It’s a whole new year, filled with new hopes and promises. If you’re like most of the UK, you’re probably sizing up your 2021 fitness plans right now. After all, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are all about, right? True enough, but while you’re getting a jump start on your health and exercise routine, it’s definitely worth planning how you’ll handle your financial fitness in the coming year. It turns out there’s a pretty strong connection between the two – and the secret to success in both comes from finding the right workout partner.

What are your bad habits costing you?

Have you spent any time thinking about what your bad habits are really costing you? Or, to put it in a more “pint glass half full” light, what could you stand to gain by making better, healthier choices? This is about more than clocking up a couple of extra “golden years” in retirement. We’re talking about actual, tangible benefits you can start cashing in much sooner – and we do mean “cash”. According to the science, dropping a few pounds on the scales can stuff plenty more into your wallet each year.

Here are just a few of the main financial benefits of a healthier lifestyle with a mate to keep you honest and motivated:

  • Blowing less on bad habits
    This is an easy one. The less you’re spending on bad food, tobacco and alcohol, the more you have left in your pocket each month. The cost of booze alone has gone up by about a third in the last decade. Statistics from the NHS show that yearly UK household expenditure on alcohol has gone up by about £10 billion since 1985. Overall, we’re drinking about 1.5% of our entire household income each year. Add in the average of £2,500 smokers spend a year feeding their addictions and you can see what you’ve got to gain.

  • Getting more done
    Here’s another weird health statistic. People who exercise regularly – as in, at least 3 times per week – are simply more productive at work. In fact, health-conscious workers are earning as much as 10% more than their lazier workmates. Getting the blood pumping once in a while keeps you alert and helps you think faster. It’s good for time management, work satisfaction and having a clearer mind overall – all of which can end up boosting your income.

  • Running costs
    How many of those quick trips out really need a car to get done? We’re not talking about your work mileage here – although you should definitely be keeping track of that for your tax refunds. We’re thinking more about the local travel you can’t claim anything back for. How much cheaper would your yearly transportation bills be if you didn’t pass out from even looking at that disused bicycle in the shed?  The truth is, thousands of pounds get wasted every year on unnecessary public transport, petrol and parking fees. Even otherwise fitness-smart people fall into this trap. Do you really need to drive 10 minutes to the gym just to sit on a stationary bike for half an hour?

We haven’t even talked about things like clothing costs yet. How many times have you had to throw out perfectly good pairs of jeans because they “shrank in the wash”?  All it takes to meet the recommended activity guidelines for better health is a 30 minute walk 5 times a week. What’s more, just half an hour of moving your body from place to place on weekdays could be worth as much as £2,000 in health-related expenses.

None of this is rocket science, obviously. The simple fact is that healthier food and finance choices are cheaper than the gross stuff, and getting regular exercise is easier than it looks – especially if you’ve got help. You don’t need a personal trainer to get fit and you don’t have to look like a Marvel movie poster to be healthy. Just checking a few food labels and putting some miles under your bike tyres each week will put you well on your way. Play a little safer with your body, and you’ll soon see the pay-off in your pocket.

Be a Great Financial Fitness Buddy

As for picking your partner, being a good financial fitness mate’s got nothing to do with aggressive competition. Whether you’re working on your muscles or your money, you need someone who’ll help keep your plans on track and spot when you’re struggling.

Being a good workout wingman means helping you make the very best of yourself. That’s the secret to the RIFT Method for Financial Fitness – and that goes right to the heart of our Refer a Friend scheme.

With RIFT Refer a Friend, you’ve got an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of the people you’re close to. By referring them to RIFT for their tax refund claims, you’re putting potentially thousands of pounds back into their pockets. That’s why we reward you for doing it with a £50 bonus every time someone you’ve referred makes their claim with us. For every 5 people you help, you get an extra £150 on top.

More Chances to Win

We work hard to make sure Refer a Friend does the most good for as many people as we can. That means we listen when you talk.

Our regular prize draws have always been popular, for instance, so now we’re giving you even more chances to win. From January on, referring your mates to RIFT puts you in the running for s £250 cash prize every month!

Making referrals is simple, whether you use the website or your RIFT Refunds app. If you don’t have your mate’s email address or phone number to put us in touch with them, you can even get them to contact us themselves. Just make sure they drop your name so we know who to give the reward cash and prize draw entries to!

Just as your health and exercise decisions affect your bottom line, so do your financial choices. Getting the right help makes all the difference, so come to RIFT with your tax questions, worries and problems. We’ll keep your finances in the best shape of your life – and that’s why you’re always better off with RIFT.

Our free and easy to use tax rebate calculator gives you an instant estimate of how much cash you could be owed back from HMRC.  RIFT are the UK's leading tax refund and tax return experts, who've been in the tax industry since 1999.