Fat to Fit at 59

My quest to lose 50 pounds in 150 days. (Now that you know about it, I'm committed.)

Day 73—Free Money For Fitness January 27, 2010

Are finances an obstacle to your health and fitness goals?

Some people (who shall remain nameless but whose initials are GOV) don’t seem to get the concept of living within your means. You can’t spend money you don’t have unless someone—you or your heirs, usually—pay back a whole lot more in interest.

Now I’ll step down off my soap box. But seriously, if your resources are stretched to the max, how do you invest in things like better nutrition, medical care, gym memberships and fitness equipment?

You may be able to redirect the dollars you already have. How, you say?

My friends at GMA outlined some steps that can keep more money in your pocket:

ENERGY—

1. Power down your rate. Check out alternative energy companies called Retail Energy Providers (REPs) that are allowed due to deregulation in some states. They may lock in a lower power rate for you (but be careful to check the reputation of any REP you consider).

2. Take back your taxes. Invest in energy-efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, doors and windows  if yours need replacing (also included: insulation). There’s a federal tax credit of up to $1,500 in it for you through 2016, plus the possibility of state and utility company rebates.

CELL PHONE SERVICE—

1. Pick your plan wisely. Don’t pay for services you don’t need or use. You can track your talk time at overmyminutes.com .

2. Tap your boss. Participating in employer plans may get you a discount.

CABLE TV—

1. Secret service. Cable companies don’t advertise that they may offer below-basic service. “Lifeline” channels (2–14 only) come at a reduced rate if all you want are major networks and better reception.

2. Save a tree. Going paperless can save you as much as $1 per month on your bill.

3. Opt out. If you’re really determined, cancel your service altogether and use your Internet connection to watch your favorite shows.

You can watch the entire Elizabeth Leamy segment (it contains even more tips and related links) at http://abcnews.go.com/gma . Click on the Tuesday tab, then on Save Money On Your Household Expenses. Or enter the article name in the search box and hit Enter.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a few extra dollars to invest in your health? You’re sooo worth it!

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