Getting Fit on a Budget
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Getting Fit on a Budget

Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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I’ve been working on getting in shape this summer, and have found myself spending more money on it than I would like. For example, the other day I was feeling unmotivated to go for a run, so I went to the store and bought myself some new running shoes, hoping to spur some motivation in the process. Sure enough, $60 later I went on a run. After spending way too much money on work-out accessories to get myself pumped up, I decided I needed to start looking at ways to get fit on a budget.

Saving on Fitness Apparel

There’s all kinds of fancy (and expensive!) fitness apparel out there, some claims that you won’t sweat while others just try to make you look good while you’re dripping sweat and pumping iron. After spending a ton of money on fitness apparel, I came to the realization that all that really mattered was comfort. My advice to others is to grab a pack of T-shirt or tank tops (such as Hanes or Fruit of the Loom) and some old sleep shorts or yoga pants from around the house. If you don’t already have some comfy clothes around the house, check the thrift stores or outlet stores.

You can also save on fitness apparel using coupons! Search online for fitness apparel coupons.

Saving on Fitness Equipment

If don’t live near a gym, or don’t want to pay for a gym membership, then it’s nice to have some fitness equipment at home. You can find cardio machines for sale on Craigslist for far less than you would find them new. Or, better yet, you can find free trails to hike and run on or

For all other workout equipment, check for great deals and discounts.

Gym Memberships & Trainers

Gym memberships can be pricey, so make sure you comparison shop for the best price before selecting a gym to join. Also, be sure to read the fine print to avoid any unwanted contracts or fees. When I was looking for a gym to join, I had two choices in my area – one was $35 a month with no contract, the other was $50 a month with a year-long contract. Although the more expensive one was remodeled, had a pool, basketball courts, rock climbing, etc., the cheaper one had everything I needed. Also ask about special discounts for students, military, etc.

If you’re looking to save, but want a group to work out with, look for fitness classes at your local community college. Anyone can sign up for classes. My local community college offers fitness classes for everyone – yoga, spin, kickboxing, weight lifting, tennis, swimming, etc. for only $36 a semester. This is a great way to get in shape on a tight budget.

How do you save money on working out?

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.