Cost is the most common reason that a person doesn’t join Stronger U. Or at least that’s what they tell me. Every day, I get messages from people asking how they can get Stronger U at a discount or for free. I hate to disappoint them, but we don’t have coupon codes and we rarely (almost never) do sales. But there are ways that investing in Stronger U can actually save you money in the long run. Being an ex-banker and a personal finance enthusiast (so much so I would love to coach it), I like to think I have a good handle on this topic.
I know your finances might not be any of my business, but your results, health, and ultimate happiness are. So if you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’d like to explain some ways you can get Stronger U to pay for itself.
It’s no surprise that food behavior and financial behavior have a lot of similarities. We know the value of budgeting (tracking food), delaying gratification for a better tomorrow, saving for the big purchase, and thinking of the future. But we don’t always act in the best interest of our future self. Weird, isn’t it? And that’s kind of what I’m all about because I think it’s how we get the life we want.
I’m a pretty transparent CEO so let’s talk about the goal of this blog. My purpose is two-fold. One is to help you audit some things and find the $39 a week that we cost. Two is so you can find even more than that, so life gets a little easier and less stressful.
So, let’s get to the list.
First, I’m not going to say you can get SU for the price of a cup of coffee a day. That would mean you wouldn’t have coffee, and I’m not sure that’s a smart way to start. Keep the coffee. Let’s save somewhere else! But if you make it at home, it is substantially cheaper. Just sayin’.
Hit up HR
- Go get a raise. What? I didn’t tell you I also worked in HR? The easiest way to get a raise was not to ask for more money but to set yourself up for more later. Instead of going to your boss and saying “hey I think I am worth more”, call a meeting and say “hey, I would love to be on your radar for a pay increase within the next 3 to 6 months and I’d love to show you why I feel that way. Is it ok if we set up a meeting in a few months and we can review what I’ve done from now until then”? It might be delayed but I think it’s a good move. It shows initiative, and it gives you some motivation to step up.
“I asked for a raise. I got more than I asked for. Signed up this morning” – Audrea C
Make food at home
- How often are you eating out? I’m all for a fun dining experience, but when it’s an all-time thing, it loses its luster a bit. Limit it, make it count, and hold the appetizers. My theory is people know what to eat out, they just don’t want to spend $15 on a chicken breast and side of something green. Eating at home or packing your own lunch costs a few dollars instead of a few dozen. Those calories and dollars saved add up over time and can make a meaningful difference in your results.
“Not eating out every day for lunch, cutting down to eating out once a week. That right there is about $144 a month savings and SU is $150ish.”- Jessica V
- Are you in love with brand names? Food, name-brand allergy medicine, or clothes. How much extra do you pay for the name when you could be getting the same? Nicer stuff might be cool but my $30 Target pants are just as useful as my $100 pair from Bonobos. Name brand stuff is the “snack food” of the clothing world. Moderate your intake and save.
Stop drinking dollars
- Seltzer, diet soda, juice boxes, sports drinks, and expensive smoothies. If you’re drinking the dollars, you might want to take a walk to the faucet.
“I stopped paying $130 a month for Shakeology and put it toward SU. Found a more affordable protein shake mix. Worth it.”- Mary B
- Alcohol. A drink here and there? Cool. A bottle all the time? Not as cool. Not only will this do wonders for your waist, sleep, and mood, it will save you quite a bit of money.
“A good bottle of wine a week or a cheap bottle of wine and eating out is the same price. I rarely drink anymore. I just don’t want to. I enjoy the ‘high’ from skinny jeans more than 2 glasses of wine a night I used to drink. Plus I have so much more energy now that I choose going on hikes and camping more than bar nights and bar food.” – Wendy M
Cut monthly subscriptions
- Take inventory of your fitness/gym memberships. How many are you paying for? Can you consolidate? Nothing can replace the health benefits of staying active and working out, but can you get those benefits in a more affordable way?
“I am budgeting and prioritizing… I cancelled my OTF membership and opted to keep working out at home with the Peloton digital app. Set up my new “gym” in my home office. Good to go!” – Martina Singer
- 4 TV subscriptions? Pick your favorite and cut the rest. Yes, I am a big hypocrite here and I’ll admit it.
Fine-tune your finances
- Call your credit agencies and ask for a reduced rate or refinance. Mortgages, credit cards, loans etc. Interest is a massive expense that can be reduced if we ask.
- Improve your credit score. I’m a big fan of CreditKarma to monitor my number. Improving your score might take time but it could save you tens of thousands of dollars over time and the app has a ton of tips.
- Download Acorns. It’s an app that rounds up your purchases and invests it for you. You can also set an automatic deposit daily, weekly, or monthly so you can save without even thinking about it. I love it!
- Leave your debit and credit cards at home when you go somewhere “risky”. I always talk about your food environment and ensuring that you’re keeping your space free from unnecessary temptations? This is similar. You can’t buy those shoes if the cards are at home.
- Set up an automatic transfer to a savings account and DO NOT attach access to it on your debit/atm card. Much like food, if it’s there we will probably eat it. An automatic transfer with no way to withdraw money unless we go to the bank increases the chances of that money sitting.
- Audit your bank statements and make a budget. When members join Stronger U, we ask them to track their food intake so we can see exactly what’s going on. This is the same thing. You’ll probably find some things you didn’t even realize were coming out. It might just be a few bucks but it could be eye-opening.
“I could honestly blow $300 on a Target run on stuff I really don’t need. Not always… but once in a 3-month period? Yep. For sure. Whenever I look closely at my budget I see incidences of frivolous spending. $5 here. $20 there. Maybe $50. I just committed to being mindful about non-essential spending. ” – Rachael S
This isn’t the end all be all of ideas, but it’s a great start. Take some time to inventory your financial and wellness goals. Then set a few of these ideas in motion, see what sticks, and evaluate if they make your life easier. Stronger U member or not, we hope we can leave you with some valuable insight today.