When many of us break a sweat, we’re also breaking the bank. From yoga classes and gym memberships, to personal trainers, expensive equipment and the latest gear – it’s easy to spend a fortune on fitness. In the US, the average consumer spends around $130 per month on their fitness, while in the UK consumers spend approximately £105 per month on a combination of gym memberships, health supplements and fitness gear. Fitness is a booming sector and South African markets are close behind those across the pond as clean living and health consciousness become big business worldwide.
For many people, these expenses are worthwhile investments in health. However, for those of us who want our money to go a little further, health and fitness can often be an unwelcome drain on our finances. But “making gains” in the world of fitness doesn’t have to equate to making losses in the financial realm. We’ve taken some pointers from Wonga’s “how to save money” bumper list, and compiled five simple ways to save money while caring for your body.
5 Ways to spend less on health & fitness
1. Cancel your gym subscription
While a regular gym subscription might keep you motivated, it can also be a major drain on your finances. There are many workouts which are just as effective at home and don’t require costly equipment to undertake. From skipping ropes and chin up bars, to yoga mats and resistance bands; there are many inexpensive pieces of kit you can buy for next to nothing which will give you a great home workout. There are also hundreds of free YouTube channels packed with exercise routines and workouts to keep you interested and sweaty!
Missing the motivation of a membership? Why not try a motivating accountability app like Stickk, which gives your chosen amount of money to charity if you do not achieve your goals.
2. Switch to water
Make a pledge to drink more water and cut out other, more expensive and less healthy beverages (whether that’s beer, coffee or fizzy drinks). You could choose to go “water only” during weekdays or between set hours during the day. This tip will boost your health and save you money.
3. Quit smoking
Smoking is incredibly damaging for both your body and your bottom line. If you’re struggling with a nicotine addiction, finally kicking the habit could be majorly beneficial to both your fitness and finances. Talk to your doctor about how you can go smoke free.
4. Play free sports
From tennis courts which are free to book, to football pitches – there are plenty of facilities available you can use for team sports without spending much at all. The camaraderie and competition of team games is a fantastic motivator too. Time to get your friends involved!
5. Cut out junk food
Removing junk food from your diet could save you a packet and leave your body feeling much better. From spontaneous takeaways which literally eat into your monthly budget, to impulsive (unnecessary) chocolate purchases at checkouts, junk food can negatively impact your finances and your health. Don’t forget to include some planned treats in your food plan to make sure you don’t have cravings which lead to spending on sugary snacks.