How working out has helped my finances out a little

Granted I’m paying the gym but I’m pretty sure that I’m also only roughly paying a dollar a visit.  I figure this because I typically go 5 times a week and I pay $20 a month it.  (5 times a week x 4 weeks=20)  So I’m happy with it.  I’ve also noticed how going really impacts my life in other ways.

First way, my grocery bill is lower.  How you ask? I’m just not into all the junk food that I was.  Don’t get me wrong, I still eat it from time to time but I’m not constantly reaching for it.  Instead, I try to grab a piece of fruit or something else that’s healthier.   Isn’t health food more expensive you ask? (And if you didn’t I’m pretending you did) Sometimes yes but when I look at it in the long run, I’m buying less of the junk food and am making up for the increased cost by having it around a little longer—both healthy snacks and the regular junk food lasts longer.  Why? Not eating as much of the junk food and I fill up on less healthy food then on the junk food.  (And yes, I was complaining about not being able to stick to a grocery budget but the food portion has gone down lower and we’re doing a lot better on this)

Second way, I eat less.  Which definitely helps me with the grocery bill but it also helps me when we go out to eat.  I will generally go for the half sized portion or order the whole portion but put half of it away for lunch the next day.  This helps keep my grocery bill lower because I haven’t really had to buy things to make lunches with. And of course as I usually really enjoy what I had the previous night (whether at home or dining out), I get to have that yummy goodness the next day.  I don’t know if it’s weird that I eat less but I do.

Third way, no soda.  I’ve been sticking with water, tea or juices instead of that sugary goodness that was soda for  a little over a month now.  Even though I buy those things when I go grocery shopping, I used to buy them plus soda.  And let’s not even think about going out to eat and ordering a soda with my meal.  (I also disliked the fact that some restaurants don’t offer free refills and as I didn’t actually order my soda from the drink menu I didn’t see that disclaimer)  Now I just order water with lemon.  Even when I was drinking the diet stuff, it still had artificial sweetener.

Fourth way, less sickly.  I have noticed that since I’ve been working out I get sick a lot less.  And when I do get sick I tend to recover faster than when I didn’t work out.  Case in point? When the first wisdom tooth was pulled, I didn’t eat solid food for a few days.  When the last three were pulled, I was eating solid food the next day practically.  So I’m spending less money on cold medicine which isn’t really cheap to begin with.

Fifth way, less alcohol.  I generally don’t drink all that much.  I hate having to count the liquid calories as it just seems wasteful to me but I’m too honest to not count them.  In fact, the last time I had a drink was sometime in May and I didn’t enjoy it all that much.   I went out with some work people the other night (without having to spend money!) as a way to network and stuck with ice water.  I had a clear head and enjoyed myself immensely.   And alcohol is expensive!  I typically will buy what I want and just have it on hand as it will last a lot longer.  (Did you check out Daisy’s post on how to save money this summer by the way? Go do so if you haven’t!)

There you have it.  5 ways that working out has helped my finances.  Does working out help your finances too? If so share below!

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27 Comments on “How working out has helped my finances out a little”

  1. Michelle says:

    I’ve been eating healthier and that has definitely helped my food budget. I have no need to want to buy all of the junk food when I’m grocery shopping.

    • bogofdebt says:

      The only bad thing is I still buy more than I would like. But the guy doesn’t eat as healthy as I do so he gets a snack budget. And we plan on getting Insanity so I know that the snack food will just go more down.

  2. Is this actually due to a weight loss/increased fitness effort? Or is it directly due to increased awareness of diet due to how it affects your workouts?

    I think I spent more money when I cleaned up my eating because I cut out the cheap carbs and bought more meat, alternate grains, and fats. Worth it for sure.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Half and half I’d say. It was the awarness of how my diet was affecting my workout because the greasy stuff would make me feel sick before a workout or just after one. I’d grab a piece of fruit for a prework out snack rather than a handful of chips. And after a while, I just stopped wanting all of the junk that I used to eat. I’d just naturally start reaching for healthy stuff because it makes me feel better. I’ll still have it on occasion but no where as much as I did before. It can take me a day or two to eat a candy bar.

  3. You definately don’t want to ruin all your hard work at the gym by having a beer and burger after! People say eating healthy is expensive, they really need to compare the cost of a banana and a chocolate bar!

    • bogofdebt says:

      So true! Like I said, my alcohol consumption has gone down so much. I’ll still eat burgers but we tend to make them at home and grill them. I ate at the bar the other day when we went out to network and wished I would have waited. My stomach hurt the entire night.

  4. Junk food is ONLY cheaper in the short term. Keep that in mind when you spend $15 on produce!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I think too many people only look at the short term. They think ” I can buy this bag of chips for $2 or I can buy that bag of oranges for $5. Wow the chips are the best deal.” But my oranges last longer and make me feel a lot fuller by eating less.

  5. Totally agree with every single point! I am the same exact way. I got my 24 hour membership for $300 for 2 years, and it comes out to $12.50 a month. I take classes and go 5x a week so it more than paid itself off.

    The other benefits that come with going to the gym are priceless (like what you wrote) and also the endorphins and happiness you get from going is the best!!!!

    • bogofdebt says:

      I get so crabby when I don’t go to the gym. Or at least do a work out. I think that is why the traveling was so rough on me last week. No work outs because I forgot to bring an exercise dvd and the gym was full every time I went.

  6. Modest Money says:

    I still haven’t given in and got a gym membership, but I have been working out at home and trying to get other exercise. Hopefully when my schedule is a little less full I’ll start doing the gym thing too. The increased exercise has definitely led to healthier eating. Like Emily though, I think the healthier eating has increased my spending on food. It’s pretty tough for a healthy meal to be cheaper than macaroni & cheese . Or swapping cow’s milk for almond or coconut milk is more expensive. Same thing with going for organic foods. Ultimately though I feel a lot better, physically and mentally. That you just can’t put a price on.

    • bogofdebt says:

      See my grocery bill went down once I stopped buying so much junk. Or I could just be tracking better I guess? That and I throw out less produce because I’m actually eating it now.

      Working out at home is fun. I used to do dvds but I really like to run and I don’t always have time to run outside before its too hot or cold. So they gym at least offers a treadmill that I can use.

  7. It is sort of true: Working out does scientifically decrease your appetite but only in the short run. I recommend the following article: http://articles.boston.com/2008-11-10/news/29268439_1_exercise-program-calorie-restriction-regular-exercise
    Or else just search the question: does exercise decrease appetite?
    Personally I find that after a run or the gym my appetite has gone down, furthermore you naturally drink more water which fills you up even further.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Yes, every time I increase my running I drink a lot more and therefore get full a lot easier. The weird thing is that for a little bit my appetite will increase but after working out for awhile, it decreases. (And I mean a lenght of time I’ve been working out like “I have worked out for 3 weeks and my appetite went up the first few days but dropped drastically afterwards”)

  8. lkrant says:

    You’re right I see the connection. Being naturally frugal, I even gave up the gym membership. I set up a at home gym, complete with weights, cage, bench, treadmill. In addition, I ride a bike and walk too.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Right now I’m on a family plan but it ends in October. At that point we’re going to see if we all still want it. (I’m actually getting a treadmill for my birthday most likely so that will play a huge part in the decision obviously) Since I’m only paying $1everytime I go it doesn’t really bother me.

  9. Congrats on the progress. I cutting out soda is both a huge cost saver and great for your health too. I’d started buying some healthier food so my bill has gone up a bit because I’m just replacing bad food w/ good for you food.

    • bogofdebt says:

      Thank you! I don’t even really miss the soda. Now when I crave a sweet drink, I turn most often to tea that I made myself–I know exactly how much sugar is in it and it’s extremely cheap to make. After a while, my grocery bill went down as I took of more and more junk food.

  10. […] Modest Money gives us some great advice in Leaving Your Heart Out Of Financial Decisions. Bog Of Debt talks about How working out has helped my finances out a little. […]

  11. I haven’t had a membership in a while, but it definitely saved me money paying for one. I usually worked out on my lunch break at work and doing so kept me from spending far more money eating out.

    • bogofdebt says:

      That’s what I usually do is work out on my lunch breaks. It keeps me from eating out at lunch like you said but it also really helps to break up my day. Especially if I have a tough project or something–gives me time away from it and lets me work out my frustrations 😉

  12. All that is definitely great! I think the bigger picture is even more important. It’s the chronic disease and other problems that occur as you age, and the large medical costs that come as a result of that. I’d like to add one more thing to the list. It helps with stress, and when you’re stressful, you (or I should say me) tend to spend more on things that I don’t need…something to fulfill me in the short term. Exercising keeps me preoccupied with a healthy activity to fill my time as well.

  13. When I was working out more, I felt I definitely didn’t worry about my finances as much probably because I was just more focused, energized, and happy when I was working out. All the more reason why I need to get back to working out again!

  14. belowhermeans says:

    I’ve noticed that I eat far better (more healthfully) and less in terms of portion size after I work out in the morning. Don’t want to waste all the torture I went through! 🙂


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