I was at a point in my life when time and money management weren't skills I embraced. They didn't have a prominent role in my day-to-day life. But when you have money to spend, it begins to burn a hole in your pocket.

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Good eating habits are also extremely important to our well-being. But so many of us neglect our health in favor of convenience. These aren't temptations we should be giving into so easily, but they are choices we face on a daily basis.

Avoiding restaurants can seem unbecoming and impossible. These are businesses we enjoy giving our money to, both for the social aspects and for the beloved ambiance.

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But the more quickly we recognize that health is wealth and start to live accordingly, the better off we'll be. 

My Bad Eating Habits

I vividly remember being too lazy to bother cooking after breakfast. Working during the evenings until late at night led me to buy dinner on my breaks. And when I got home at night, the urge to eat another meal called my name.

I was constantly on the go the majority of the day, so eating out was all about convenience. I was spending anywhere from $30 to $50 every day on food, not including the tips I gave out generously.

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When you're loaded — or you at least feel rich — you're more susceptible to thoughtlessly blowing through money.

These bad habits became programmed into my disposition. If I didn't eat out at least two times each day, I felt oddly out of place, like something important was missing.

“The improving economy means that people who graduated during a recession finally have jobs and money to spend — and less time to cook,” Dr. Wafa Hakim Orman, a professor of economics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, told Medical Xpress.

Spending $30 to $50 every day may not seem like much, but it accumulates to a huge amount over time. And you end up spending a lot more on certain days than others, so you go over the average and splurge without giving it a second thought.

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I remember there were days when spending almost $100 on food felt like it was nothing. Traps are easy to fall into, and getting out before it's too late is difficult.

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Starting Good Eating Habits

My wake-up call came when I was almost completely broke one day after paying all of my bills. It reached a point where I was making a lot less money, so I finally considered constructing a budget. When I began to look back at all of my gluttony, it finally hit me.

One of my coworkers at the time had pointed out I was developing a little belly. Being athletic for most of my life, seeing the small-but-noticeable weight gain was another wake-up call. All of the oily foods, salt, and cholesterol had caught up to me. The journey back to a healthier lifestyle commenced.

Now I spend anywhere from $100 to $150 on groceries every week as opposed to $250 to $350 eating out. And you can save even more using coupons through apps like SavingStar and Ibotta. If I keep this up for the next 40 years, I’m looking at a saving of at least a quarter of a million dollars.

Plus, I eat abundantly and a lot more healthfully. I rarely go out to eat, even though I'm quite a big foodie. Cooking has been one of my passions that I had taught myself years ago.

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But like most of what we learn in college, it was either set aside or deemed unnecessary later. Now I've turned what I used to be too lazy to do into a peaceful time of jovial vibes. Various styles of cuisine from around the world are now on my to-do list.

Health Is Wealth: How to Eat Well for Less

Remind yourself that health is wealth, and that the best choice for you is cooking at home. Not only is it easier on your wallet, but it will also make for a longer, healthier life.

Schedule a set number of times that you allow yourself to eat out every month. Only exceed the limit if it's a special occasion, and try to save money by checking sites like Groupon. It's perfectly fine to treat yourself — just don't go overboard.

You'll discover a renewed sense of self when you get into good eating habits like cooking your own meals. The magical moments that experts talk about on television actually exist in the simplicities of living correctly.

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When I look myself in the mirror, I see what my new budgeted diet has done to that “small, but significant gain”: All of it has been converted into extra money in the bank!