In this community, we are all about optimization. We are looking for areas to cut and areas that we can “DIY” that it almost becomes addictive to see what we can accomplish with YouTube or other resources. Is there a point where we become too frugal with our health and wellness? This post will look into both arguments and leave it for you to decide where you stand on the spectrum.
Frugal Health Argument
Health and wellness is just like every other aspect in life, the more you are intentional and educated, the more you are able to do things on your own. The cost of a personal trainer, gym membership or app based program is not worth it when you have the ability to perform all of these things for free in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a spare room, a few resistance bands and a TV or laptop to pull up YouTube. Why would I spend money on something I can do on my own and get the same results?
As a person on the FI (Financial Independence) path, I am very self-motivated and have the ability to apply this in many areas of my life. I can buy a cheap pair of running shoes to improve my cardio and I bought some resistance bands at a garage sale to help with strength training. YouTube has many yoga and bodyweight training videos that I am able to perform at my house and I get a great workout with these. I’m not looking to compete in body building or a professional sport so all I want is to live a long and healthy life. This can be accomplished in the comfort of my own home and I don’t have to bother seeing others while sweating and struggling to breath.
A one-time cost of $10-15 is best for me and I can do some research on my own to continue to challenge myself over time. Replacing a few bands every few years is worth the cost over “borrowing” some weights at a big box gym. #Frugalfitness #Frugalwin #FIlife
Non-Frugal Health Argument
Who has time to work out? Who has the interest to learn how to punish and torture yourself every day. I just don’t have the interest in that. I would rather spend the money to not have the equipment sit in a room in my house and collect dust. The cost vs use analysis tells me that having the space in my house for something else that gets used is well worth the cost of the gym membership.
Now how do I get the most out of my gym membership? I HAVE to have someone counting on me to be there. I paid for a few classes and made a few friends that are on the same workout level as me and now they call or message me asking if I’m going to the workout. I feel just enough pressure to continue to go and push myself to get better. When my friends don’t push me, the Personal Trainer is well worth the cost. I would never be able to figure out how to do the things that they teach me. The few things that I had been doing on my own, I was performing incorrectly (hurting my knee!). Working with them has not only helped me perform simple exercises without pain, but they continue to progress and push me to limits I never knew were possible. Who knew I could squat or deadlift!
The fact that I don’t have to think about what I am going to do for a workout has been the best use of mental space I could ask for. I look to spend my money intentionally as I continue on the FI path, but this is some of the best money I spend outside of food and shelter! Not to mention, the friends I have made that now come play board games and have a few glasses of wine on the weekends. Well worth the physical and social benefits I receive. #Frugalfitness #Frugalwin #FIlife
Obviously these perspectives are very different but one may resonate more with you than the other. Most of us probably fall somewhere in the middle of these two “arguments”. This is not to say that one is right or better than the other, just to illustrate that you can have two very different views on physical health and be able to accomplish your goals. Hopefully this gets you to think of where you align on this spectrum and what you are able to do and still accomplish your financial and health goals this year. Either way you achieve it, just make sure you continue to put your heath near the top of your list and not cut it out on your path to FI.