Four Ways to Budget for Fitness Classes

People ask me often how to make time for daily fitness activities and how to afford a seemingly packed schedule of events. We have access to an endless amount of resources in NYC, but we may not be making the most out of what we have. When it comes to fitness, there is an activity for every budget or day-to-day schedule. The budgeting process starts with being honest about your current spending habits. As you become informed of the market conditions and creatively pursue your options, you can individualize a financial plan that supports your fitness goals. Many people go to the gym in hopes of reaching an aesthetic or physical goal, but do you have a financial goal associated with your wellness? Exercise releases the feel-good endorphins that bring us back to class, and budgeting releases the pressure that financial obligations place upon us. Aka it eliminates a source of stress so you can focus on what really matters- your health and wellness!


1. Discover Your Current Trends

What kind of activities do you normally partake in - yoga, spinning, running? Take a look at the last three months of your schedule. How many days of activity? How many days of rest? Decide what kind of variety you’d like to add or maintain, and plan out on a calendar what your “dream” month would look like. This means what how many classes or gym sessions you’d like to have to feel your absolute best - and I’ll tell you from experience that more does not necessarily mean better. Packages from different studios? ClassPass? Unlimited package from one studio? Drop in classes each week? Don’t look at the cost, just what level of activity you’d like to commit to. This planning exercise will help you narrow down options. 


2. Evaluate Worth in Terms of Dollars and Value

Now here’s where we start talking about money. What is the retail price of the class you enjoy? What is the max amount of classes you realistically take per month? The answers to those questions yields your average class spend. Depending on how many days a week you’d like to work out, see how all of the classes add up in dollars. Would you rather spend more for classes you really love, or do you have a dollar maximum cap? Is the unlimited membership price beyond your means but the drop in rate is affordable once a week or month? Would you rather pay for one premium spinning class instead of two basic yoga classes for the same price? Or the opposite? This step is where you find the happy balance between your dream schedule and your actual schedule, based upon cost. 


3. Know Your Options

Once you’ve determined the variety of your schedule and how much it actually costs, you can figure out how to make it happen. What is the most cost-effective way to attend the classes you enjoy? Does the studio have a special seasonal promotion, multiple class package deal, referral program, voucher, or community class? Is ClassPass a valuable option, or is there an incentive for booking directly with the studio, like booking during peak hours? There are also many free classes in the city, especially during the summertime.  Research all of the different ways you can be connected to your favorite studio, and you’ll be more likely to get there. 


4. Decide How to Manage 

Will you set a particular dollar amount for each month as your budget? Will this amount fluctuate from month to month? Is it a percentage of your paycheck? If fitness is an important part of your life, it should be a part of your expenses budget. Depending on how much your classes cost and how much they are worth to you, set up a plan that contributes to your physical and financial goals. Would buying a package be more cost-effective than buying several drop in classes? Should your month to month membership be on autopay so you don’t have to worry about not making the commitment? Choose a payment method and schedule that holds you accountable. 


Do do you have any budgeting tactics that allow you the freedom to take your favorite fitness classes without feeling strapped for cash? Join the conversation on Instagram @fitnicnyc !