Yesterday, at the gym, I overheard an interesting conversation in the locker room. One of the women commented that since she joined the gym, she had stopped showering at home. I was impressed that she went to the gym every single day and didn’t think much of it beyond that.
But then she continued. She was doing this not because of convenience but because of all the money she saved. This made me pause. Could she really be saving that much money by only showering at the gym?
Our gym has a very nice locker room. They provide shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion, as well as towels (which could be bigger, in my opinion – nothing like finishing a great workout and ending up with a towel that barely wraps around your waist). But how much money could you really be saving?
She wouldn’t be paying for water for her showers or for washing her towels after her shower. Of course, the amount saved depends on the length of the shower. My water is included in my rent, so I’m not sure how best to calculate this number. Additionally, if I were calculating whether or not it was worth it to me to only shower at the gym, the water cost would have no meaning since it’s part of my rent.
Then there’s the cost of the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and detergent for the towels. While all of these things can be expensive, to truly calculate savings, I’m looking at these as being very basic items. No super fancy body washes here, just a cheap bottle from the drugstore. I don’t know about you, but I don’t go through a bottle of body wash a month, nor do I go through a bottle of shampoo or conditioner in a month. And I’ve got fairly long hair. I can’t imagine that she saves more than $10 a month showering at the gym.
Of course, $10 saved is $10 saved. If she’s already at the gym and it’s easy for her to just bring everything she needs and shower there, then sure, it makes sense. But I’m not sure it makes sense as a way to save money.
But I guess we all have our own little ways of saving money. What things do you do that others might find a little ridiculous.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.