Personal Finance

Kat’s Money Corner: Keeping your fitness goals on your own terms


Let me guess – your workout resolution is fading fast. You either aren’t making it to the gym at all, or you only go when the stars align and your schedule is free. To make matters worse, the gym membership fee you aren’t utilizing is a drain on your monthly budget.

The good news is, you have options for staying in shape – ones that don’t include a contract or expensive monthly payments. The trick: You have to make time to work out.

The Free Stuff – Body Weight Exercises

I’ll start this out with a caveat – doing free workouts at home is much, much more comfortable with a mat. If you don’t already have one, you should get one. If you do some research, you can find a great mat in the $15-$30 range. Having a mat isn’t a requirement for successful home exercise, but it will make it easier on your skin and joints.

When you’ve got the right materials, head online. There are resources for every type of home workout you might be interested in. Want to try yoga? Here’s a list of 10 amazing YouTube channels to check out. Looking for simple, yet highly transformational moves? Here are the 20 best body weight exercises. If you’re already a seasoned workout pro or have an interest in learning about the trendy CrossFit movement, check out these at-home workouts inspired by the popular fitness crusade. If you’re undecided, this list of 50 free at-home exercises is just for you.

Don’t forget to think outside the box – roughhouse with the kids, deep-clean the house, play an intense game of pingpong or go all out in Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii. It all adds up to cardio and calorie burns.

The Cheap Stuff – Building a Basic Home Gym

A kettle bell, adjustable hand weights, stability ball and a resistance band are all you need to add intensity to any workout, and stock your home gym. In addition to the added perk of convenience, you should also be able to buy all of it for around $100. Though the initial price tag might be more than you’d like, the cost pales in comparison to monthly gym membership payments. You can add hand weights or a kettle bell to essentially every exercise, but the stability ball and resistance bands will require specialized workouts. Adding these tools to a regular practice can be seriously transformational.

Working out, like budgeting, takes daily discipline and determination to see results. When you feel like quitting, take a moment to remember why you started. You’re on the path to financial and physical wellness.

Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click or visit