How To Make Fitness More Affordable

By: Lucas Zelazny

Necessity or luxury?

What is it that you look to get out of a daily fitness routine? Perhaps you’re in a spot in your life where fitness is not particularly important because you’re 23 and you can eat whatever you want without sacrificing your physique. On the other hand you may be a 45 year old recently diagnosed with pre-hypertension and you’ve never exercised a day in your life. The two examples above may or may not be the same person throughout the course of their life time. Point being, your priorities at some point in your life will change. As will the things you decide to spend your money on. In this article we’ll discuss your options and strategies around making a fitness program an affordable luxury.

The Reality of Fitness Expenses

A healthy lifestyle these days seems like quite the luxury expense. With hundreds of thousands of articles, differing options, and tons of videos, it's nearly impossible to know what's right, what's wrong, what's anecdotal, what's evidence based. I can't even figure it out half the time. Throw organic meats & veggies, a personal trainer, and a nutritionist into the mix and you're pushing over $1000 a month in healthy expenses alone. So in a world that is obsessed with the next quick fix to fat loss how do you traverse this market without breaking the bank?

1) Create a Budget

If you aren't treating your personal life like a business you should try it sometime. Create two categories, projected expenses, and actual expenses. Make a list of your projected expenses first. These are essentials that can't be changed. Things like rent, student loans, car payments, etc. The rest should fall under variable expenses. These are things like going out to eat, grabbing a coffee on a daily basis, gas, "luxury" items like Netflix, expensive food, even your electric or gas bill. If you're committed to a serious fitness routine that will cost you $200 a month how can you take $200 out of your variable expenses? Or better yet, how can you earn an extra $200 a month? It is possible to have both. If you own a home, get roommates, if you rent a 1 bedroom, get a two bedroom and split it. Make your coffee at home, carpool more to cut gas expenses, meal prep instead of buying lunch everyday.

2) "I can't Afford It" vs. It's Not A Priority To Me

At the end of the day everything in life is a choice. The things that you decide to purchase, the activities that you decide to partake in, the food you choose to buy, and the entertainment you indulge yourself with are all choices. Therefore, your health and wellness is a choice as well. The amount you decide to spend on it is just as significant as anything else. If your priority is to workout with a personal trainer every day to ensure you hit your fitness goals you're probably going to think twice about having a $600 a month car payment. Perhaps you believe in buying everything organic and the finest cuts of meat to ensure you're fueling your body with the best possible nutrients. This could easily bring your grocery bill up to $150 a week. Toss in a night eating out weekly and your monthly food bill is pushing $1000 a month. So I ask you, is it really that you can't afford the gym membership or is it simply not a priority?

3) How to Cut Your Expenses And Make Fitness Affordable

Let's use an example of a paying client at Concept. An average a client here will do 1 day per week with a personal trainer, two classes per week and a monthly nutrition membership. This type of service package will run you a total of $378 per month. Seems expensive, and oh so luxurious. If committed to appropriately you could also be looking at up to 104 lbs of weight loss over the course of the year, 52 lbs if you want to tailor it back a bit, or 20 lbs in 5 months. At this price point the annual investment will run you $4,536 over the course of the year.

If you are someone who struggles with their weight, who says they'll do "anything" to be healthier and more confident, and I asked you if you'd be willing to pay $5,000 to lose all of the extra fat, would you do it?

If we were to use the expense report above how could you save $378 a month to afford a luxury fitness routine? Here's an example of budget cuts.

1) Save 15% when you switch to Geico $65 -> $55.25
2) Don't go out to eat $150 -> $0
3) Ditch Netflix and downgrade to Spotify $29.98 -> $0
4) Stop with the alcohol $30 -> $0
5) Bring your grocery bill from $100 per week to $75 per week : $400 -> $300

Total Monthly Savings = $319.73

As you become more confident in your new daily rituals you can ease off the weekly meal plan and eventually become nutritionally self sufficient. As you continue to progress in your movements you can progress away from working with a personal trainer weekly. As you begin to hit your monthly and quarterly goals you can make a shift over to going to classes or simply doing online training and purchasing a local membership.

If you're truly committed to your fitness and it is a priority at this time in your life there are ways to purchase this "luxury" item. At the end of the day it all comes down to your priorities.

Don't want to ditch your weekly night out or the Netflix subscription? Get a side job, flip things on eBay, barter a skillset you have with a gym. Be creative in achieving the things that you want.


Remember This

Fitness is expensive if you are looking to work directly with a coach. However, there are ways around it. Keep an eye out for promotional deals, referral incentives, and loyalty rewards. Bring a friend to train with you and cut your daily training session rate in half. There is also the free option of working out on your own outside or in your home. There are so many resources online you just need to know how to traverse the info.

Create a personal budget. Look to adjust your variable expenses as a means to afford things that you choose to prioritize. Think about your goals and the money you spend on them as a downpayment towards your future. Once you hit your goals you can re-prioritize your expenses and get the things you loved back. Life is a process and it is full of decisions. When you change your priorities you can then change your mindset.


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