Monday, 10 October 2016

When being sick pays off

When you give up shopping, you'd expect your bank balance to show the results of your restraint, wouldn't you? Until recently though, my balance didn't seem any healthier than before my shopping ban started on 1 June. I was puzzled and disappointed.

The obvious reason would be that I've diverted funds I would normally have spent on shoes, clothes and accessories into "permitted" areas of spending. I was worried I might be tempted to do this, but I haven't. My shopping ban has actually made me a little tight-fisted generally.

But this month my bank balance is finally looking a little healthier, which I think is only because I've been sick for more than a month and not following my usual routines. I haven't been going to pilates or yoga, and I postponed my last osteopath appointment. Pilates was costing me $54 a week; yes, it's expensive, but that's because it's clinical pilates where the classes are small (up to three people, but often only me), the instructor is an osteopath, and I have a program tailored to my needs. I was spending about $20 a class for yoga, although I've only being doing yoga for a month or two.

I usually visit the osteopath once a month, which costs about $60 after I claim it on my health insurance. Combined, that's $90 a week - $360 a month!  While I wholeheartedly believe in spending money to improve health and wellbeing, whether it's discretionary or necessary (and I fall mostly in the latter camp because of a couple of chronic health conditions), I have to consider if this outlay is sustainable, particularly if it impacts significantly on my ability to save money. 

This isn't actually me

Before I cut back to four days a week I had a gym membership for $120 a month (unlimited visits/classes) and I was going to pilates once a week ($216 a month for four classes) but I couldn't afford to keep doing both on four days' pay. I opted to drop my gym membership which seems stupid, but because I wasn't actually going to the gym much it was mostly a waste of money. Pilates is much more expensive, but I went nearly every week and I was seeing and loving the results, which made the cost easier to justify.

But now I'm thinking I need to go back to the gym and drop pilates. I can do pilates (and yoga and many other) classes at the gym and even if I only went to one class a week, it would still be cheaper than going to pilates. Pilates at the gym isn't specifically tailored to my needs, but it would still be beneficial. 

The other option is to buy a DVDs or find some online classes that I can do at home in my own time for free or close enough to it. I've been going to pilates long enough that I think I'd be fine without face-to-face instruction, plus I'm much better at motivating myself to exercise at home than I used to be. I think I will give this a go (once I'm feeling better) so I can work on my health and wellbeing and afford a nice holiday. 

In other news...

Although my bank balance hasn't grown as much as I'd hoped, I have nearly paid off my credit card. There's only a couple of hundred dollars on it now. Hooray! It's not really due to my own financial management though - I put almost my entire tax refund towards reducing the balance, but I did pay some extra off it with the money I've saved while being sick. 

Needless to say, I don't recommend illness as a way of saving money!

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