Healthy Body, Happy Wallet
New Year, new you—but alas, the same bank account. Making resolutions about getting in shape and eating right is a great idea in theory, but sometimes your finances may not agree.
Fear not. It is possible to have a healthy body and maintain a good workout routine while saving money at the same time. As a girl who has been a poor college student, a college graduate working multiple jobs and now a wife and homeowner, I have some serious experience pinching pennies in all the right places without making too many sacrifices. Here are some of my favorite tips.
Save on Athletic Gear
There’s no need to break the bank on expensive workout clothes. There are so many good options out there for affordable athletic apparel, so don’t be afraid to look somewhere other than off-the-rack for designer leggings and breathable tops. Consignment stores, secondhand shops or clearance sections have plenty of quality, name-brand options like Nike, Adidas or Lululemon on sale, with a much lower price tag. Shopping around for the best deal never hurt anyone, and chances are you’re going to be the only one to know the difference!
Work Out at Home
If you’re like me, it can be intimidating to join a new gym or go to a new class; or maybe you can’t ever find the right class at the right time. Why does that always seem so hard? Plus, on top of being complicated, it can also be extremely expensive to join a gym. Luckily, working out at home is a great option, as there are so many resources at our fingertips thanks to the wonderful World Wide Web. If you know what kind of workout you prefer, YouTube is a great place to start—and it’s free!
However, the sheer volume of videos can be overwhelming if you are still trying to figure out your style of workout. If you need a little more guidance, try a pay-per-month online workout program. These websites are much cheaper than joining a gym and offer a variety of programs for all levels. From beginner yoga to intense strengthening sessions, there is something for everyone. These are also great for people who find it hard to fit the gym into their busy schedule, as they offer classes ranging from a quick 15 minutes to a full hour.
Eat Healthy Without Breaking the Bank
There are diets, cleanses and juice programs out there that seem so easy and enticing—until you see the price tag. I don’t claim to be an expert nutritionist, but I do know a few things on the subject from personal experience. I have found that simply planning your meals, sticking to your grocery list when you go to the store and maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can be enough.
Buying generic brand food can often be just as good for your body and your wallet. Stocking up on frozen fruits and vegetables when they go on sale is always a good idea, and buying things like rice and grains in bulk can help you save some money as well. Don’t forget to only buy as much as you can eat that week when you go to the store. Having to throw out bad meat or produce is simply throwing money down the drain. Oh, and one last thing: Never go to the grocery store hungry. You’ll buy a lot more food than you need.
Saving your money on clothes, working out at home and being smart when you buy groceries will leave you healthy and your wallet happy. It is much easier—and dare I say, more fun—than you’d think!