Author Topic: Spending too much on health  (Read 853 times)

Mellabella

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Spending too much on health
« on: February 11, 2019, 07:13:29 AM »
My dilemma is that I really value my health and tend to be quite proactive about it but this costs a bit which I don't love. I'm still managing to save half my pay so maybe I just need to accept it?

As an example I am paying $60 per visit to a physio at the moment (after health insurance pays $20) because I have back/shoulder pain from working at a computer so much.

I also have bunions (at 32!) which are causing me some foot pain from wearing cheap shoes in my 20's so I am paying to get orthodic inserts and replacing my shoes to more supportive ones.

I don't want to neglect my body, I want to live a long, healthy life but I do feel guilty spending so much on it. Any advice?

PoutineLover

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 07:29:26 AM »
I guess it depends on whether the things you are paying for are really needed, worthwhile, and purchased at the best price you can get. If you're spending a bunch of money on supplements or naturopaths that's dubious, but fixing known problems is good. Even better, is fixing the problem at the source so you don't need recurring treatment. Can you fix your posture, chair or desk so that it doesn't cause you pain? Are you doing all the exercises to strenthen your muscles between sessions? Have you stopped wearing shoes that damage your feet? It's not just the price, it's also the type (heels and shoes that pinch or squeeze are the worst). Have you shopped around for the best price on the services you are using? Just make sure to optimize your spending while prioritizing your health, and then there's no conflict. There's no sense retiring early if it means your body will be a mess due to neglect, sometimes you do have to spend money on your health.

Dabnasty

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 08:30:13 AM »
It's not an easy question to answer. I'm dealing with a similar dilemma and as of right now I am paying because I think there is a chance that it will improve my long term health.

Over the last year I've seen a chiropractor, orthopedist, and physical therapist for lower back pain but I was hesitant to pay $50/visit for each of them. Now that I know I have a stress fracture I'm glad I did, even with the $300+ for an x-ray. Sometimes I still get frustrated to pay $50 and have a physical therapist look at my back for a few minutes and tell me to continue what I did for the last 2 weeks and maybe add a little weight to one exercise. It's tough to compare that $50 cost to all the work I do to save $50 on groceries.

In your case, I really don't have an opinion of whether you should or shouldn't because I don't know what you're dealing with or your income level. What I can say is that you should be doing everything you can on your own time to improve your health without paying a professional. Some days it's tough to do the exercises, eat the right thing, make the adjustments, but if you can make the mental link to the cost of not doing it, it gets a little easier. As an example, I tell myself 10 minutes of exercises once a day for a week might equate to one less future appointment; now my exercises are paid at 70 min/$50 = ~$43/hour. At that rate I'm happy to exercise. it's difficult to put an accurate value on all of the small actions you can take to improve your health, but if the math gets a little hand wavy that's alright. The point is that the dollar value is there and it is significant even if it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is.

thesis

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 09:16:59 AM »
FI is one of the best things you can do for your health ;)

But of course you should still take care of yourself along the way. I go to a chiropractor maybe once a month. Yeah, nobody wants to see that $50 melt away, but I use my HSA, so I actually pay much less than I would after-tax. There are different strategies you can follow with the HSA, but I don't personally have any issues using it for the occasional chiro visit. Besides, the people who experience pain and never seek any attention for it often find themselves in worse pain later in life, which also spells costlier fixes :(. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

I hear you on the orthotics. I've gone without them this year because I don't like being systemically tethered to expensive inserts, but I do a lot of hiking and I'm finding that the imbalance throws my gait off, such that some muscles will be more sore than others on different legs. I'm rethinking my decision to stop using them. If you buy quality, you may find they last a really long time, I think I had some last five years, and I've maybe had these for three or four. I maybe paid $600 for two pairs (one for everyday shoes, one for hiking boots), and that's a chunk of money that's painful to part with, but it really could be worth it. It's a subjective call, though. Minus the hiking, my feet are fine without the inserts.

thesis

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 09:33:01 AM »
There is also a (sometimes tenuous) distinction between being frugal and being cheap. I think the proper mindset is to realize that health is more important than money, hands down, but you have to be down to earth on this point. If eating highly specialized health food doubles your grocery budget, you need to question whether that health food is going to provide an equivalent benefit to your health. I suspect the eating of most health food is more of a status-grab, or more of a well-intentioned gesture made in ignorance of the body's actual requirements.

Same with healthcare. There is no shortage of doctors who will try to sell you the product of "health", but it's all smoke and mirrors. You have to be savvy. I personally wouldn't beat myself up for occasional chiro/pt visits, they very possibly may be helping you. Of course, if you're feeling fine I'd be extremely hesitant if they tried to sell you on some massively expensive treatment plan. In marketing, it's often effective to convince the consumer they are lacking something that your product can solve. In healthcare, it's often effective to convince the patient/consumer they are lacking something that your services can solve.

But if you need treatment, don't be cheap by forgoing it for some extra moolah. Your future self will thank you.

seemsright

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 09:34:54 AM »
I spend a ton on my health. Last year it was 3K for dental work and a night guard. This year I ended up breaking a bone in my foot..I waited 3 weeks to get it checked out. (after spending $$$ on two pairs of new shoes to see if that would help)  I have no idea how much the xray and the fancy boot thing they are making me wear will be...but ehh this is why money is in the bank.

I also see other people when I feel like I need to. I have spent years putting myself last and I have promised myself that I would no longer do that.

What is the damn point of having money if you feel like shit, hurt or other...spend the money.

LifeHappens

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 09:43:19 AM »
I have some complicated Inner Bag Lady issues around spending on healthcare for myself. It has cost me extra money more than once in my life.

The most recent example was when I contracted severe tendinitis in my shoulder. This was mostly due to poor ergonomics at my home office and I ignored the pain for a long time. I had to stop running (swinging my arm hurt too much) and my range of motion became limited to the point where I couldn't ignore the issue any longer. It cost me almost $2000 in diagnostics and PT co-pays to correct the issue. If I had gone straight to PT when it started to hurt, I probably could have corrected everything in 4 or 6 sessions.

OP, I think you are doing the right thing by getting PT early and having orthodics made. You're likely preventing the need for even more expensive treatments and even surgery in the future.

Imma

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 10:11:04 AM »
I also spend a ton of money on my health, but other than doing good research, investigate insurance and tax options, there's not much else you can do to save money and still take good care of your body. You only have one body, so doing regular maintenance and repairs on it will likely increase its lifespan.

I paid for PT twice a week for a year, which cost me a small fortune but allowed me to work more hours a week eventually. In the long run it was worth the effort and the money. I also travel to a very good university hospital every 6 weeks instead of going to the regular hospital around the corner. Costs me Ä25 in travel costs each time, but again, worth the money.

On the other hand, I do save money by not taking the expensive vitamins my doctor prescribed me, but a cheap generic version (half the strength so I take two pills).

Malkynn

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 10:51:59 AM »
I always joke: people who are active need physiotherapy, but people who are inactive REALLY need physiotherapy!
Don't be cheap when it comes to your body, your body will get expensive revenge on you in the long run.

Healthcare is like food, it just costs a certain amount that needs to be accounted for. It's not a want, it's a need. It's that simple.

Sure, it would be cheaper in the short run not to pay for physio, massage therapy, medications, dental work, orthotics, and psychology services; however, it would also be cheaper to live on only white rice, but your body would fall apart from scurvy, rickets, kwashiorkor, anemia, pellagra, whatever.

The spending you need to maintain your nutritional health is no different than spending on other health necessities.
Just accept it and take care of yourself like a proper ass grown-up.


Adge

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 10:59:25 AM »
Look into Correct Toes and minimalist shoes for your bunions! Best thing I ever did for my feet and a total game changer (from another 32 year old with terrible feet). Thereís a thread on minimalist footwear in the recommendations forum, or PM me if you have questions.

Mellabella

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 02:34:01 AM »
Thanks so much guys. Sounds like Iím taking the same approach as you in looking after my health even if it costs a bit. I have wasted money on fancy trendsy health foods before but not anymore just basic whole foods now. I like what dabnasty said about exercises/ healthy habits saving you  money. Iím pretty good at doing what physio says but could always do better. Adge, glad to hear Iím not the only 32 yo with dodgy feet. I want to make sure I can go hiking when Iím 60!

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 03:03:29 AM »
Itís your health, body and comfortóspend the money!

11ducks

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2019, 03:46:54 AM »
Health > Money. Always.

Greystache

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Re: Spending too much on health
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 07:24:09 AM »
If you don't have your health, you won't be able to enjoy the money you saved.