How to Reduce the Cost of Expensive, Health-conscious Resolutions

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It is proving to be a difficult year so far, as the pandemic rages on and the number of Covid cases skyrockets. In the midst of all the crises and chaos – which for many to include financial instability – the last thing each of us faces is forking out cash for, of all things, our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, so many of the NYE’s popular promises, such as the wish to be in good physical health, can have hidden costs.

But changing your life for the better doesn’t have to cost a lot, if at all. As tempting as it is to spend money on a new gym membership or a slew of meditation apps, it’s smarter to consider other ways to restart your health, both physical and mental. .

Here’s a look at some common health-focused resolutions that can get pretty expensive pretty quickly, along with some expert advice on how to accomplish the same goal for less, if not for free.

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Join a gym

“Going to the gym, losing a few pounds or getting in shape is the most fashionable and popular,” said Andrew Lokenauth, educator and personal finance advisor. “On a monthly basis, a basic gym can run as little as $ 10 per month / $ 120 per year or up to over $ 200 per month / $ 2,500 per year. You can save money and cut expenses by exercising at home instead of paying a gym membership.

Lokenauth added that despite the high cost of gym memberships, most people don’t go often enough to justify the expense. For many, it makes more sense to take advantage of free apps and websites that provide ideas and plans for home workouts like cardio, HIIT, Swedish gymnastics, or light weights.

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Start to meditate

“Apps are one of the most common methods (for meditation), but they can be a costly investment if you want access to all the features,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com. “Headspace and Calm are two of the most popular apps, with Headspace costing $ 12.99 per month or $ 69.99 per year. Calm also costs $ 69.99 per year, but you can purchase a lifetime subscription for $ 399.99.

“A cheaper alternative is the Buddhify app, which costs just $ 30 per year and focuses on guided meditations designed for people on the go.”

Keep in mind that all of these apps have free versions as well – you just get more features with the paid versions, and you can get free trials for the paid versions as well.

Eat healthier

“Often times those looking to make health-based resolutions do so around better eating, but switching from buying convenience foods to healthier options can dramatically change your grocery budget. “said Ramhold. “However, you’ll save on things like fresh produce by shopping in the right places – so head to standard grocery stores rather than fancy markets, for example.

“Buy at a farmers market if you are lucky enough to have access to it and, of course, make sure you only buy what you need. Don’t buy a ton of stuff just because it’s a good price if there’s a chance you end up having to throw some away because it’s gone.

Additional Tips: 16 Ways To Save Money On Food

Join a meal kit delivery service

“In your quest to improve your eating and healthy eating habits, signing up for a subscription box that delivers these foods to your door is an easy way to be successful, but it can also drain your bank account and keep you from dying. ” achieve other financial goals. you’re working at the same time, ”said Andrea Woroch, budgeting expert. “For example, Daily Harvest promises healthy meals delivered to your door, starting at $ 5.99 per item – not per meal, but per item! It can add up quickly.

Since the healthy menu choices posted on sites like Daily Harvest consist of staple fruits and vegetables that almost anyone can find in their local stores, Woroch pointed out that you can cook these meals yourself for a lot. cheaper.

“Since knowing what to cook is often the thing most people dread when it comes to preparing a meal,” Woroch said, “subscribe to a meal planning service like eMeals.com, where you can customize your plan by choosing your favorite foods or diets such as low carb, healthy eating, or keto.

“Then you’ll receive weekly meal plans that include your shopping list and recipes delivered to your inbox to help you reach your resolution for less. It only costs $ 4.99 per month when you sign up for one year after the initial two-week free trial.

Get a new job

Kristen J. Zavo, career coach and author of “Job Joy: Your Guide to Success, Meaning & Happiness in Your Career,” noted that getting a new job is a popular health-related resolution. It can be surprisingly expensive.

“Job seekers can invest in online networking platforms (for example, LinkedIn premium or an industry job site), industry associations, continuing education, CV rewrites and / or choose to work with an executive coach to find clarity, speed up their job search and develop leadership skills, ”Zavo said. “The investment for these services can range from hundreds to thousands”.

To sidestep or at least keep costs down, Zavo recommends that when it comes to networking and continuing education platforms, job seekers use all free features first. This includes taking advantage of free trials, which can range from a week to 30 days or more.

“Instead (or before) of investing in executive coaching and career support, find mentors who have not only achieved similar goals themselves, but have helped many others to do the same,” he said. Zavo said. “Follow them on social media, consume their free content, join their mailing list, read their book. From there, we can decide whether it makes sense to invest in more personalized and comprehensive support.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor and author based in Los Angeles, Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, The Atlantic, Vice and The New Yorker. She is a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, “Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray,” received rave reviews from Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and has been published in the US, UK, France and Russia – well let no one know what happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.

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