Balancing your wellness needs with your financial goals can be pretty difficult. We’re fully aware that $50 a week for yoga and $10 post-workout juices aren’t in everyone’s budget. But maintaining a fitness routine is an essential investment in your health and happiness, regardless of how much money you can spend on it. Learn how to step up your fitness and self-care games without breaking the bank this year.
Stretching Your Wellness Dollars Further
Making your fitness goals happen may mean some strategic compromises when it comes to allocating your fitness budget. Prepping your own workout snacks can help with dollars and cents here and there, but the main cost of your wellness routine probably comes in the form of a gym membership, workout class passes, or wellness treatments. Different services vary by location, which can make budgeting more or less difficult depending on where you live. For example, using ClassPass in Pittsburgh will cost you $60 for 10 classes (six bucks a class isn’t half bad!), but the same 10 classes cost $135 in New York City. You probably aren’t going to up and move for more reasonably priced wellness services, so searching out the best deals in your area may take a little bit of time. Surprisingly, the best time of the year to join a full service gym isn’t in January according to Consumer Reports—so you might want to hold of on locking in. Instead, they found that the best deals (like no startup fee or freebies tossed in) for gym memberships are offered during the summer months. They also suggest checking with your health insurance company to see if all or part of a gym membership might be covered by your insurance. If you’re going to wait it out rather than taking the gym membership plunge, we suggest exploring individual classes using Groupon. Prices at local businesses like yoga and pilates studios are going to vary as well, but, in our experience, dropping in and doing one yoga class will cost you between $10 and $15. If you love the yogi life but can’t commit to hefty monthly memberships, see if you can budget for a class or two each month. You can also use Groupon to find low prices on everything from cryotherapy and massages (a wellness must, if you ask us) to spin class sessions. Groupon deals are usually only available to first time clients, but the benefit of all the class hopping is significant financial savings and guaranteed variety.
Ultra Low Cost Wellness Plan
If your fitness and wellness budget is closer to the range of zero dollars (we’ve been there!), you can still put together a strong wellness routine—it may just require a little more creativity and doing it yourself. Instead of splurging on fitness classes, look for local running groups (or cycling, yoga, or walking—whatever floats your fitness boat) on social media. Being part of a community can encourage you to work out and you can get together with new friends to run around a local park (which is totally free, BTW). We also strongly recommend incorporating at-home workouts. YouTube fitness channels have made working out at home easy and—dare we say it?—fun. Our favorite fitness channels are the following:
- Blogilates for peppy HIIT workouts and muscle-building dances
- Yoga with Adriene for the at-home yogi (score a yoga mat on Amazon for less than $20 for extra comfort)
- BeFit for just about any workout you can imagine
- Fitness Blender for concentrating on specific body parts or muscle groups
Besides doing bodyweight exercises, you may want to invest in a couple of low-cost home gym essentials. Check out resale websites like Craigslist to find deals on weights, which can be pretty expensive to buy new. We suggest starting off your home gym with a pair or two of free weights, a kettlebell, or resistance bands (which can be reasonably priced on Amazon, too). These will help you target specific muscles and add more intensity to your home workouts. If you need a little guidance on what to do with your new weights, check out YouTube channels like BeFit and Fitness Blender for routines. If you’re ready to take your wellness routine beyond workouts, look for free opportunities both on and offline. UCLA, The Chopra Center, and many other mental health and wellness authorities host free guided meditations that you can use to educate yourself about the benefits of mindfulness. A yoga studio or community center in your area might offer free or donation-based classes, so make a habit of checking schedules and making calls to find out what’s available. You can also:
- Explore the importance of boundary-setting
- Declutter your space
- Pack yourself beautiful and nutritious lunches
- Make time for creativity—collage, create a vision board
- Establish healthy, at-home rituals
- Prioritize sleep
Having a diverse wellness routine doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. If you spend your money wisely, you’ll feel empowered in achieving your wellness goals (and maybe even save up for a treatment or two throughout the year), we promise.