The cost of maintenance

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I hear a lot about how expensive personal training and fitness related costs are and that people wish they could afford it but can’t. So I decided to do some research and throw some math your way.

All the figures below have been researched and shown to be what the average American spends. You can calculate your own expenses I’m sure, but I think you can get the idea.

Average annual cost of mortgage: $12,732 ($1,061 per month)

Average annual cost of home maintenance: $6,000 ($500 per month)

Average annual cost of insurance premium (for Florida): $2,280 ($190 per month)

This means the average Floridian pays something like $1,751 per month just for a place to live (doesn’t include utilities and the like). I am willing to bet that for some of you, this is even higher.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “we have to have a home!”. Sure, of course, I’m not saying we don’t. But the point is, if you’re willing to pay that kind of money on bricks and mortar, what would you be willing to pay for your body? Your very life?

Ok, cars. We need cars too right? Can’t ride bikes everywhere! What do they cost?

Average annual car payment: $5,040 ($420 per month)

Average annual cost of car use, insurance, and maintenance: $9,122 ($760 per month)

So again, to have a car, maintain it, fill it with gas, insure it, and get that oil changed is going to cost you something like $1,180 dollars a month here in America. I hear the cries of protest, but I’m merely pointing out that it’s a huge chunk of change for a transportation method that you’re lucky lasts 10 years. Any guesses how long your body will last?

So what are some other things we spend on every year?

Coffee: $1,092 per year

Alcohol: $435 per year

Clothing: $1,721 per year

Health Care: $3,126 per year (just for coverage)

Entertainment: $2,693 per year

Eating away from home: $2,619 per year

Tobacco: $380 per year

There are lots of other less tangible costs to not maintaining your health, like time off work, life satisfaction, freedom, mobility, being able to tie your shoes without trouble, and so on. The CDC says that per capita health expenditures in 2010 were $8,402 that year.

Now before you think I’m just pointing all this out to depress you, I come with hope! The thing is, it doesn’t have to be like this and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

The average gym membership costs a mere $55 a month. The problem with this is that you need some competency in how to use the gym or else what do you do when you get there? The other down side is that according to Freakonomics, most people overestimate how much they’ll use their gym memberships by 70%, throwing most of their money down the tube for nothing. If you’re motivated and have some guidance though you could call it a day with the gym membership for a steal at $660 per annum.

One of the most tried and true ways of getting the most for your money is to hire a personal trainer. The average per session cost for a trainer is $50 but can range from $15 to $100 per session. Supposing you found a trainer for $50 per session and trained twice a week for three months until you felt competent to continue on your own then you would have spent $1,200 to keep yourself healthy for those three months (supposing they offer no discounts which they probably do) and for however long you’re able to continue on your own. Those three months could last a lifetime.

Even if they don’t. Let’s assume you decide to see a trainer all year because you just don’t do it on your own. So that’s about $5,200 per year or $430 a month or so (again assuming no discounts) to ensure better health, prevent and treat diseases, adding more muscle mass, losing fat, increasing longevity, and literally changing your body and life.

A final thought. Investing in your body is a purchase that is 100% beneficial to you. You fully feel the effects of that investment and enjoy the benefits in many ways, both tangible and not, 24/7 for your whole life. A home or a car or any other sort of investment is only a certain percentage beneficial to you. You live there or drive it, but lots of people profit from you  having that house or car and you’re not there or using it every minute of the day, so what percent of your investment are you really getting? You’re in your body 24/7. What is that worth to you?

Lots of purchases we make are nonessential. Eating out, entertainment, refinishing the kitchen cupboards because that shade of white just won’t do, buying the ultra luxury interior package in the brand new car, and on and on. These things are pleasurable, but do not give you the return in investment that a healthy body and a sound mind do.

I think Jim Rohn said it best though:
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

What do you think?

One thought on “The cost of maintenance

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