When you make New Year’s Resolutions to form healthy habits, make an additional resolution not to go over budget on those new healthy habits. Take a slow approach and only spend money where you absolutely have to before you’re sure the habit is permanent. In my experience, Murphy’s Law almost always kicks in when I’m not super careful about spending money on healthy habits like running.
- Before deciding to sign up for a gym, find a friend to partner up with for accountability. Walking together once or twice a week is free. Exchanging fitness dvds to use for a few weeks is also free.
- Check your local library for fitness dvds. Most public libraries rent them for a $1 for a week.
- Let your friends know if you’re looking for fitness equipment. Someone’s always got a treadmill or weights gathering dust in the basement. A friend of mine gave me a treadmill, and a sister-in-law gave me her old bike.
- Use low cost household items as substitutes for gym equipment. Skinny MS. has a list of 5 household items you can use as exercise equipment.
- Search YouTube for workout and strength-building videos like my 7 minute arm weight workout.
- Check daily deal sites like Groupon, Living Social, and Amazon Local for deals on fitness classes or gym membership deals.
- Use a free app to track your healthy habit progress. Michael Hyatt reviewed 7 apps to help with achieving goals and building healthy habits.
- If you sign up for a gym, find one that is low cost like Planet Fitness ($10 per month) and one that goes month to month. Don’t commit to a year-long contract until you’re sure. Even signing up for the Y can add up if you’re not careful.
- Buy the minimal amount of stuff to get started. If you want to walk or run, buy good shoes to avoid injury.
- Shop thrift stores and clearance racks. I’ve found some running tops and bottoms at my local Goodwill, and a medicine ball on clearance at Target.
- Search Pinterest for strength and cardio workout ideas.
- Unless you need to completely overhaul your diet because of medical reasons, commit to 1 small change weekly. This week, make a salad for lunch. Next week, track how much water you’re drinking.
- Use a price book to find the lowest prices for new foods you’re trying.
- However, if you’re trying a completely new food, and you’re not sure if you’ll like it, buy the smallest amount possible. If you don’t like it, you have less to throw away or pass along to someone else.
My Biggest Money Saving Tip of All
Go slow to avoid injury.
Last year, I spent over $1,000 seeing a specialist and rehabbing a running injury because my original injury, an ankle sprain, was not rehabbed at all. Then, I pushed my body too hard with running when I was able to run again. Boom! I had another running injury and rehab for both injuries.
Now I go slow, and I don’t measure my running against anyone else’s. I only look at my own improvement over time.
Share your tips for keeping your healthy habits frugal.