If I were any good with money, people looking to save a few bucks on a new mattress wouldn’t be the only ones visiting my blog. While I’m proud of my current financial situation, that wasn’t always the case. Though I’d like to say that I’ve drastically cut down on the number of idiotic financial decisions I’ve made over the years, I still find myself making purchases that aren’t just unnecessary, but completely useless.
A perfect example of these types of purchases presented itself just the other day while my wife and I were standing in the checkout line at a local grocery store. Somehow, a Pez dispenser featuring Gru from Despicable Me and three tubes of strawberry-flavored ChapStick made their way onto the conveyor belt. When I got home and unloaded the groceries, I was just as surprised as my wife was to find this odd assortment of items. It was as if some subconscious part of my mind said “Hey, you know what you could REALLY use right now? A dispenser full of colored sugar in the shape of a children’s movie character!”
As much as I wish that was the height of my impulsive purchases, that wouldn’t be much of a story, now would it? We could point fingers all day about who put the Pez dispenser and the ChapStick on the conveyor belt (initial indications are me.), but our time would be better spent on discussing today’s disastrous money snafu – a $260/month gym membership.
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From organized sports to club and corporate leagues to the self-proclaimed Greatest Backyard BBQ Athlete EVER (copyright pending) I have always maintained a certain level of physical activity. Can jam, horseshoes, lawn darts, bocce, cornhole, beer-pong, whiffle-ball, dominoes, slip ‘n slides, you name it – I’m your modern day Jim Thorpe.
As you can imagine, maintaining this level of athletic excellence comes at a price – $260/month, to be exact. But, for what? I am no longer involved in competitive sports, I tend to skip a month or three of exercise at a time and I have ZERO abs to show for all the money I’ve spent.
I’ll admit it: the gym membership was overkill. As much as I tried to justify it to myself, all became clear when I ran through how much money I could have made if I had invested a single year of membership payments at a conservative 6% return over 25 years.
That’s right. If I hadn’t been so impulsive with my purchase, I could have turned this into $13,930.71 by the time I retire. I don’t even want to think about what the numbers would be if I went back 5 or 10 years at this same monthly amount. Do you have any idea how many t-shirts with abs printed on them I could have bought with that money???
The hardest part of the whole ordeal was holding myself accountable and accepting the reality of my financial situation. When you boil it down, there really are a lot of awesome gyms and free clubs and activities within the community that are equally as challenging and much more financially sound than a $260/month gym membership.
Lesson Learned: At $10/month for a Planet Fitness membership and $250 of savings, the Greatest Backyard BBQ Athlete EVER is still a force to be reckoned with, Dadbod and all.
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Anyone else overdoing it with their gym membership?