Many of us, in these tough times, are looking for ways to save money. You might be surprised, however, to discover that you don’t have to make huge changes to get ahead financially. Many of the things that you have ingrained as part of your lifestyle are costing you. Not only that, but some of your lifestyle choices might be holding you back in terms of living the life you want.

If you want to improve your quality of life and save money at the same time, here are 3 ways to change your lifestyle:

1. Less Entertainment, More Education

While we all like to be entertained, it doesn’t make sense to focus so much on entertainment. From watching TV for three hours a day to exclusively reading novels, the quest for entertainment can be costly… and it doesn’t help you improve your life.

If you want to improve your quality of life and save money at the same time, here are 3 ways to change your lifestyle that you can start today.Instead, look into increasing the amount of education you have in your life. Cancel the cable subscription and watch less TV. Instead of watching for three hours a day, pick a show or two you want to follow, and then watch an hour a day using a cheap streaming service like Netflix. Use the rest of the time to improve yourself in one way or another, whether it’s learning through free open courseware, or whether it’s improving a talent such as art or music.

Add informative books to your reading list as well. Biographies of successful people can educate you on a number of topics, and help you improve yourself more than reading a novel can. While you don’t want to eliminate your favorite genre altogether, try to avoid spending quite so much time on it. As a bonus, use your library to borrow books, rather than buy, and then you’ll save money on your efforts as well.

2. Exercise More and Eat Healthier

When you live an unhealthy lifestyle, the costs add up. Some of the most expensive chronic conditions, from heart disease to Type II diabetes, are related to unhealthy habits. Look for simple ways to add more exercise to your life. Whether you exercise in 10 minute chunks three times a day, or whether you add a brisk walk to your lunch hour, you can improve your health with a little more physical activity. You don’t even have to pay for a gym membership.

Don’t forget to eat healthier. Create a meal plan that allows you to look for sales and coupons on specific items. Get a cookbook with healthy meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Learn how to use (and love) the slow cooker. When you have healthy meals planned out, you’ll spend less on eating out, and that’s good because eating out often means more calories and fewer nutrients.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Studies indicate that your judgment is impaired when you don’t have enough sleep. If you are tired, you are more likely to make impulse buys at the store, as well as snack on unhealthy items throughout the day. You will have more energy, and you’ll be able to accomplish more in less time if you get a good night’s sleep. Do what you can to adjust your schedule to get enough sleep, and you’ll save money and boost your ability to earn more with your increased productivity and skill level.

What lifestyle habits do you think you could change to improve your quality of life and save money?

About Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of the award-winning MapleMoney. With a career as a Financial Analyst and over nine years writing about personal finance, Tom has the knowledge to help you get control of your money and make it work for you.