Give Me Back My Five Bucks

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Contemplating a gym membership (again)

Yesterday, as I contemplated signing up for a corporate gym membership, I got to thinking how much money I spend on fitness each year.

I haven’t paid for a gym membership before (when I was younger up until I was 22 or 23, I was a PacificSport athlete, so my gym fees were always taken care of). Once my sponsorship expired, I could never bring myself to pay for something I used to get for free.

Related: The cost of what you love to do

These days, I run, play field hockey, and go to the occasional spin or yoga class.

Field hockey
$70 annual insurance (mandatory)
$240 club fees
$80 club fees
$50 annual tournament
$100 miscellaneous (equipment, uniforms, etc)

$150 registration fees
$150 running shoes
$100 miscellaneous (clothing, accessories, etc)

With just field hockey and running alone, I’m spending approximately $940/year on fitness – that’s $78/month!

If I add in a gym membership ($51.85/month), I would be spending $130/month on fitness (maybe 2% of my gross monthly income). That seems a bit excessive, but at the same time, it’s what I love doing on a regular basis.

Related: a half marathon training update

Definitely something to think about – especially because the facility has everything that I love. There’s an indoor track, ice rinks, tennis & badminton courts, as well as a paddling centre! Drop-in sessions at a climbing gym are usually $18. To have unlimited access to a climbing wall would be a dream come true. Plus fitness classes at other facilities can range from $6-20 each (the ones at this facility are $16 each), and they’re included in my membership. AND if I could have access to an indoor field hockey (soccer) turf? That would be amazing.

There are ways I could cut back on other fitness expenses – like not playing on a second field hockey team (admittedly, being on 2 teams is a bit much). But everything else is pretty standard, and there’s not much more I can trim. There’s no time commitment to joining the gym, unless I want to pay for 12 months in advance, and get an additional 10% off. So I might just try it monthly and see how it goes.

How much do you spend on keeping fit each year?

Do you belong to a gym?

Bought a Breville Juicer!

Breville_JuicerLast night I bought what I have been wanting to buy for about a year: the Breville BJE510XL Juicer. I didn’t work it into my June budget, but I think it’s the right time to buy it. I’ve been wanting to do a juice cleanse for a few years now, but it’s hard to find the right time. Field hockey season doesn’t work because I can’t have any down time, which eliminates most of the year. And during the summer, it’s hard to avoid patio season and hanging out with friends.

But in a couple of weeks, I have to get a medical procedure done. This means I won’t be able to do any sort of exercise for one week, and I’ll have to take it pretty easy for 2-3 weeks afterwards. I don’t know if that means I won’t be able to run for 3-4 weeks, but what I do know is that I have a one week window where I am required to do zero physical activity – perfect for a juice cleanse.

For the most part, juicing is not exactly a frugal thing to do. Even though I am saving money by not buying meat (yes, I am still a pescetarian!), the cost of fresh veggies definitely will add up. And it will be interesting to see just how much my grocery costs increase next month because of it. But the good news is, during the summer there’s plenty of cheaper veggies, so it will likely be less expensive than in the winter. :)

The juicer itself was expensive. I could have bought a cheaper brand, but I think when it comes to things like this, you get what you pay for. So I bought it for $199. There was a refurbished one available for $129-149, but about 30% of the comments I saw were about the juicer not working out of the box. I know a lot of PF bloggers say that refurbished products are fine, and I agree for the most part. But played it safe buying the new one after reading the refurbished reviews.

As for the cost, I felt a bit guilty making such a conscious decision to ruin my budget this month, so I picked up two one-off freelance writing gigs, and am currently contemplating another.

Those that have a juicer, or have done a juice cleanse before – I’m looking for advice. What are your favourite recipes? Do you have any tips for a beginner juicer?

How much do you spend on clothes each year?

This year, one of my goals is to spend some money on building a professional wardrobe. But I’ve noticed I tend to purchase items from fairly expensive stores like Banana Republic, J.Crew, and Anthropologie. I find the clothing looks better, lasts longer, and fits better. And that’s okay, I just need to realize that I likely won’t be able to buy as many things on my wish list as I want to.

Apparently we are supposed to keep our clothing budget to 5% of our overall spending. At least, that’s what Bridget said. And that seems reasonable. So I did a bit of calculating to see where I stand with my spending this year.

Aaaaaaand wow. My clothing budget represents 14% ($1,226.14) of my discretionary spending so far in 2013. Or 3.5% of my gross annual income to date. Yikes.

That’s actually a lot higher than I thought it would be. But I bought a suit, and significantly upgraded my work wardrobe. So it’s not like I have no idea what I’ve been spending my money on. Still. It’s pretty eye opening when you calculate the numbers.


Which basically means I’m putting myself on a clothing shopping ban. You may recall I put myself on a clothing shopping ban for the year of 2011. Well, I’m going to do the same thing, except I’m imposing this ban until the end of September. That’s 3.5 months without buying any clothing. I can probably do it until the end of the year, but I’ll take it baby steps at a time. :)

Oh, and I’ll still be allowed to alter and repair the clothing that I currently own – because the suit that I bought earlier this year? It’s too big for me now. :| Which is great because it means I’ve lost a bit of weight, but bad because that’s a brand new suit! I’ll have to get both the pants and blazer taken in.

How much money do you spend on clothing each year?

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