Welcome to my 52 Ways to Save $100 a Month series. We’re serious about saving money in 2016. Sometimes it’s the little things and sometimes it’s the big things. I’m here to walk you through some little things that can add up to BIG savings. 52 little things to be exact. Every week, join me back here for another small money saving tip or idea that might not seem like significant savings until you see the overall yearly savings. It might just blow your mind. So pop in each Tuesday and read a new tip that will help you on your way to save $100 a month!
I have a phrase I’ve used for years to describe self-proclaimed gym addicts: Gym Rats. Not sure where I picked that up but it makes me giggle every time. If you fall into that category and truly love the gym, look away. This post will break your heart. Some people really love their gym, and I know I’ll never change their mind. But for those of you dumping money into a membership you never use, listen up. There are some great, much cheaper, alternatives. Here are some of my favorites:
Track It Yourself: Knowledge is power, and knowing how active you are, how many calories you’re burning or eating or how many steps you’re taking makes you much more in control of your health. Consider investing in a Fitbit or simple pedometer or sign up for a free online program like FitDay.com or MyFitnessPal.com. FitDay is great for tracking your calories in vs out and MyFitnessPal is great because you can link up with friend’s accounts and help provide support and encouragement.
Use the Great Outdoors: Take a hike, walk on your local greenbelt or even find a sports stadium and run stairs. If there is a lake or pond near you, you can swim laps for free. Or head to a school near you and use their track. There are also a number of fitness parks popping up where you can do a full circuit-style workout using the equipment throughout the park. Pretty cool if you ask me.
Join a Club: Most cities have biking clubs, running clubs, fencing clubs; you name it and there’s probably a local club you can join. They are typically free and a lot of fun. They’ll meet up a few times a week and normally have different groups with different ability levels. They are great for being encouraging, even if you are a beginner. Might also be a great way to try something new and burn some calories, too.
Find a Workout Buddy: I like having someone hold me accountable, but it also just makes working out so much more fun. Sometimes the conversation is great and sometimes it’s non-existent if we’re sweating buckets. But just knowing I’m not alone in whatever workout we choose is really helpful.
Find Free Options: Do you have stairs in your house? Run them. A gaming system with a workout game? Play it. A trampoline out back? Jump on it. A walking path in your neighborhood? Run/bike/walk it. You can also stream a ton of free workout videos with Amazon Prime.
Have Fun: If you are doing something you really enjoy, sometimes you forget you’re working out. I have a friend who gets exercise holding dance parties with her kids in her living room. Do you love to play soccer? Join an adult league. Maybe you love yoga and want to get some friend together for “Yoga in the Park.” Think about the physical activities you love doing anyway. You’ll be doing something you genuinely love to do AND getting your heart rate up at the same time.
Do you frequent a gym? If not, how do you get exercise?
How Much Can You Save: $816 The average monthly gym membership is $68. Times that by 12 months and you are saving over $800 every year!