We used to belong to a gym. Yep, you heard that right. Used to. We had a family membership to the local Y. For a time, we went regularly, particularly the kids and I. But then life got busier, time got more occupied and the Y was less frequented. So, in an effort to save money and use our resources to pay off some debt (at the time), we didn’t renew our membership.
And my body has paid for it. You see, for every financial decision we make, there are good and bad consequences. No consumer debt = good. No exercise = bad. When we were members at the gym, I at least tried to go and “get my money out of it.” Tried. But then, I just didn’t.
Now, Racer and I have talked about needing to re-join the Y. But I’m having a hard time justifying the money for a family membership when we still are trying to build our emergency fund. We have other financial goals that those fees would go toward.
But in a physical earlier this year, my doctor and I agreed that I need to move my body. While my health “numbers” are ok, the direction of my health is going the wrong way.
So, save money or go to the gym?
So what’s a girl to do?
The answer really came to me in stages. Walking was a good start. Then my health insurance sent home pedometers with a cash earning program for reaching certain step goals. Then a morning devotion focused on the theme of “move” really hit my heart.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139.14
Yes! But if I am wonderfully made, how is my physical state living that out? Am I honoring God’s careful creation of me? I want to do that, thus I need to care for my physical self.
So, then the wrestle comes. How do I manage my money, my time and my physical self in a way that is pleasing to God and still keeps me on track for the goals our family has? How do I balance the need for exercise with the need to save money?
You see, it’s not just the gym membership that costs, but it’s also the gas to drive there as there is no location that is convenient. So how do I find something low-cost, that fits into my schedule and is convenient. I mean, why can’t I have it all?
Well, God helped. Just a week later, in my morning devotion, the theme was “walking.” Walking with God, walking God’s path for me in life, walking in God’s presence.
So, I’m walking. Walking with friends. Walking in the morning on the days I drop kids off at school. Walking. And while I walk, I have my ear buds in, listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast and True Stewardship podcast (and a few others) so that I can also stay motivated on my financial journey! Win win right?!
I also found a couple of free apps that lead me through a bodyweight style circuit. You know, push ups, jumping jacks, lunges… that type of thing. Totally free and does all the timing and instructions for me. So that’s good too.
So, gym membership money gets to stay reallocated to savings goals AND I’ve found a way to get in free exercise. And for accountability, I text my dear friend for encouragement.
You may have a conflict in goals – money vs. ?? Maybe its money vs. quality time with your spouse. Maybe it’s money vs. “making memories” with your children. Maybe it’s money vs. a need for relaxation. Each decision we make has consequences.
Perhaps, though, there is another way. Perhaps, there is a way to do both. Maybe not how you imagined, but still a way. Think creatively. Think outside the “normal” box. Ask God for help. It may come in pieces, but it will come.
I’d love your encouragement and ideas for other “free” ways to exercise! Please share your struggle, journey or thoughts in the comments below.
Also, remember to sign-up to join me for a morning make-over (affiliate link) starting May 1st!