A year ago, I wanted to try something new and get out of my comfort zone. I saw an ad for a 6-week boxing challenge and thought I’d give it a try.
I have never been an exercise person. In fact, I loathed it. I had always challenged my mind, but not necessarily my body. Nonetheless, I figured I could do anything for six weeks. The result? I became hooked. For the past year, I’ve been boxing about five times a week. I’ve lost body fat. I’ve gained muscle. Better yet, boxing has helped me save money and spend less. Take a look at how I improved my financial sitch through boxing.
1. Health is wealth
I pay good money to go to my boxing gym. In addition, I invested in the gloves and wraps. But consistent exercise, as I’ve finally realized, pays dividends in your physical and mental health.
These days, many of us are sedentary because of jobs and lifestyles. I used to be that person, too. But now I move my body and get my heart rate jumping. I stretch. I build muscle. I keep my body strong. I haven’t had to go to the doctor lately and I’m in better shape overall.
On top of that, I suffer from anxiety and depression, sometimes to a severe degree. Boxing has given me an outlet that is healthy and productive. It keeps me in a mental space that feels good. Now that is priceless.
2. I drink way less
Before boxing became my hobby, drinking wine might have been my hobby?
A lot of younger people go out and have fun with friends. I was no different. But I was overspending on dining out and happy hours. Now that I box, I spend my time differently and focus on my new, much healthier habit.
Not only am I happier but so is my wallet. I spend much less on alcohol and going out. I consider this a win.
3. I don’t stress spend
We all have spending triggers. Feel sad? Why not go shopping? Stressed? Go for a fancy meal with drinks to blow off some steam.
Sometimes I’d fall into this spending trap as well. I’d spend on massages, going out to eat, or on anything I thought would make me feel better in the moment.
Now, however, when those anxious feelings creep in, I don’t let myself think about it and go straight to boxing. Redirecting my stress to a stress-reliever helps me feel better while I also save money. Sometimes I really don’t feel like going to class because I’m tired, stressed or upset. But I go anyway. And I always feel better.
4. I have fewer spending opportunities
I am in a pretty good routine now: I work, see friends and box. I’m focused on taking care of myself and trying to be the best version of myself. Because of that, I have fewer opportunities to spend money.
I don’t go out to the movies much. I don’t have time to eat out as often. Boxing has given me focus and discipline. Those qualities have been transferred to my financial life as well. I want my money to be used toward my long-term happiness and health, and anything else is simply a waste.
5. My social life has improved
Through boxing, I’ve met new people who also love to box. Before boxing, I would mostly sit at home and hang out with my two cats. As a freelancer, much of my time was solitary, once again not necessarily good for my physical or mental health.
My social life has improved and I have more joy and connection, which also makes me feel fulfilled. When you feel fulfilled, you are less likely to spend money on things that you think will fill you up in the moment.
My new friends also keep me accountable so I keep showing up to class. All around, it’s been a win-win situation that keeps me healthy and frugal.
There are many people in the finance world that think investing one hundred or more dollars on your health each month is “too much”.
I get it. I used to be one of those people.
When I started the boxing challenge, I thought there was no way I’d sign up to be a member. But now that I can go to unlimited boxing classes, I am more incentivized to go to the gym. Additionally, it helps me spend much less money in other areas of my life.
Finally, the physical and mental health benefits are investments in myself, which can’t be quantified. I encourage you to also find something that motivates you, inspires you, and helps you feel good while spending less.