Have you made your financial New Year’s resolutions yet?
If you haven’t, you’re probably thinking about them.
Even though making New Year’s resolutions can sound like a good idea, some of the ones that you make can end up costing you more than you think.
Sure, making certain resolutions can really help propel you towards a great financial future like paying down your debt, but making resolutions can actually cost you more than you initially realize.
And it’ll probably cost you more if you don’t end up keeping your resolutions. And even if you keep them, you need to make a plan (as in a budget or whatever you want to call it) for how much it’ll cost you. Yes, as in the dollars and cents amount.
So let’s take a look at some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and how much it could set you back.
While this is a great resolution and you know it’ll cost you, people don’t take into consideration all costs related to travel. Not only do you have to think about transportation (air or land), hotels, food, and souvenirs, you have to factor in things like insurance or if you have to purchase necessities in case you forgot to pack something.
Let’s say you’re looking to travel within the US. Average hotel prices can range anywhere from $50 – $200+, depending on where you’re going. And these prices will fluctuate depending on how close you are to tourist attractions. The cheaper they are, the farther away from amenities they tend to be. In that case, you’ll have to factor in travel related costs to and from where you want to go.
You may also end up spending more on food because restaurants around hotels or tourist attractions tend to cost a bit more. You could save up and purchase items from a supermarket or lower priced restaurants, but you may be looking at an average of $10 per person per meal.
Even if you decide to drive to your vacation destination, it can cost more than you think, especially if the state or city you’re traveling to has higher gas prices than where you are. Definitely do your research beforehand so you’re not caught with a nasty surprise.
This is probably the most popular New Year’s resolution, and it’s ok if you’re one of the millions of people who want to lose weight.
Depending on how serious you are about this goal and the amount of weight you want to lose, it can cost you not only hundreds but thousands of dollars.
Most people opt to sign up for gym memberships, which is great if you use it. You’re looking at anywhere from $25 to $100 a month for a gym membership, and many gyms right now have incentives to join for months (or even a year) at a time. If you take advantage of those offers and don’t go, well that’s potentially hundreds of dollars down the drain.
Even if you don’t join a physical gym, you may spend money on new equipment, clothes, or even online memberships. While all of those things are great, if you don’t use them consistently, that $10 online membership goes to waste.
Let’s say you realize you need more accountability and want to hire a trainer. They may call you out on not working out regularly but you’ll probably be paying a pretty high price for it. A one-hour session might set you back $80 – $150. It could be cheaper if you have a wellness program that gives you a discount, but it’ll most likely cost more than a monthly gym membership.
Yes, this resolution can actually help you save money, but it can also cost you. Some people go on crash diets and end up resenting the food they’re eating that they go on binges.
Let’s say for example you want to cut out sugary foods. That’s great, but maybe by week two, you’re craving a donut so badly that you end up stopping on the way home to get a box of them. Then you think, oh well, I already cheated on my diet, another donut won’t hurt. All those trips may cost you more than what you’d pay for groceries in a week.
Eating healthier can also cost you money if you’re looking to join an accountability program like Weight Watchers or Curves. These programs can really get you on the right track, but they may require you to purchase their products on top of a membership fee. Before joining make sure you factor in all possible costs.
When deciding on New Year’s resolutions, break each potential cost down so you know what you’re getting to. Even better than that, find a way to actually stick to your goals or how the resolution you keep can help you save some cash.