Normally, I hate cutting luxuries from my monthly budget, but when the going gets tough, the first thing that goes are my Starbucks trips, Ipsy subscription, and the one that breaks my heart the most, the gym. For some, the gym is not discretionary spending, it’s a necessity, but for me it’s the first thing to go, partially because I only do fancy gyms that cost an arm and a leg and it’s the quickest way to cut a large expense.
When my husband and I got really serious about our monthly budget and where we could cut costs to save faster, cancelling the gym was the first thing on the list. At first I was really upset because that was “me” time, it was the only thing I really did for myself and I couldn’t believe I had to make this sacrifice. To be honest I thought a conventional gym membership was the only way I could get my workout on, but I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case.
When I cancelled my gym membership I began to look for alternatives that were less expensive or free. First, I started asking my friends to invite me as their guest to their workout classes, this would let me workout with them for free. This worked up until I got sick and tired of creating fake email accounts, and the receptionist at SoulCycle got a little suspicious. So after that was a bust, I started to ask around work about alternatives and behold my employer offers free bootcamp classes to all employees! Who would have thought that there were free classes offered to us by my job?
This revelation led me to wonder, how many other employers out there offer some sort of health and wellness incentive to their employees? There is this huge push by many employers to provide incentives for healthy workers because it saves them a lot of money on health insurance claims and sick days; it just makes sense to have healthy employees!
If you’re trying to cut costs and it seems like the gym is on that cut list, then ask your employer if they have any type of health and wellness incentive for employees such as, free classes, employee discounts at local gyms, or insurance savings for active health club participation. If your employer doesn’t have one, get a group of your coworkers together and exercise after work. This can be as simple as walking around your building and some easy workouts like sit-ups and push-ups. If you are feeling really ambitious, talk to your human resource director and see if they would be interested in creating something, I’m sure they will be over the moon when you mention all the savings they can accomplish, and your coworkers will definitely thank you for this amazing idea.
Trying to reduce your monthly expenses doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t enjoy those little luxuries. Living below your means and sticking to your budget isn’t about depriving yourself from fun, but its about finding alternatives and creative ways that allow you to still enjoy everything you use to do while not spending all that money.