long as it’s being done within our financial means. Planning for the expense of a luxury health program is the first step in ensuring you can reap all of the benefits of that ‘Kale Cleanse,’ ‘Icelandic Wellness Retreat,’ while also taking care of your financial well-being.”
Health fad versus game changer
“Surround yourself with expert opinions in that respective field. For example, if you are thinking about trying out a new trend, consult someone who is an authority on the subject like your doctor, yoga instructor or cosmetician before making any significant spending decisions on a new health program.”
But, what if we really want to go away on a celebrity detox trip or renovate the basement into an at-home barre studio?
“When investing in big-ticket health items, the key is to feel good about it. If you’ve planned for it, and done your research, you shouldn’t feel stressed or guilty about spending on your health. But if you’re still feeling the guilt creep in, one strategy I recommend is getting more for your spending by earning points and extra perks. For example, I use my PC Financial World Elite MasterCard so I can earn loyalty points while I am spending.”
And, of course, if the health guilt is getting to you there are always cheap health hacks you can take advantage of, like these: