According to a thousand people surveyed about their 2017 New Year’s resolutions, the #1 thing they want to do this year is be a better person.
Yep, that’s right. For those of you who were thinking about trying to lose weight in 2017 or maybe bulking up your emergency fund, guess what? Self-obsessed resolutions are so 2016.
But while you’re building your empathy, honesty and patience with others, there are probably still a few things you want to accomplish for yourself. And if you want to actually stick to those goals this year, you should probably consider (and plan for) the costs.
That’s right, the costs.
It (often) takes money to keep your New Year’s resolutions. If you don’t make a plan for affording those added expenses, you’re basically betting against yourself.
Today I’m going to take three of the most common New Year’s resolutions and break down how much each one will cost you (or earn you!), so you can build those considerations into your $$$ plan and and support your successful resolution follow through in 2017….
If you picked weight loss as your top goal for 2017, you’re definitely not alone. Losing weight is almost always in the top three resolutions nationally.
Let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds at the rate of 1 pound a week. If you kickoff in January, you’ll be at your goal weight in May.
But how much will it cost you?
Every year, Americans spend over $60 billion on weight loss – from gym memberships to diet programs to special foods and supplements.
Depending on your approach, keeping your weight loss resolution can cost you anywhere from zero to thousands of dollars.
Old fashioned eat smarter / exercise more | $0
The weight loss industry doesn’t want you to realize this, but it’s true – losing weight can be cheap and even end up saving you money.
If you spend the next five months cutting out sweets and alcohol, dusting off your sneakers and training for a 10K, and cutting your eating out in half, you’ll lose the weight and save anywhere from $100 – $1,000. Win. Win.
Join a gym | $290
We’ve all done that frustrating gym cycle before, haven’t we? I certainly have. Where I sign up full of good intentions and have a wonderful week (or month) of consistent working out, followed by months (and months and months) of procrastination and money waste.
With the average cost of a gym membership at $58, make sure you’re going to be visiting the gym at least 8 times a month before signing up.
Savings tips: check Groupon for gym deals or sign up for a community college workout class and get access to their full gym.
I personally use a combination of running in Central Park (free) and ClassPass – which is totally a splurge, but one that I build into my budget because, priorities.
Sign up for a program | $215 – $2000+
If you decide to join a weight loss program like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, you could get the motivation you need to get to your goal…and spend a fair amount of money.
Weight Watchers is the cheapest option, with an online plan for $19 a month and an in-person plan for $43. Jenny Craig is similarly priced for membership fees but their members spend an average of $100 a week on “approved” meals.
So besides being frustrating and sometimes insanely difficult, losing weight can be crazy expensive.
But if you do lose the weight and manage to keep it off? The savings, from your grocery bill to your medical bills, could be even bigger!
Saving More Money
By now, you’ve probably read that much-discussed statistic: 47% of Americans don’t have $400 in case of an emergency expense.
If you’re one of the 47%, you probably are hoping to save more money in 2017. At least I hope you are.
The best part about saving money? It’s free and it’s easy to get started.
Remember, saving a thousand dollars is just saving $10 a hundred times.
I know it’s easier said than done, so if you need an added dose of accountability to meet your money goals this year join us for the FREE Cash Confidence Challenge!
Being healthy is another one of those goals that can save you thousands. Sure, it can cost a lot too (see: “The Cost of Losing Weight”), but here are some of the top ways that becoming healthier 2017 can actually help your bank account:
- Cooking at home. A food editor at Refinery29 did a two-week experiment where she only ate food that she prepared herself…and estimates that she saved $200! That’s almost $5K a year!
- Cutting out alcohol. If you’re drinking an average of 7 drinks a week at $7 a drink, you’re spending $196 a month. Cut your drinking in half and you have an extra $1,176 in your savings by 2018.
- Giving up cigarettes. The American Cancer Society estimates that every pack of cigarettes is costing you $40+ when you factor in health-related costs. Ditching the smoking habit can save you BIG time.
Obviously money isn’t the only factor when you’re thinking about the changes you want to make in the New Year. But…
If you can’t afford the change you want, it probably won’t happen.Click To Tweet
So when you’re picking your New Year’s resolutions, think about how much money you actually want to invest in sticking to your goals.
Or, even better, think about ways that your New Year’s resolutions could help you save money!