Lets face it, money and finances are always HUGE driving factors in nearly every big decision we ever have to make. Whether you’re buying a house, car, clothes, food, or even a gym membership, you will surely take cost into account. People will usually end up buying something when they perceive the value of the product to be fair or better at the cost it is listed for. A gym membership is definitely a commitment, and I can tell you right off the bat that I would not recommend anyone buy a gym membership if they don’t think they are going to stick with it! BUT, once you realize that you are determined and motivated enough to keep a solid exercise routine, you may realize that the gym membership can actually SAVE you money in some pretty unexpected ways!
The gym becomes a social hangout!
If you have friends at the gym, it’s quite likely that you actually enjoy going because you get to see people and talk/hangout with them. You can meet new people, talk before and after (and during) your workouts, and even attend fun social events your gym may host throughout the year. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to feel less need to go out and spend money with your friends elsewhere such as restaurants/movies/shopping/bowling/etc… Even if you were to reduce the number of social outings each week by 1, you’ll be saving anywhere from $20-$40/month! (assuming you’d spend at least $5-$10 each outing… but realistically that number is probably even higher!)
The gym makes you feel better!
With so many health benefits associated with the gym, there shouldn’t really need to be any more convincing done as to why it is worth it… But alas, there is more! With more energy each day you can be more productive, more productivity will also mean more $! Regular exercise will help you sleep better so you can stop buying sleeping aids regularly. You’ll be in better health all around so you’ll spend less on doctor visits, medications, nyquil/dayquil, take less sick days, the list could go on and on… and they all save you money! On the bigger end of the spectrum, exercise helps prevent life threatening disease, and what price can you put on that?? Let’s say that throughout this category you will be saving yourself AT LEAST $30-$40/month.
The gym makes you want to eat healthier!
Gym more = eat out less! You’ll find that if you really want to get the most of your exercise routine, you have to dial in on your nutrition as well. In order to do that, you’ll have to cut back on the amount of bad food you eat and reduce the number of times you eat out each month. I currently live on a food budget of about $50/wk, some people I know are 3-4x higher than that and it’s mostly due to eating out too often! You’ll also hopefully stop wasting money on things you don’t need at the grocery store like candy, chips, soda, snacks, etc… Let’s say you reduce the number of dinners out by even just ONE per month, that automatically saves you roughly $20/month. Add in all the candy and crap you WON’T be buying at the grocery store, you’re saving at least $50/month here.
The gym makes you want to drink less!
This one goes hand in hand with eating out too often. Usually eating out also means getting drinks out. If you do that, you’re familiar with watching your tab go from 0-100 REAL quick. Its insane that what costs the restaurant $.50 to pour costs you $6! But let’s have 3-4 of those while we’re at it! It’s not breaking news that drinking is not healthy (unless you have like 1 glass of wine in a day, apparently that is considered to be healthy.) If you take my advice (and do what you should for your health) and eat out less, you will also save a TON of money by drinking out less! Dinner without drinks might be $15 for one person, dinner with drinks? You’re looking at $35+ for one person. A lot of times it’s not even the drinking that’s the killer, it’s the food afterwards. How many times have you stopped at McDonnalds or Local Burger or Wendy’s late after a night out drinking? And how about the next day when you’re hungover? When you’re exercising regularly you’ll (hopefully) be drinking less, you’ll also be saving a bunch of money, AND you’ll be saving yourself from all those empty calories. This category can save you big time money, i’d say an average of maybe $60/mo (one night out less per week @ $15/night on drinks). Of course it will be less for some, and it will be more for some!
So let recap… $20-$40 saved per month because you don’t need to do as many social outings with your friends. $30-$40/month saved because you’ll feel better and save money on health-related items and events. $50/month saved because you’re eating healthier, eating out less, and not buying crap you don’t need. And $60/month saved because you’re drinking once less per week. In reality, these are the absolute bare minimum amounts you should be saving, it could really wind up being A LOT more!! It all depends on how seriously you take your workout routine and your health (and your spending habits).