Author Topic: When is it OK to not cut spending?  (Read 3773 times)

JTD1968

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When is it OK to not cut spending?
« on: February 08, 2016, 12:48:32 AM »
We all have our areas where we find it either challenging to make cuts to our spending or feel  we have legitimate reasons to keep spending as we do. Mine is my gym membership ($45/month at the YMCA). I could either workout at home for free or join a cheaper gym (ex: Planet Fitness for $10/month). I have tried both and it never works out in the long run. It all comes down to the following:
-Not disciplined enough to work out at home. (always something better to do at home. I make sure to go to gym straight from work without stopping at home first)
-The Y has the sauna, hot tub , etc... that the cheap gyms don't. I truly enjoy sitting in the sauna for a bit after a workout ( great way to de- stress). I consider this time my reward and motivation for dragging my lazy butt to the gym.

Just wondering what others think about my not making what to many would seem an easy cut?

Do others out there have their own examples where they have decided it makes sense to maintain certain spending habits?

cbr shadow

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 01:08:02 AM »
I think you have to weigh the benefit of having the YMCA membership (and the happiness gained from having it) with how much the price difference between the gyms is costing you in the long run.

YMCA Gym: $45/mth
Other Gym: $25/mth (Just guessing)
--
$20/month difference.  Is having the shower/sauna/hot tub worth $20/month?  It might be to you.

I feel the same way about having a home gym.  I'd much rather make an "event" out of going to the gym since I'm more motivated to get a hard workout there.


vhalros

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 06:12:32 AM »
I also find I can't work out at home. I just can't bring a sufficient amount of fury if I am training in my living room. There are two things that do help though; one I find I am able to train effectively in my yard. Two, if I have a space at home dedicated to training (garage gym), it feels like a gym to me, and that makes it work. If neither of those are possible for you, I think $45/month is worth it if that is what it takes.

Basenji

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2016, 06:34:35 AM »
When you are miserable and unhappy. Find the easy stuff and the you don't notice it stuff first, then question the harder things. One person's need is another's want. On the other hand, I find it useful to at least question everything, brainstorm alternatives, and then reject or implement. Just don't immediately defend something, have a good reason.

mamagoose

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 06:47:37 AM »
We also have a Y membership and are not planning to cut it out, even with FIRE in mind. It's a wonderful place to spend a few hours a day, they have childcare included, plenty of kids activities, free gourmet coffee early in the morning, heated pools, sauna, steam room, group fitness classes... Given the potential for loneliness in FIRE since all our friends will still be working their day jobs, it's a good thing for us to spend money on (I learned this the hard way after I began working from home and needed socialization for my sanity). Makes sense since DH and I were gym rats in college, we'd often go 2x/day, and the Y is the only fitness center in our city that comes close to the great facilities we had access to in college. It's $111/month for our family of 3 and we're including it in our FIRE budget.

Parizade

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 06:51:47 AM »
I believe that investing in physical and emotional health is a wise move, so I won't trade either for a few extra bucks in the bank. It may seem frugal in the short term, but in the long run it's cheaper to invest in good health. It's expensive to rebuild if you ruin your body and mind.

Spend money on healthy food, sustainable fitness (if the gym is what makes it sustainable for you, so be it!), and whatever you need to feed your soul. Just don't go into debt doing it.

JTD1968

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 09:23:09 AM »
I will definitely be keeping my Y membership for the immediate future. I've been on a good roll with going to the gym and don't want to mess it up. I would hate giving up the sauna at the end of a workout. Relaxing, and good for the body and mind. Their must be reason people have been doing saunas for a couple thousand years.

I'm a red panda

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 09:26:27 AM »
Do you make enough money to cover the spending without incurring debt? Then it is okay to not cut it.

But if FIRE is your goal, everything you spend on pushes it back later. Are you okay with that? Then no need to cut that item.

This isn't a contest to spend the least amount. It's not even a contest to retire the earliest. It's just not a contest. 

Vertical Mode

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2016, 10:11:52 AM »
The endgame of a Mustachian lifestyle is not necessarily to be militant about cutting spending at every opportunity to get it as low as possible - it is to be conscientious about it, to align the allocation of resources with your values. If going to the gym motivates you to exercise and, by extension, improves your life and makes you happy in other ways, by all means keep it in your budget. Happiness and fulfillment are the goals above and beyond the bottom line.

We all have our vices on which we spend a more-than-minimal amount; for some of us, it's cars, or ice hockey, or horses, or video games/computers...My strategy has always been a visceral "does this seem worth it?" evaluation, coupled with a perfunctory evaluation of what a thing's opportunity cost is.

I guess in general what I would suggest for anyone is to challenge yourself to see whether you are optimizing the situation to maximize cost/benefit however that applies to your particular situation. There is a whole spectrum of possible solutions that FI/RE might resemble - just because your situation may be unique doesn't necessarily mean you're doing it wrong ;-)


jrhampt

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2016, 10:28:15 AM »
I also love the Y.  I cut out the gym for a few years when we were trying to pay off the house, but after we finished doing that it was one of first things I added back.  If you're spending money on something that gives you a month's worth of healthy fun for the cost of one dinner out, I think it's totally worth it. 

honeybbq

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 11:13:42 AM »
I believe that investing in physical and emotional health is a wise move, so I won't trade either for a few extra bucks in the bank. It may seem frugal in the short term, but in the long run it's cheaper to invest in good health. It's expensive to rebuild if you ruin your body and mind.

Spend money on healthy food, sustainable fitness (if the gym is what makes it sustainable for you, so be it!), and whatever you need to feed your soul. Just don't go into debt doing it.

^^^ Pretty much this. Depression and obesity... those can cost you your life. Not worth any amount of money.

Cassie

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Re: When is it OK to not cut spending?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 05:09:29 PM »
WE found just the opposite that we can work out if we are outside but never went to the gym when we had a membership. However, ask me to cut my cable and I rather cut my arm off:)) JK      As long as it brings you joy and you can afford it-do it.