I was looking over my budget the other day, and realized that I’m guilty of the tendency of so many people to “increase their lifestyle” after they get a raise. I got a very teensy tiny raise a few weeks back, and I bumped up my savings in response, but I’m also adding other expenses, something I should be careful about doing.
The latest expense? I signed up for a gym membership. Now, I spent quite some time weighing my options on this one, and I think it was the right decision, even given the costs. I was lucky enough to have a 3 month temporary membership to this particular gym, so I got to try it out quite a bit and decide if I really was going to use it regularly. I go every day on my lunch break, and occasionally on the weekends (if the weather’s nice, I prefer to run outside). I really like the classes offered at lunch, and definitely see a difference in my body since I’ve been working out. It also makes the day go so much faster, and it’s nice to not have to worry about working out later in the evening, when all I want to do is go home, make dinner, and crash on the couch.
So all in all, not a bad expense. During the summer, I like to run outside in the evenings, but last winter, I gained a bit of weight because I’m not comfortable running outside in the dark after work (and since I don’t get home til around 6 or later, it’s definitely dark this time of year). I’m hoping to prevent that this year.
It’s not that I can’t afford it, and I’m working on cutting back on other spending areas, such as groceries, and I’m continuing to budget yearly expenses so that I save 1/12th of the expense every month, which is a huge help. I am a bit worried what happens if my roommate decides to move out next spring once she graduates. I currently live just outside of Washington D.C. because it’s cheaper and I love the neighborhood, but she’s itching to live more in the city, so it’s a distinct possibility.
Sure, I could always just get another roommate, but I have to be honest – the idea of just taking in a random person as a roommate freaks me out a bit. My current roommate is a friend from college, so I know her and I trust her. I’m not sure I would be as comfortable with a stranger.
I’m trying to not worry about it too much right now – it’s months away, and whatever happens happens. I just need to be sure I’m not adding more bills to my monthly expenses. The gym membership is a good one, and one that I think is justifiable, but I have to be sure that I’m not making excuses as to why I need other things as well.