April 8th here in Ohio, and, oh my god, I feel like we can finally breathe. The pear trees are in full bloom and the houses lining our street have their windows agape to the sounds of spring. Steve is outside planting grass seed and prepping our urban garden for its summer planting. Not one to miss out on the outdoors, I’ve set up camp at our patio table in the yard. I’ve got pretzels left over from our camping trip to French Lick, my laptop, and my big bottle of water I go almost nowhere without. You could say we’re big into water. Right now Steve is taking a break to look over his
kingdom yard and sip from his glass of water I just topped off.
Why Drink Water?
Water is delicious, refreshing, and 100% necessary for your body to function. Drinking water is also free! There might not be a such a thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as a free glass of water.
If a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, as the Chinese proverb goes, I can say definitively that my first step started with water. You could say my journey started with a sip, then.
I was at my third job out of college, finally bringing in a steady paycheck, but generally living without conscience or qualms. While I never racked up any credit card debt, I spent my hard-earned money very frivolously. I have absolutely nothing to show from those early years. I recall there being a lot of clothes, some last-minute travel, more clothes, fancy dinners with lots o’ drinks, and clothes. I can’t even pinpoint what made me snap out of my spending reverie, but it seemed suddenly one day to become crystal clear that I needed to slough off my student loans like a snake sheds its skin. Suddenly, I wanted intensely to be free of the chains of debt, indentured to no one.
Drinking More Water Every day
I decided that instead of launching into a lifestyle overhaul, I would simply start drinking water instead of forking over cash for beverages. This would be a great way to save money daily in a small, manageable way.
If I went to a restaurant, I now ordered water with lemon. If I went through a drive thru, I forgo-ed the numbered meal that came with a drink and just got a water with the components of the meal. No more caramel macchiatos from the coffeehouse. No more soda from the vending machine at work. I brought a water bottle to work and filled it up several times during the day. I used my refill as a nice break to stretch my legs and get up from my desk. I continued to drink coffee and tea at work, as it was a free service offered to all employees.
Now I carry my water bottle with me and fill it up wherever is convenient: my house, water fountains at work, water fountains in public, etc… I even take the empty bottle through airport security and then fill it up right before I board the plane, that saves me having to buy expensive bottled water at the airport or on the plane. I’ve noticed several public places including airports now have the water fountains that are designed specifically for water bottles, which removes the ick factor of filling your bottle where another person’s mouth has been hovering.
Not only was this my very first step in saving money, but it was my first step in leading a healthier life. You’ll find as you go that the two go hand in hand.
Was it hard to make the switch? Not really. The savings piled up quickly enough that I saw the fruits of my labor before long. $1.50 here, and $2.00 there are those sneaky little expenses that seem like nothing, but once grouped together are subtracting a mighty chunk from your bank account. I also felt better. Soda, fraps, juice, chocolate milk, sports drinks, energy drinks, whatever I was drinking was not a plausible substitute for water.
What does your body want? Water. What does your body need more of? Water.
Deciding to drink water is not an invitation to go out and buy a fancy brand name cup that costs a small fortune. I think we all know the one I’m referring to! You might even already have one around the house, go look! I know we’ve acquired a ton in our cabinets just from promotional events alone. Everyone wants their logo on an insulated travel mug now. If you don’t have one, get one that’s inexpensive and practical for your lifestyle, buy it used or suss out a sale at your local grocer. Buying a used cup and running it through your dishwasher is no different than drinking out of a glass at a restaurant.
I use an old sports bottle that I used to pour my morning smoothies into. Now it houses water. I like it because it has a large screw off lid and a handle at the top which makes it easy to tote around. It’s not, however great at keeping my drink ice-cold. So, find out what your priorities are and start your new watery lifestyle today!