Progress, not perfection

Appears I may have spoken too soon! Even though I made great strides towards paying off $1,345 in debt the first month of 2020 – I definitely loosened the reigns the past week. Between adopting plant babies with our plant friends, happy hours with old co-workers, late night Dicks after a club event (free entry!) and sending books of encouragement to friends who need uplifting – I’ve spent well over $100 more than I should have. Do I regret it? Not entirely. There was good money spent and not-so-good money spent.

I never expected the spending fast to be perfect, of course there would be challenges along the way. I noticed I tend to relax the second week of my pay cycle after bills have been paid, fridge has been stocked, and a huge chunk of debt has been paid. The goal is to save whatever cushion I have left at the end of my pay cycle, and put it towards debt when I begin my new pay cycle.

I need to get realign my goals and get aggressive with my method again. Especially considering I got a NEW gym membership! This new gym membership was definitely not a NEED… but I have my reasons for upgrading and I’ll break it down. First of all, a Life Time gym membership costs $140 A MONTH – yes, you read that correctly. But here are all the things I love about it:

Have you ever seen so many beautiful Olympic platforms?
  • Olympic platforms – Let’s get real, the main reason I’m paying premium for a gym membership. I love the platforms, the foam for shock absorption, the design of the rack, and the private space it creates. You don’t have to worry about slamming the bar after a heavy dead lift, and no one else in the gym is getting pissed at you for shaking the floor and disrupting their workout.
  • Bumper plates – the fact that edged plates still exist baffles me. They’re unsafe, annoying as fuck, and never create a straight line across your shins for dead lifting (can you tell what my favorite lift is?). They’re also horrible for aligning above your hips for hip thrusts. Bumper plates are the way to go.
  • Quiet and uncrowded – If I hadn’t found out that 24 Hour Fitness down the street would be closing and LA Fitness would become even MORE crowded than usual from the overflow, then I probably wouldn’t have upgraded. Since I started lifting again, Life Time has been in the back of my mind – 24 Hour Fitness closing was the final push I needed to seal the deal.
  • Bathrooms – I wish you could experience for yourself the nastiness that is an LA Fitness bathroom so you could truly appreciate the cleanliness and spaciousness of a Life Time bathroom. The difference is appalling. You truly get what you pay for with both. Your Life Time gym membership key card also acts as a lock for you gym locker. No additional fee for towel service, you get bath SHEETS instead of towels, plenty of high end hair dryers so you don’t have to fight for one that works at half capacity, razors, cotton balls, make up remover wipes, mouthwash, spray deodorant – you name it, Life Time has it.
  • Hygiene – There’s no excuse for you to NOT wipe down your gym equipment, there are disinfecting wipes literally everywhere. The cleaning crew is constantly keeping the gym 110%. Nothing is falling apart, equipment isn’t out of order, and there aren’t any leaks being “fixed” by a bucket and pile of rags.
  • Life Time Cafe – Unfortunately I will not be enjoying the Life Time cafe (to save $ and pay for the actual membership) but as a former member – I can say it’s fucking delicious, convenient, and breaks down the macros for every meal. You can also add your meal to your “tab” which uses the payment on file for your membership.

Not to mention, now I’m RELAXED with I go to the gym. So far, there’s always been a platform open for me. I’m not stressed out and angry about the crowds and the hygiene. I don’t feel like I’m getting some kind of disease just by going to the bathroom. The peace of mind and quality is worth the extra dime.

Now how am I making this all fit into my budget? At first I wanted to just go for it, figure out the money later. My inner sales woman had sold me on the membership, but my reasonable friend suggested ‘trimming’ my current budget to make it fit. But how?! I felt like I had cut so much already at the beginning of the year. But alas, I was able to cut MORE:

1) $38 Nordstrom minimum – My card is getting paid off this week! That’s $38 extra towards my new shiny gym membership. I’m not including my former PayPal or Amazon monthly minimum since those were paid off last month.

2) $35 LA Fitness monthly membership – I’m keeping this since I like the studio here much better than Life Time. Jordan also has an LA Fitness membership – but I’m going to use my Microsoft Stay Fit credit for this the remainder of the year.

3) PACKING MY LUNCHES FOR WORK! – This will be and has been the most difficult challenge to uphold. I get lunch nearly every day from the Microsoft cafe which costs $5 – $8 a day = $100 – $160 a month. Staying committed to this goal alone pays for the gym membership, minus a little bit for extra groceries. Every other week I’m APPALLED at how much food goes to waste in my fridge, when I could have been eating those left overs for lunch. Time to change that – spend less, waste less.

So that trims between $173 – $233, more than enough to pay for the boujee gym membership! As long as I stay committed to packing my lunches, I’ve earned my upgraded membership. How do you stay committed to packing your lunches for work? What are some easy vegetarian recipes?

~Jess

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