Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Finding Money for Exercise?


Now that you are up-to-date on the costs involved with starting an exercise program, let's look at how Americans spend money. I want you to see how much money you can save and put toward exercise by just making some minor adjustments in your spending habits. Some of this may come as a surprise to you.

Cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States today. Close to one million people lose their lives each year due to cigarette smoking. Wow! If this isn't bad enough, look at how much money is spent on cigarettes. Let's say you smoke one pack of cigarettes a day at a cost of roughly $5 a pack. When you do the math that equals $150 per month or $1,800 per year spent on smoking. I'm not going to give you a lecture on why you should quit smoking; however, if you are a smoker you need to wake up and smell the coffee! This is money that can be spent towards exercise or something else of value. Even if you cut your smoking habit by 25% you can afford a health club membership or some home gym equipment.

Another way to save money to put towards exercise is to go out to eat less frequently. Whether it is fast food for lunch or going out for supper, it adds up. Your average fast food meal will cost you from $4 to $5. If you go out just two times a week it will cost you almost $40 a month. I know people who eat at a fast food restaurant four times a week. What would it take for you to pack a lunch a couple days a week and save the money? It would certainly be more nutritious.

If you frequently go out for supper it will cost you even more. The average bill for a dinner at a mid-priced restaurant can range from $9 to $15 plus drinks. If you only go out once a week for supper with a spouse or significant other you can expect to spend up to $35. Depending on where you live in the country, going out for a nice dinner can cost a whole lot more.

Again, I'm not saying that you shouldn't go out to eat, just cut back a little. Even cutting back just once a week will save you enough money to join most health clubs.

You would be surprised at how the little things can add up. Drinking one cup of gourmet coffee a day from your favorite coffee house costs you $450 or more a year. Those of you who love to drink soda spend $275 a year if you only drink one per day. One per day, that's nothing. I know people who drink a six-pack daily! If you like to buy magazines off the rack to the tune of one per week, expect to part with $150 each year.

The list of small items goes on and on. Things like lottery tickets, video rentals, books, newspapers, or treats for the kids all add up. How about when you are in the convenience store to pay for gas and you pick up a few extra (higher priced) items like candy, milk, pizza or pastries?

If you take time to stop and think about the money you spend on a regular basis for the small items I've just mentioned, you see that there is a lot of opportunity to save. The beauty is that it doesn't take much. A little here and a little there will go a long way. Cutting back by just $10 a week can buy you a health club membership or some simple exercise equipment for your home. What is $10 a week? Two packs of cigarettes, a couple fast food meals or a few bottles of soda? Not much! I challenge you to take a look at your spending habits and see how easy it can be to afford something that is good for exercise.