This is kind of weird to talk about, but one of my best budgeting methods is simply going to the gym. I pay monthly for a membership and it keeps me busy 3-5 days a week. That’s 3-5 days where I’m not out spending money on other things.
Full disclosure, I pay $65 per month for an awesome gym with tons of great classes in NYC, so while it’s not the cheapest option, it’s certainly worth it. It fits nicely into my monthly budget, especially for the amount of use I get out of it. Plus, considering I’ll average around 14-16 visits per month, that breaks out to less than $5 a visit!
Let me lay it out for you. My fiance and I work long hours five full days a week. Once we get home from work, we could go out to eat, go out to drink, or even go out to do some sort of activity (it’s New York City, after all). But instead, we go to the gym together. Our memberships are already paid for, so it’s essentially “free” each time we go. By doing this instead of being tempted to go out and spend money, we end up saving a lot of money during the week.
Even better, this is a positive habit. Working out releases endorphins, works off stress from the workday, and keeps us healthy. Basically, both our wallets and our waists stay fit. It’s a total win-win.
Maybe the park is your gym. Or the public pool. Or even the library (for more of a mental workout). What I’m trying to say is, there are a ton of free things to do after work and on the weekend that keep your body and soul in shape. By turning to one of these places, you’re much less likely to go out on a spending spree. And each day you save is more money in your account.
I recommending find your own “gym” and making it work for you and your budget.