“New year, new you” is the slogan heard ‘round the world once the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. It’s the signal for thousands of people to set new personal goals and resolutions for the upcoming year.
Unfortunately, our bank accounts don’t participate in the “new year, new you” craze, and working towards new resolutions can quickly add stress to our normal budget. Here are some tips for staying on budget with some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions.
Budgeting for fitness and health
After a holiday season full of parties, desserts, and heavy dinners, the first thing on many people’s minds is slimming down, toning up, and focusing on their personal wellness.
Achieving various health goals is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, and many turn to expensive gym memberships, diet programs, and other “quick fix” health products. However, you can save money on your fitness goals by considering other alternatives.
If you want to save money on a gym membership, consider a fitness app that focuses on at-home workouts. Fitness apps have more flexibility than the gym as you can do the workouts relatively anywhere on your own time - for free. There are many different workout apps that target different goals. If you aren’t into being coached by your phone, running outdoors is a more traditional, frugal way to burn calories.
Instead of getting suckered into a flashy diet program that promises fast results, take the time to look into healthy recipes that you can make on your own. Making your own food is almost always less expensive than a pre-designed program. Also, creating your own menu and diet plan can better enforce long-lasting healthy habits.
If you’re looking for new health products to improve your complexion, hair loss, or even your sex drive, don’t waste your time going through expensive vitamins and supplements that promise quick results. Instead, look into telemedicine services that offer generic medications that can treat whatever your problem area is. Telemedicine is an increasingly popular frugal, easy alternative to visits to the doctor’s office, and the generic prescriptions are often cheaper than what you’d get at a pharmacy.
Budgeting for travel
Travel goals are another popular resolution as people look ahead at the year’s potential for new experiences. The obvious problem is that travel can be pricier than any of the previously discussed goals. But don’t worry - you can travel without killing your budget.
For example, at-home staycations can give you the opportunity to explore your city or town in ways you don’t normally get the chance to, and you’ll be saving on hotel and transportation costs. Camping is another frugal way to go on vacation without breaking the bank. If you’re not a fan of the outdoors, there are affordable cabins or RV rentals that are great alternatives.
For trips outside of your hometown, the trick is to plan months ahead of time. Generally, you’ll be able to find cheaper flights and hotel accommodations if you plan far in advance, and it also gives you the chance to put money aside for the upcoming trip.