No money, more problems!
Wanting to make health and fitness the center of your life comes with some burdens. Especially if you have student loan/credit card debt, a savings to build, bills to pay and mouths to feed – including yourself. It looks impossible to eat well and feel motivated when you are financially not at your best.
If you are in my current situation, how can it be possible to work towards your health and fitness goals and have enough money to handle all your other obligations?
Yes. New gym shoes, gym clothes, the latest accessories/supplements, all non GMO/organic foods are a blessing, but not at all necessary to lead a healthy and fit life.
I’ve personally been using the fact that I can’t afford something as a reason to complain about it, but now challenging myself to change my mindset about it.
For example, I would absolutely love proper weightlifting shoes right now. Im not a very balanced person naturally and I’ve had injuries to my lower extremities that I don’t want to aggravate further. Right now, I do not have the luxury of buying these new shoes so I’ve been making excuses as to why I can’t focus on lower body movements as much.
I’m pushing my ego to the side and instead of complaining endlessly found a solution. Lifting barefoot or in socks (I prefer socks) is an option if you are not comfortable in your current shoes and you know what? Still gets the job done ✔️
Amount spent: $0
I could spend whatever money I have coming in for these powerlifting shoes I want and I believe that one day I will have the luxury to, but I have bigger priorities than shoes at this time in my life. Period.
Your girl can often be found complaining about a need for certain things to reach my health and fitness goals but they are in all honesty just wants. These wants are not necessities to lead the life I desire and shouldn’t be your excuse either.
Here are some of my tips to combat this want vs need mindset when it comes to health and fitness.
1. You can’t compare someone’s middle to your beginning.
Remind yourself that some people are in a better position financially to splurge on health and fitness items. You will not be in your financial position forever and should take care of your obligations above all else.
2. Be okay with being basic.
Being basic or minimal equates to being mindful, which is a great trait to practice. Be mindful of what you do have to get you started and come up with a list of the basic things you need to maintain the healthy and fit life you want. Keyword here is need. Do you need Lululemon workout leggings? No. Do you need a sports bra? Yes
For example, If you have just one sports bra you can stretch it for the week. I wear one bra a limited 2-3 times in a row by using my handy Febreze Fabric Refresher to kill odors and hang it in my closet in between wears. I’m thankful I have enough bras to cycle through but if you don’t, hand-wash and hang for the next workout. You don’t need Victoria’s Secret either. Thrift around and check out discount stores if you must get started! This goes for clothes and shoes.
3. Speaking of clothes and shoes, work with what you have.
If you already have a small workout wardrobe work with it! This is my current situation and I sometimes get frustrated with being limited, but then immediately become thankful that I even have workout clothes!
4. Quality over Quantity.
I believe if you are going to put your hard earned cash towards something that it should scream good quality. I find this especially true for workout gear. I personally love sticking to branded clothes since they can survive thousands of washes and still look new. I can’t say that for the few items I bought because it was a “steal” compared to that Nike brand. I rather have 3 pairs of Nike shorts that will get me through 3 years than 15 pairs of shorts with cheaper material that will get me through 3 months. Stretch the material multiple times in the store and look at the seams. Trust your gut on this one and save yourself a lot of money!
5. Organic/Non GMO is ideal but spending $300 extra a month on these products is not!
I wish! If you are constantly ballin’ on a budget like me, know that it’s okay to eat those regular fruits instead of the organic ones! You are making a healthy choice regardless and as long as you have the knowledge as to why organic is more ideal you are ahead of the game anyway. Pick and choose what items you will absolutely always purchase no questions asked organic/non GMO and be okay with that decision. You have to do the best you can with the other options.
For example, I personally never buy famed raised fish even if it’s on sale. I’ll wait for a deal on wild caught. You may know the difference between the two and still buy farm raised, but prefer to always buy organic fruits – this does not make you a bad person!
6. Meal plan.
Know what your grocery list is going to be and stick to it. What you buy should only be for your meals for the week, nothing more or less. That way you eat all your meals and don’t waste a ton of money throwing old food away! (This was me all last year! Ugh!)
7. Know your why.
Why is your health and fitness goals important to you? When you know your reason for making your health and fitness a priority, it gets easier to stay on track when finances get tough.
8. Ask for health and fitness wants/needs as gifts.
Instead of asking for that new purse, maybe you could ask for the latest fitness tracker or some gym gear? Use this to your advantage to get some of the health and fitness items you’ve been wanting for a while for the low price of free.
9. The gym membership dilemma.
If money is really tight and you have a health and fitness center at your apartment why not use it? I didn’t use this to my advantage in the past and wish I did. Does your college/university offer free/discounts to fitness centers? Can you get a discount through your job? Can you take advantage of someone else’s gym membership? If none of the above applies to you how important is going to a gym setting to you?
Try look into prices in your area and decide what works for your budget. I personally go to LA Fitness and I make this work in my budget no excuses. I love that I can travel to multiple clubs in different cities so I pay for that convenience. I am looking into a cheaper gym at the moment but trying to asses what that would mean to me since that gym is much more limited. If gym memberships are not an option for you, have you considered at home/outside workouts? YouTube will be your new friend if it isn’t already.
10. Figure out your side hustle.
I’m currently looking into Uber among other things but dive deeper into what talents or services you can share with the world that will bring in an additional income. I believe everyone should spend some times finding reliable side hustles because you can become more flexible in your spending and use the extra money either towards your obligations or your lifestyle goals.
Being a 20 something millennial fresh out of college, going back to school next year, with no financial support from parents is a challenge to say the least, but living proof you can continue to work on your health and fitness goals with little to no money! Hope you enjoyed my tips! If you have any additional advice please share and leave a comment. Until next time.