Throughout my money journey, I’ve done this thing where I justify unnecessary (and usually fairly costly) purchases in the name of some goal. Full disclosure: the goal is usually fitness/weight related.
I’ve joined spin studios, barre studios, yoga studios, Weight Watchers, an infrared sauna spa (still amazing & will totally re-join once I’m debt free!), and a great-but-very-expensive group training gym to name a few. All of them were great, and obviously, I loved going to them for one reason or another. It’s not like they weren’t great workouts or great at lowering stress, it’s just that they were all a monthly bill for something I don’t actually need. It took me a long time to figure out that I desperately want to be able to go to boutique fitness gyms, but I don’t actually need to in order to meet my goals.
*I haven’t been to this gym (it’s in Australia), but it looks like it’d be perfect for me. Courtesy of Pretty Fit.
For starters, I had free access to a great, state-of-the-art gym for three years, courtesy of being in law school and being able to use the university’s student recreation center. Then, there’s the fact that some of these places have costly fines for not cancelling within a certain time-frame or not being able to go to a pre-booked class. I’ve racked up tons of fines (usually $10 or $12 a pop) due to my crazy schedule and need to catch up on sleep. Lastly, there’s all the extras – the cycling shoes, the studio-brand workout gear, and the heart rate monitors…all things that are great on their own, but when am I going to need cycling shoes anywhere else in my life? Or when am I going to wear that chic gym tank? Definitely not while working out somewhere else.
I love different types of exercise and trying new things. I’ve fallen in love with workout after workout, each one new and exciting until I find another one I like more. This hasn’t been good for my physical fitness, or my wallet. When it comes to exercise and saving money, consistency is key. You can’t save $4 one day and then spend $10 on a late cancel fee the next, just like you can’t commit to a specific type of workout and expect to get full body conditioning out of it.
As part of Operation: Pay Off the Credit Card, I’m cutting the cord on my monthly fitness memberships (that saves me around $240/month). I have several at-home workout DVDs I love (Jillian Michaels is bae), and at least until May, I still have access to my law school’s gym. I can also, you know, go run outside or go to a park if I want. I’ve already got running shoes and workout clothes, and with access to an actual gym, no need to purchase more home gym equipment for a while. The time might come when I need to buy some heavier weights for at-home workouts, but I’m going to hold off for now. I’m also utilizing this amazing thing called Youtube to take free yoga classes at home.
Is it the most convenient option? In some ways, yes. Is it trendy? Definitely not. Will it get the job done? Absolutely. Will I be saving a ton of money? Fo’ sho’, homie.
P.S. Totally not kidding about the infrared saunas. They are amazing, and I credit them extensively for getting me through bar exam stress last year. Runner-up was Krispey Kreme…hence the need for working out.