How much could a change in diet & lifestyle cost you?

How much could a change in diet & lifestyle cost you?
Written by Sarah Banks
Published on 11th January 2018
Updated on 3rd December 2019
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New year, new you - that’s what we always say. As soon as we reach the dawn of the new year, we put pressure on ourselves to live better. Whether it’s by joining the gym, eating healthier or even taking up a new hobby, we vow to be our best self. But how much does this actually cost?

The price of good living doesn’t come cheap and it’s important to also consider your financial health as well as your physical.

How much does the average person spend on popular fad diets?

A study suggests that the UK spends more than £26 billion on fitness and diet crazes. The average British adult will waste:

  • £429 on an unused gym membership
  • £179 on unworn workout gear
  • £57 on supplements that will never be taken

It’s easy to get caught up in new year fad diets and to promise yourself that you’ll live better this year, but that’s a lot of money to waste, particularly if the money could be used better elsewhere. Clearing outstanding debts, starting to save or, putting money aside for a rainy day will all have a more positive effect on your mental wellness than money wasted on fads.

Things to consider when choosing your gym membership

If you’re searching for a gym membership (that you\’re actually going to use), take the time to do your research properly. Don’t be tempted by a gym that advertises a no-joining fee, but then doesn’t have any of the equipment or classes you want.

At the beginning of your search, you need to jot down what you want out of your gym experience. Maybe you just want to use weights, want to swim or want the social aspect that comes from going to classes - then you simply need to find a gym that will help meet those needs.

Some classes can be booked on a pay as you go basis, so if you’ve seen one you want, try block-booking for a few weeks to test the waters. If you enjoy it, you can choose to carry on! That way, you won’t be tied into a year-long subscription or have to pay a fee to cancel if you don’t enjoy it.

The average gym membership cost can be quite high, with some gyms charging upwards of £100 per month - for that you’ll also get spa facilities and the kitchen sink thrown in. But for those that are finding ways to save money on a tight budget, there are providers out there that can charge as little as £12.

Keeping the costs of your new lifestyle down to a minimum

Trying to improve your health and wellbeing is a great thing to do, but you don’t want it to be at the expense of your finances. Bearing a few things in mind can help you to save money and help you to form your new years resolution ideas:

  • Sign up for free passes: Especially when you’re looking for your ideal gym membership. You can get a feel for the place, check out the equipment and learn more about any new year’s promotions.
  • Put that fizzy stuff down: Not only are most carbonated drinks filled with nasties that won’t fit in with your new healthy lifestyle, but they’re also an unexpected drain on your finances. The cost of a can is about 70p, so if you bought one a day to enjoy with your lunch, you’re wasting £21 a month. Drinking water helps you keep hydrated and is much better on your pocket.
  • Stay away from diet pills: There are so many horror stories about people having adverse effects from taking diet pills they’ve bought online. They boast the ability to help you lose weight, but in reality, they are filled with poisons and are a waste of money. If you want advice on your diet, then start with a visit to your GP.

I’ve got bad credit - how can I keep up a healthy lifestyle?

If you’re looking for ways to save money on a tight budget, but still want to keep up with a healthy lifestyle then you just need to be in the know. Using prepaid cards with accompanying apps will help you to keep track of what your spending on your new lifestyle - what’s more, you can apply for these even if you have bad credit. If you are looking for a loan and are worried about bad credit then you can research into lenders that can help in your situation. Bad credit loans could be the answer, but do think carefully before applying as taking on more debt could put you in a worse position in the long run - so try to find alternative ways of raising the funds before applying.

The best way to avoid getting into a worse position with bad credit is to develop your own plan on the cheap. There are so many free YouTube tutorials that can help you work out at home (or anywhere else), without the need for any equipment. If these don’t appeal to you, then you can usually pick up workout dvds from charity shops for next to nothing.

Don’t be tempted to take out a short term loan to help you pay for a batch of supplements or the year’s worth of gym membership upfront. You might end up paying it back long after you’ve hung up your joggers and fancy trainers.

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Sarah Banks
Written by
Sarah Banks
Finance writer at Choose Wisely

Sarah joined Choose Wisely in July 2017, whilst still studying for her degree. Learning the ropes across different departments in the business including Customer Service Advisor for a period of time- making her the company’s closest link to their consumers experience with their finances.