Think Twice About That Gym Membership in the New Year
After an indulgent holiday season full of extra helpings, you’re ready to turn it all around in the new year. So, like countless others before you, you decide to get a membership with your nearest gym.
While a gym membership may seem like the only way to make gains this year, it can deliver some serious losses for your financial situation. A gym membership is a costly addition to your budget, especially if you have financial New Year’s resolutions to save money.
Between startup fees, monthly dues, and additional charges for group classes, your membership may cost more than you think. But does that mean everyone should abandon the gym and their fitness goals altogether? Not quite!
Budgeting for a Gym Membership
Sit down with your finances and draft a budget. Focus on making sure you can make ends meet first. Your income must cover essential spending and savings before you move on to fun spending, like a gym membership.
While you may not consider going to the gym fun per se, t falls under your budget’s non-essential or discretionary spending category. You should limit this category whenever you want to make big changes to your budget.
Certain situations call for sacrificing discretionary spending more than others. If you’re in the middle of paying back a personal loan online, the financial experts at MoneyKey recommend you prioritize these payments along with your essentials. You always want to pay your loans back by their due dates to ensure you don’t get slapped with a late fine.
What if your budget shows you can hit your essentials (personal loans and all), and you still have plenty of cash to spare? Congratulations! You can afford a new membership without worrying about stretching yourself too thin. Go ahead and sign up with the gym of your choice.
Workout Without the Gym: Cost-Effective Alternatives
If your budgeting efforts show you don’t have the cash to spare on a gym membership, you can try these free fitness options instead.
1. Home Workouts: Turning Your Living Room into a Gym
You don’t need access to a sea of treadmills, bikes, and weight machines to get in shape this year. You can work up a sweat from the comfort of your own home by watching free online videos. Choose from Pilates, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or barre — these at-home classes don’t need equipment.
2. Fitness Apps: Personal Trainers in Your Pocket
If you struggle to find motivation in your living room, your phone can help. You can carry around a personal trainer in your pocket by downloading free or inexpensive fitness apps. These apps provide guided workouts, personalized training plans, and progress tracking.
3. Outdoor Activities: Embracing Nature’s Gym
Going outside is another free and simple way to get fit. You can pound the pavement or take up cycling to get your heart pumping. Working outside isn’t just a great way to burn calories and build muscles. These outdoor activities can also improve your mental health with exposure to nature, sun, and fresh air.
Bottom Line: Adjust Your Fitness Routine for Your Budget
A gym membership might be a great idea in the new year. Or, it can spell bad news for your budget. You won’t know until you find out the price of your nearest gym.