I’m sure you’ve heard it all before…
According to a study by Statistic Brain, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
And it’s especially hard to make progress when you’re discouraged before you even begin.
For example, Women’s Health reports that getting in shape could cost you as much as $100 per session for in-person fitness training.
But fitness – especially in an era of social distancing – doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag.
Trainiac – an app in which coaches create a customized workout program just for you – costs about $50 per month…
You can take unlimited yoga, Pilates and fitness classes through a subscription to Glo for only $18 per month…
Beachbody on Demand costs $99 per year and offers more than 1,500 prerecorded workout classes and fitness and nutrition plans.
And most online fitness subscriptions offer a free trial period so you can decide whether it’s for you or not.
It’s worth it…
After all, staying in shape in retirement can help you avoid some of the most expensive and frightening medical emergencies seniors face today.
Which costs more – a $99 annual subscription to improve your balance and mobility, or outrageous hospital fees and physical therapy (and lifestyle changes) for injuries and complications due to a fall?
Often, in our efforts to “get the best deal” on our January convictions, we overlook how much it will cost us to not go after our goals.
Consider the following chart, for example.
Reduce stress: Rather than paying increased healthcare costs associated with stress, paying average healthcare costs and meditation app fees
Pay off debt: Rather than holding one month’s worth of credit card debt (average American’s month-to-month debt), paying it off in January
Make healthier choices: Rather than eating out (average frequency), making healthier choices while grocery shopping
Get more sleep: Rather than buying two lattes per day to maintain energy, purchasing a new queen mattress, bedding and melatonin
Quit drinking: Rather than drinking heavily to relieve stress (12 or more drinks per week) at $8 per drink, working out at Planet Fitness
Give up smoking: Rather than paying for one pack of cigarettes per week (including healthcare implications), purchasing nicotine patches
Shelling out for nicotine patches seems less expensive when a single pack of cigarettes – plus the healthcare implications it comes with – costs $40, according to the American Cancer Society.
With this mind, a $180 12-week supply of patches looks like a steal compared with the $480 you’d spend (factoring in future healthcare costs) smoking just one pack of cigarettes each of those weeks.
Or take an even more common New Year’s resolution: healthy eating, which gets a bad reputation for being expensive.
The real math may surprise you…
It costs $1.50 more daily to make healthier eating choices, according to a study published by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (And it’s true – this does add up.)
But that extra $1.50 per day to get fresh produce – or simply spring for whole-grain breads and cereals – looks small compared with the $24 the average person spends on eating out per day.
It may be easy to feel guilty for spending money on self-improvement after the notoriously expensive holidays – but resist the temptation.
Instead, consider your New Year’s resolution your first investment of 2021.
Your $13 per month meditation program subscription could have a financial benefit when it comes to your productivity – but even if it doesn’t, the physical and mental health benefits of managing stress and anxiety are unmeasurable.
Of course, it’s important to stick to a budget. (And making one can be a great New Year’s resolution!)
But also think carefully about what you can do to have a more productive and healthier (and, equally important, happier) 2021.
When you really do the math, you’ll see there’s no shame in redefining what constitutes a necessary expense. Your first investment in the new year will pay dividends for months to come.