Some folks may be starting out a new year with a resolution to get back in shape and I applaud you for the idea (I am skeptical about your chances, but that is just me). Be that as it may, what are the financial ramifications of this new healthy lifestyle you plan on living?
Specifically did you buy a new piece of exercise equipment to help with this transformation, or did you join a gym? Have you thought about how much you are paying per use for your exercise regimen? Sometimes we only think of the cost of purchasing the equipment, or the monthly gym subscription fee, but what if you look at it as a cost each time you use the service or machine? It might motivate you to stick with it, and with this in mind here is some simple math to show you your cost per use.
It’s pretty simple for a gym, assuming a $30 a month fee to just go in and use the equipment and to begin with you will go in 3 times a week, so that is about $2.50 per visit you end up paying. In later months when you find better rationalizations to not go to the gym that number might increase, and may end up being effectively infinite (if you divide $30 by ZERO visits, you end up with Infinity (or undefined)) (sorry that is a bit snarky, but keep that in mind if it helps you stay motivated).
What if you decided that maybe you should go buy a treadmill for those winter months where it is just too darn cold to run outside (given it is supposed to be -300C in Ottawa today, I can understand your need to run inside). Assuming a fairly good treadmill is about $800 or so the equation then becomes a little easier to rationalize:
Cost per use = $800 / # of times used
This means the first time you use your treadmill, it effectively costs you $800 per use. If you then stop using the treadmill, that is how much the cost per use ends up (although you do get a nifty place to hang your drying clothes). So as you see the more you use your treadmill the lower the effective cost per use.
The crossing point comparing the health club to your home tread mill is about 400 uses on your treadmill, which at 3 times a week, is about 300 weeks (or more than 5 years).
I must admit this really isn’t my concept, I was first introduced to it by Michael James‘ wife, who is possibly the Cheapest Person I Know™ . She constantly reminds me of the various things we have bought and how much it costs per use still (I have a $100 used exercise bike that I am pretty sure I have down to below $1 per use).
I hope this mental exercise helps keep you motivated to keep going with your physical exercise regimen.
Some numbers to help you understand:
|EffectiveCost Per Use|
And now a picture for those like me who LOVE graphs!