Home Health & Fitness Investing in your health

Investing in your health


I bought a dozen eggs. It cost me $9.45. I still can’t believe it.
The economic crisis we’re in forces us to make choices about how we value one thing against another. Food vs entertainment. Education vs holidays. Clothes vs haircuts. Health vs…etc

Economists speak of ‘utils ’ — a hypothetical unit of value. We recognise that a dollar has a kind of shared value between us so that we can trade — to buy eggs for example. A util expresses the value/utility to us individually. It is the satisfaction we experience from buying or using a thing. Which is nice for economists as they hypothesise about how much we prefer buying eggs for breakfast compared to Netflix subscriptions for Friday night.

Meanwhile, in the aisle at the IGA, we make real world financial choices.

Health spending is another of those real-world choices. I want to quickly distinguish health from healthcare at this point.

Healthcare spending is one thing. It includes the Medicare component of your tax bill, and the health insurance you’re compelled to buy. It includes the ‘gap’ you pay at the GP, or the hospital bill, medications, a filling at the dentist, or help from the physio or chiro when you can’t go to work because you’re in so much pain. But these are more spending on disease than on health.

Health spending is another thing altogether. Based on our beliefs and values we ‘heft utils’, weighing up alternative spends.
In my mind ‘health spending’ is assigning resources to bring out our very best. To maximise our potential, we assign our resources of time and money, creativity and energy. These are health spendings. They are health investments; deliberate buy ins to life.

Health spendings happen when we pay our sport club or gym fees, when we buy running shoes. Buy ins to life happen when we opt for fresh root vegetables, leafy greens, well-raised, fresh-butchered meats, yoghurt, eggs, cheese…

Paying for help to proactively improve our health knowledge and skills is a clear health spend. Investments in our very best happen when we go to bed on time or take a refreshing weekend away with those we love.

It’s tough going financially. Opt for those things that bring out your best.