January 2023 Participant memo: Financial Wellness 101: The Real Cost of Takeout

New Year, New You

There’s no doubt that January is one of the most motivating months of the year. A clean slate of possibilities
lays in front us, ready to be marked with this year’s goals and accomplishments. The two most common, of which, are goals that increase health, and goals that increase wealth.

These usually manifest themselves in activities like going to the gym to feel livelier and more productive, and reducing frivolous spending in order to take bigger positions in personal investments. If you’re savvy then you’ll probably engage in an activity that accomplishes both at the same time, and this is where the real cost of takeout turns into a real accomplishment once you start controlling your exposure to it.

Health Impact

Convenience meals like takeout and fast food are all competing for your money, and the way they do it is through flavor. Convenience meals are taste-focused and only look at immediate ROI for the business, not the long-term effects they have on your body. This means ingredients like salt, sugar and fat are often added to these
foods to make them taste better and, therefore, more competitive. The two leading causes of death in America are heart disease and stroke. High exposure to salt, sugar and fat directly increases our risk of these health complications over time. The negative impact of these ingredients can be seen immediately as well. Studies have shown that excess sugar and saturated fat can cause fatigue just minutes after entering the body! If your new year goal is to feel healthier and more lively throughout the day, a great first step is to take control over your meals. By cooking your own meals or using a meal prep service, you have control over what goes into your body every day.

Financial Impact

Think back to your last DoorDash order. How much did it cost you? How much food did you actually get for the money you were paying? Did you feel like you got a good deal? To those of us who order out consistently, a $35 tab on a DoorDash order might seem normal. But compare that to spending $70 on groceries a week. For the cost of 2 meals on DoorDash, you can feed yourself lunch AND dinner for a week

What could an extra $1,000 a month afford you? The car of your dreams? The trip of a lifetime? Imagine if you invested these savings. Assuming you make an annual return of 8%, in 10 years you will have saved over $200,000! Does that satisfy your 2023 financial goals? Cooking your own meals isn’t convenient, but it is healthy, and it is frugal. If you, like many, want a healthier and wealthier year for yourself, find convenience in accomplishing both with one behavioral change: stop paying for takeout. If you want to make your money fit too, Sapers & Wallack is here to help!

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