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This is proving so far to be a difficult year, as the pandemic rages on and Covid case numbers skyrocket. Amid all the crises and chaos — which for many includes financial instability — the last thing any of us needs to deal with is shelling out money for, of all things, our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, so many popular NYE promises — such as vowing to get physically healthy — can come with hidden price tags.
But changing your life for the better shouldn’t cost much, if anything at all. However tempting it is to throw money on a new gym membership or a slew of meditation apps, it’s smarter to consider alternative ways to reboot your health — both physical and mental.
Here’s a look at some common health-focused resolutions that can get pretty pricey pretty fast, along with expert insight on how to achieve the same goal for less — or even for free.
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Join a Gym
“Going to the gym, losing a few pounds, or getting more in shape is the most trendy and most popular,” said Andrew Lokenauth, a personal finance educator and advisor. “On a monthly basis, a basic gym can run as little as $10 a month/$120 a year or as much as over $200 a month/$2,500 a year. You can save money and cut expenses by exercising at home instead of paying a gym membership.”
Lokenauth added that despite the high cost of gym memberships, most people don’t go frequently enough to justify the expense. For many, it makes more sense to take advantage of free apps and websites that provide ideas and plans for home workouts such as cardio, HIIT, calisthenics or light weights.
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“Apps are one of the most common ways to go (for meditation), but they can be pricey investments if you want access to all the features,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. “Headspace and Calm are two of the most popular apps, with Headspace costing $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year. Calm is also $69.99 per year, but you can purchase a lifetime membership for $399.99.
“A cheaper alternative is the app Buddhify, which is only $30 per year and focuses on guided meditations designed for individuals on the go.”
Bear in mind that all of these apps have free versions, too — you just get more features with the paid versions, and you can get free trials for the paid …….