Are the benefits to your body hurting your bank account? Working out is a smart thing to do for your health, but it can be costly.
Maybe you’re the type of person who spends 5 figures a year on your workout. Or maybe you can’t resist a cute new workout top whenever you spot one. Whatever the case, you’re here because you think you might be spending a little bit too much.
First up – we’ll figure how much you should be spending. Then, it’s time to figure out how to reduce that amount (if necessary) to something more manageable, without hurting your fitness routine.
How much should you be spending on your workout?
Americans spend an average of $55 a month for a gym membership, but depending on gym perks and where you live, that number can be less or way, way more. Adding on specialty classes like barre or yoga can boost your spending way up, with classes coming out to $35 a pop. Making those costs worse, 67% of people are paying for gym memberships and not even using it regularly.
Assuming you’re actually exercising, there is no exact amount that you should be spending on your workout. The cost of workout routines, machines, and equipment are different depending on your preferred method of exercise. For example, a runner will spend a lot less than others.
To figure out how much you should be spending on your workout, you need to calculate whether it fits into your overall budget.
Let’s say you’re following a 50/30/20 budget (which I highly recommend, and if you’re not already following this budget, check it out). This budget breaks up your take home pay into 3 segments – 50% are your monthly fixed costs, 30% are financial goals and savings, and 20% is flexible spending.
For your exercise budget, this means that any fixed monthly payments, like a monthly gym payment, should fit within your 50% fixed costs. Extra workout expenses, like standalone classes and new equipment, fall under the 20% flexible spending category. Be wary that this 20% of your budget also includes groceries, eating out, and other hobbies, so budget accordingly!
How much should you be spending on workout clothes?
With big designers putting out athletic wear lines and brands like lululemon putting out cute but pricey clothes, it’s easy to start spending too much on fitness clothes.
To decide how much you should be spending on the clothes portion of your workout, let’s once again take a look at your budget using the 50/30/20 example. Workout clothes and accessories should come out of the 20% flexible spending portion of your take home pay.
I like following this budget because it means that if you decide you want to spend a little extra on a new item, you can. It just means that if you splurge on one item you need to save in other areas, by bringing lunch to work for the week instead of eating out, for example.
Is spending a lot of money on my workout worth it?
If your workout spend fits within your budget but you are still wondering if you’re spending too much, the question you’re having may be whether that spend is worth it.
Because health is so important, I think that if spending a large sum of money of your workouts helps you stick to it and it isn’t causing you any harm financially, keep on as is.
For your workout clothes, spending a lot on a single item can be worth it – it just depends on what you’re spending it on. Items like high quality shoes, pants, and sports bras can be a worthy investment if it means they last longer and improve your workout. On the other hand, items like tops and socks can be bought cheaply. It’s all a matter of knowing where to splurge and where to save.
How can I save money on my workouts?
If you follow our advice and find that your workout isn’t fitting into your budget, it’s time to make some major changes – or risk sacrificing your finances to your physique.
Saving money on your workouts doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re willing to make some changes. The first, but not always obvious, way is to consider no-cost exercises. If you like to run, head to a park or running trail and get your cardio on for free. There are a ton of free workout videos on YouTube that you can do in your living room. The only cost to you are a pair of shoes and some comfy clothes.
If you want to eliminate your monthly gym membership but miss the equipment, buy it yourself. Invest in a few workout basics like weights, a kettlebell, or resistance bands and use those at home. They will pay for themselves in no time.
If you don’t want to give up the gym, try finding a less expensive location, or ask if your current gym is running any specials. Sometimes, if you let them know you’re considering changing gyms, they may give you a discount to keep your business.
If you need equipment, check out second hand sports stores. You can find barely used items for great prices.
We hope these tips help you stay fit, physically and financially. Do you have any other tips for saving money on workouts? Let us know in the comments below!