What’s the real cost of your New Years’ Resolution?
With January quickly becoming a distant memory, we’re already at that point in the year when it’s beginning to feel a little more normal to write “2017”.
Of course, let’s not forget that with every new year come the inevitable promises we make to ourselves. It could be hitting the gym on a regular basis to lose weight, learning a language, passing your driving test, making travel plans or, heaven forbid, giving up coffee. There’s literally no end to the potential self-improvements we can choose from.
On paper it all seems great, but what about the cost of these intentions once we extend them beyond January and across the remainder of the year? Are some more realistic than others, both in terms of price and effort involved? Let’s take a closer look.
Committing to a gym membership
This is a big one. It’s common knowledge that there’s a distinct surge in gym memberships in the first month or two of the year. Everybody has the same idea: to ditch the extra weight they picked up over the festive holidays!
This generally means that classes are packed and it’s far tougher than usual to secure a spot on your favorite piece of gym apparatus. Also, prices tend to shoot up in January to meet with the extra demand. Many gyms offer a monthly rolling contract, though some still maintain membership on an annual basis.
Losing weight is actually one of our most expensive resolutions as a country. A recent survey by Couponbox found that a gym membership for one year costs the average American $58 a month, which works out to about $696 a year. It’s a price worth paying if you make the most of your contract, but for those who can’t commit to a regular gym session it’s definitely worth weighing up your options first before signing a yearly contract.
For any smokers out there who are thinking about kicking the habit, listen up! This is one of the most popular promises people make to themselves each year. However, for heavy smokers this is by no means an easy task.
Other than health reasons, one of the main benefits of giving up smoking is the money saved on buying cigarettes or tobacco. True, there is some cost involved for those who choose to move onto an e-cigarette, or even other forms of quitting support such as hypnotherapy. However, this is still nothing compared to the cost of a serious smoking habit, which experts estimate can cost up to $5,000 per year.
On the other hand, a basic e-cigarette may set you back around $6.99 with the refill costing around $9.99. Extrapolate that in line with the three (or so) weeks it takes to get through a cartridge, and it should cost you $273.97 per year – a significant saving overall.
Learning a language
Learning a language is something that’s on a lot of people’s bucket lists. It’s a common regret, and you’ll often hear excuses like “if I’d had a better language teacher at school, I would’ve kept it up…” and so on.
Well, it turns out that many believe that the turn of the year presents the perfect opportunity to give it a second shot. However, even though learning a language is more important than ever in today’s world, it’s probably one of the hardest goals on this list to achieve in the long run. If you’re gonna make it work, you need to spend a lot of time, effort and, most likely, money to get anywhere near the idea of fluency.
For instance, according to the aforementioned Couponbox study, it might take around 600 hours of lessons to reach a decent conversational level in Spanish. Priced at $12 per hour, you’re looking at around $7,490 per year! That’s a lot of dinero by anybody’s standards.
So there you have it, three of the biggest resolutions we make to ourselves every year. Each comes with its own cost attached and set of challenges. And if you’re thinking about throwing in the towel now that we’ve reached the start of February, remember why you’ve committed to your resolution in the first place. If it’s a question of expense, look for alternatives; the most important thing is to keep your eyes firmly fixed on the prize. Good luck!