The Cost of Fitness

Those of you who follow me on twitter may notice I tweet a lot about going to these pricey NYC fitness classes. For example, you may notice a lot of @RefineMethod, @SoulCycle, @Chaise23, @Uplift, etc in my twitter vocabulary.  All of which range from $25 – $35/class.

The question was recently posed to me, “How do you afford to go to all of these classes? Is it all you do?” Seems like a simple question, but it actually really got me thinking. Sure I have a really good job which is 70% of the answer, but I’m not the millionaire living next door. I’ve actually often wondered the same thing about other people, but have never thought about it myself – I guess I never grouped myself in that category of people who took a lot of expensive fitness classes.

I’m aware I’m not probably coming off as a financial idiot saying that I spend $$$ on fitness classes and have never given it consideration, but as a disclaimer I should mention that I save a lot of money, do not live pay-check to pay-check and I am financially sound…Oh, and unfortunately I was never left a trust fund :-/. So how do I do it? After some thought, I’ve finally figured it out:

  1. My tweeting behavior makes it look like I’m working out much more than I am. For example, I’ll tweet about thinking about going to a @RefineMethod class, I’ll tweet about signing up for a @RefineMethod class, I’ll tweet about being on my way to an @RefineMethod class and finally, I will tweet about how great I feel about having completed the @RefineMethod class. For all those mentions, I’ve only attended one class :-). Point being, I’m not going crazy with expensive workout classes. Non the less they do add up… 
  2. I rationalize it:
    • Classes are the same price as my Physical Therapy and I believe it helps my injury more than actual PT.
    • $32 classes are waaaay cheaper than therapy and makes me much more happy than talking to a stranger ever could
    • To the above, my happiness and health is worth every dime
    • I have ONE goal left to complete for 2012 and one that I direly want to accomplish — running the NYCM. If it costs a pretty penny to get in proper shape for it, so be it, I know myself well enough to know I won’t get the same workout on my own.
    • Going to a fitness class after work is cheaper than dinner/drinks in NY
    • I’ve found friends that share my hobby of fitness as well, so going to a fitness class often turns into a social activity.
  3. I bring my lunch to work — $50 a week saved adds up (that’s $2,500/yr and approximately 78 $32 classes for those of you who don’t wish to do the math)
  4. Walk walk walk! I walk everywhere. I don’t do it to save money, I do it out of principal. Why take public transportation when you can have your own private transportation (feet!)? Instead of spending $100+ on a monthly subway ticket, I walk and spend about $20/month on subway rides. Good for your health, your mind and your wallet! 
  5. Being a two drink drunk is really cost efficient — enough said.
  6. I food shop at Trader Joe’s 90% of the time. I’ve never done a comparison to Gristedes, or Dags, but it’s a lot of money saved.
  7. My boyfriend and I have taken to eating at home and getting a bottle of wine vs. eating out on most Friday nights…again $ saved.
  8. I buy in bulk for classes that offer package discounts and I know I will use. Tip: Check out expiration date of bulk purchases before you buy and make sure it is 10000% reasonable for you.
  9. Groupon/Coupons — if I find a deal for a class I like in a location that I know I’ll make it to, I’ll snag it up! For example, I’ve bought great deals for Uplift Studios and Om Factory.
  10. I still wear clothes from 2004  — call it cheap, lazy, or smart, I don’t care. I still get compliments on my 10 year old outfits.
  11. I canceled my gym membership, because let’s be real, I don’t go!
  12. I paint my own nails

I will try a lot of different classes, but only go back to the ones I LOVE and make a point to make every class count.

I do go out to eat and/or out for drinks A LOT, but I’ve definitely cut back my 6 nights/week habit. I do still pay for a maid once a month, spend way to much on running gear and vacation, but it’s about finding a balance between what you want to spend money on and what you need to spend money on. I put the maid in the need category, because I don’t think my relationship would last without one haha.

So there’s my long winded answer! I by no means do I mean this post as a guide for others to follow, since my license in financial planning is likely somewhere with my medical degree (did I mentioned I got a D in science?)…but more of insight into how I make it work.

QUESTIONSWhat things do you cut spending back on and where do you totally indulge!?

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9 Responses to The Cost of Fitness

  1. loramarie03 says:

    People always think I’m crazy for bringing my lunch everyday but it’s like there’s no reason for me to pay $10 when I have bread and peanut butter at home! I also paint my own nails and refuse to take cabs and instead will take the subway (wish I could walk everywhere but live too far from work)… I am still wearing clothes from high school too hahah.

    • I LOVE peanut butter sandwiches and they’re like $1 a pop homemade (with quality ingredients haha) — I think it’s smart! I love that you share my money saving tactics — when clothes from the early 2000’s come back we’ll be way ahead 🙂

  2. runlivelaugh says:

    I have a few things I spend money on – a decent haircut every 6 weeks (though this morning I look like I slept in a bush), Chanel Vitalumiere foundation (but a bottle lasts up to 6 months, I usually buy it from dutyfree when I travel and don’t both with much other makeup) and I get my eyebrows shaped rather than plucked because I am not good with tweezers!

    Apart from that I will try to get the best deal on everything else – I rarely buy new clothes, unless they are on sale and don’t spend every weekend out on the town getting drunk, like you I am a two drinks drunk girl! My gym membership is cheap as chips because I go to the local authority gym rather than the posh one I would like to be a member of. The classes I love are all included in the price and as long as I shower when I get home then it’s ok…

    I figure though, as long as you are not hurting anyone through spending your hard earned dosh on gym classes, then do it! Enjoy yourself, if it makes you happy, go for it. Plus if it stops the ITB drama from reoccurring then thats not a bad thing….

    Like you though my physio is costing me quite a bit at the moment too!! grrrrr 😦

  3. Dori says:

    YES. You said everything perfectly, and I feel exactly the same as you. I justify my classes the exact same way as you do. And in the end, my health, sanity and happiness is worth it.

  4. Running Bun says:

    You actually have a lot great money saving tips on here. Bringing your lunch to work is completely underrated. You save so much $$ and there are many people that eat out every single day (which I also think ends up being unhealthier in the long run). Food shopping (when carefully planned) also helps. Impulse buys at the food store can be deadly! And last buy not least: I love painting my own nails because I love changing the color often 🙂

    I am happy I inspired this post (I’m pretty sure I did anyway). You explained it perfectly 🙂 I will be joining you for some of these classes soon! First off, I need to try Refine. Do they do morning classes before work?

    • hahah yes you definitely inspired this post! I was going to put your name in, but wasn’t sure if you’d mind.

      Refine has 7am classes on Mon/Wed/Fri and 6:30 am or 8am classes on Tues/Thurs — I prefer morning classes as well, let me know when you want to go!

  5. People waste money on the silliest of things. Spending money on your physical and mental health is the best money spent. Anyone who doesn’t see that, doesn’t get it.

  6. Kara says:

    I love that you brought up the fact that those classes are cheaper than a night out in NYC! It’s so true…and your hobby is healthy and beneficial! Not to say that going out for drinks isn’t fun…but you know what I mean! Your health and fitness is absolutely the most important thing you can do…if that’s the way you like to take care of yourself, that’s awesome!! A lot of people have such a hard time finding something they really love fitness-wise…so you should consider yourself one lucky lady 🙂

  7. Pingback: Epiphany of the Day! | sweatpassionandtears

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