I often hear folks complain that they’d love to work out with a Personal Trainer or take Private Reformer lessons but the cost gets in the way. Well to that I’d say- it’s a matter of priorities. What’s more important? Taking care of your body so you can be healthy and active and live a long life or having those suede boots that will be out of style next season?
None the less- I’m going to give you some suggestions on how you can make private sessions more affordable and maybe still get the boots too!
1. Do you pay for a gym membership you don’t use? If you are paying $40, $50, $60 or more for a gym that you sporadically go to it’s time to either drop the membership or commit to going more often. I often see folks who continue to pay month after month for various reasons including “Having a membership at least makes me think I’ll do better in the future” “All my friends belong to this gym” “It’s easier to keep it than figure out how to end it”
Folks- these are not good reasons to continue to spend money in the name of fitness. And guess what- I can guarantee you won’t see results this way. Unless you change your gym habit and take advantage of the gym- don’t spend the money.
2. Manicures/Pedicures- I love to get my nails done. Having pretty nails just makes me feel good. But do I need my cuticles trimmed every week? I’m not doing rough manual labor or chewing on my fingers so they stay pretty decent aside from the polish needing to be refreshed. Did you know most nail salons offer a polish change in lieu of a manicure or pedicure? My salon charges $19 for a manicure but only $7 for a polish change. They still file and buff my nails, apply lotion and polish and I leave with pretty nails. Not only do I save money- it’s saves a little time too. Pedicures are $28 dollars or just $9 for a polish change. I usually do 2 or 3 polish changes in a row and then opt for a full mani/pedi. Right there you are saving enough for a personal training session every month.
3. Grocery Shopping- I’m not going to go into couponing and I’m not advocating extreme couponing. I do use coupons some but mostly find coupons tend to be for processed foods and I tend to buy more vegetables, dairy, and lean proteins. The advice I will offer you is go to the store with an open mind and be alert to what’s on special. Today as I was shopping, I noticed Perdue Chicken Breasts for 50% off! I picked up a couple packets of 3 – each for only about $2.50 each. That’s three servings per package for less than a dollar each. Next I was looking at vegetables and noticed they were running a $1 special on frozen bagged veggies so I picked up some of those too. If I had stuck to my list I would have missed these specials and bought full price items instead. While I’m not advocating buying in bulk whatever is on sale – if you have an open mind, explore a little, you’ll be surprised how much you can save on your grocery bill for things you like. I kind of like the fun of the hunt and then figuring out what interesting meals I can have for the week.
4. Pack your lunch! I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know here. Packing costs less, you get to control your portion size and often times it’s much healthier. If the idea of packing makes you groan- try to figure out why that is? Are you not excited about what you pack, is it the process of planning ahead or do you miss the social aspect of going out? Well I have a solution for all of these ‘groans’! What are your favorite foods? What haven’t you had in a while? Cook up a batch of your favorite chicken parmesan and vegetables for example and portion it out for several days. (And of course I’m assuming you took advantage of the cheap chicken and veggies that were on sale!) If every day you pack the same boring sandwich – then yes packing would be a groan. Try salads, soups, casserole leftovers – get creative with what you bring in. Invite your colleagues to join you for a packed luncheon. Be the one that starts the tradition of eating together, share suggestions on what to pack and use this as your social time. It’s hard to eat a decent, healthy lunch out for less than $12 but you could pack your lunch for only a few bucks a meal- that’s almost enough savings for one private session a week!!
5. Soda/Tea/Coffee/Beverage- How many soft drinks or teas or other purchased beverages are you drinking each day? At around $2 each if you are having 2 a day -that’s $120 a month or approximately 2 training sessions. If giving up your favorite beverage does not seem doable- how about cutting your consumption in half and substituting water. You body will thank you and so will your wallet. I gave up pop a year ago, and I’ll admit it was not easy at first but now I don’t miss it all.
6. Bottled Water- Are you still buying bottled water to drink at home? Stop! Spend the $20 or so dollars for a Brita or Pur pitcher or faucet mount and save yourself the money as well as the hassle of lugging heavy cases of water home. The environment will thank you. If you are like me and drink water throughout the day- find a cute reusable bottle for a few bucks and tote that around with you. Not only will you look stylish with your fun bottle, you’ll look smart, money savvy and like a friend of the planet. (yes this one does have an initial expense – but it will pay off)
7. Shopping- I’d be a hypocrite if I told you to stop shopping. But… if you keep looking for and buying clothes to hide your problem areas… maybe it’s time to fix the problem and save the shopping until you can buy something you feel great wearing. Could you skip one outfit purchase a month and replace that with a training session or two?
8. Cell phone plan- when was the last time you looked at your cell phone plan? By default most companies will put you in the most common minute or data groups. Look at your usage – do you really need that much data and do you have minutes to spare each month? Just last month I realized I could change my data plan and save $20 a month. I’m not using my phone any less nor do I need to worry about going over- I was just set up in a much larger plan than I needed. Also, if you work for medium to large size company- chances are they have a deal with your provider to offer discounts to employees. Are you taking advantage of that? My last employer saved me 18% a month on my bill and all I had to do was show my ID bag at the phone store. It’s worth looking in to!
9. Heating and Cooling Bills – Do you go to work each day leaving your home alone and empty for many hours? Is the thermostat set at 70 or more all day while you aren’t even there to enjoy the heat or coolness in the summer? I highly recommend programmable thermostats – not very expense or difficult to install and proven money savers. But if you don’t want to go to the extent of changing your thermostat – try bumping it down 4 degrees or so before you leave for work. Then bump it up when you return home. In the summer – do the opposite with the AC. We all know gas prices and electric prices keep going up – but you can take charge and lower your bills with a little effort. You’ll be surprised what a difference 4 degrees can make in your monthly bill.
10. Consigning Clothes- Do you have a closet full of clothes in all different sizes? The skinny jeans you hope to get into, the fat pants for bad days, and then there are those items that are so cute on the hanger but just never quite fit right or looked good on you. It’s time to do a purge. Anything that is decent, still stylish, and clean that you haven’t worn in quite some time, doesn’t fit or doesn’t fit right – take it to a consignment shop. Use the money you make from selling clothes you don’t wear to book your next training session! And anything not quite new enough for the consignment- take to Goodwill. Get a receipt – and take the deduction next time you do your taxes.
11. Gas- Buy gas mid week. Prices generally speaking go up on the weekend and especially holiday weekends. Buy gas on Tuesday or Wednesday and you’ll generally save several cents a gallon. Over time those pennies/gallon add up!
These are just a few suggestions on how you can cut your costs to make Personal Training or Pilates Reformer sessions more attainable. Some may work for you and others not so much. Get creative – think about what costs you could cut and how you can make your health and fitness more of a priority. You have one body and it has to last your whole life- you should treat it better than you do your car, favorite outfit or home!