Indulge Your Resolutions without Breaking the Bank
By Yolander Prinzel
This weekend you and hundreds of millions of others made a list of New Year’s resolutions. On this list you vowed to eat better, exercise more, and spend less money. Ironically, the first thing that many people do after resolving to spend less money is … go out and spend a bunch of money to make their other resolutions workable. In case you haven’t figured it out already, spending money on your resolutions defeats the purpose of resolving to spend less money. Luckily, it is completely avoidable. The key is: Spending Less on Your Resolutions!
Resolution 1 – Exercise
If you have resolved to get into shape this year, you are probably thinking about joining a gym, buying some exercise equipment for home use, getting some new sneakers and some breathable workout clothes. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars getting this New Year’s resolution in order—especially since the vast majority of people who resolve to exercise more each year end up giving up sometime around Valentine’s Day. So here are a few suggestions:
a. Don’t join a gym, just walk outside. If you don’t want to walk outside or need a plan for inclement weather, buy one used workout DVD from your local thrift store and some resistance bands.
b. Look for used exercise equipment. You can check Craigslist or your local paper’s classified ads section. Sometimes, exercise machines and benches are in perfect condition, having been used only as a clothes hanger since they were purchased.
c. Don’t buy top of the line workout gear. Okay, your feet are important so a good, supportive, basic pair of sneakers is imperative. But you aren’t exactly training for the Olympics. You don’t need special materials and self-motivating workout clothes, just some simple cotton Ts and shorts will do fine.
Resolution 2 – Eat better
Now, before you throw out all the food in your house and spend hundreds on food you can’t pronounce at your local health food store, think about what eating healthy really means. Adding more apples to your diet, cutting out red meat and eating fewer processed foods does not mean that you have to run to whole foods and buy organic baby grapes harvested on the third Saturday of the fourth month of the year with the solar eclipse, it just means you have to stop putting bad food in your mouth. This does not need to cost a fortune. Also, consider your lifestyle. If your healthy eating plan involves slaving for hours in the kitchen each day chopping escarole, measuring dill and using cheesecloth to press and drain your goat milk curds, then it’s probably something you are going to invest a lot of money into and not be able to stick with. Here are a few affordable alternatives:
a. Incorporate your healthy eating plan gradually. Don’t go hog wild and buy only those foods you are now allowed to eat and in mass quantities. Instead, slowly incorporate them into your diet so you don’t waste a lot of money deciding what you do and don’t like.
b. Adopt a simple healthy eating plan. For instance: eat 3 pieces of fruit each day, eat lean proteins, and layoff the simple carbohydrates.
Photo credit: katerha
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