How to Stay Fit Without Breaking Your Budget. When I find myself cash-strapped, I used to think that was the perfect excuse to cancel my gym membership and my workout plan. Now I know that it’s all the more reason to get creative!

It’s hard to find the motivation to stay in shape. Once you do find that push to get fit, it’s hard to stick to the plan. Fees for gym memberships, personal training sessions, new workout gear and equipment add up into a foreboding and massive number, leading us to throw those fitness goals out the window. There are ways to get around spending so much money! So, listen up!


YouTube has evolved into a resource for almost everything. You can see cats doing crazy things, watch your favorite music videos, learn a new skill, tour a foreign country. The possibilities are literally endless, and when it comes to fitness, YouTube has earned its rightful spot on the free resource list.

I recognize that it may seem counterproductive to sit in front of a computer screen in order to get fit. But, utilizing YouTube in an efficient way will actually get you out of that computer chair and into those jeans from 5 years ago. There are tons of workout videos and YouTube channels that feature great fitness routines catered to everyone. Squeeze in a quick yoga sequence or complete an hour long training session, without spending a cent.

Being resourceful

I’ve traveled quite extensively, and one of the biggest issues for me was stopping myself from devouring all of the delicious foreign cuisine. It was hard to get out of those food comas and get my butt moving. Lack of equipment constantly posed an obstacle for me to overcome. Thus, I had to resort to some desperate, and creative, measures.

Stairs are great for some cardio or strength training. Run up and down a few sets or do some calf raises. I once used cases of beer as my dumbbells. And then drank them all afterwards. Once again, counterproductive I guess. Use a towel or blanket as your yoga mat. Fill a backpack with heavy items and take that for a walk or use it as a weight to do squats. Use the wall, use the floor, use the hill at the park. The couch can be your new vessel for reverse push-ups. And you still get to watch TV. It’s a win-win!

Exercises that can be done anywhere

There are tons of exercises that can be done almost anywhere, without the use of equipment. Going for a run is the most convenient way to get a good workout while sticking to a budget. All you need is a pair of sneakers and some space.

Don’t have sneakers? Run barefoot on the beach or go for a swim in the pool, lake, ocean, bathtub, wherever. Yoga is another great alternative. All that is required is a flat space; no shoes, no problem! There are also tons of strength exercises that you can do sans fancy equipment. Squats, lunges, crunches and push-ups are among the most simple of examples, and they all provide awesome ways to condition your body.

Go mobile

There are so many mobile apps available to help keep you on track with your new fitness routine. Many can be downloaded for free or for a minimal cost. Different apps offer different things. Some will provide an eating plan or calorie calculator, while others may provide motivational quotes or reminders.

Every fitness app is different, and it will take a bit of experimentation to find the ones that are right for you. My favorites are iFitness and My Fitness Pal. If you are looking for a virtual personal trainer, there’s an app for that. Need a reminder to do your workout? There’s an app for that. Need help counting calories? Oh yeah, there’s an app for that.

Get a friend

It is hard to find a substitute for the accountability of having a gym membership. When you’re paying those monthly fees, you want to make use of the service that you are shelling out your hard-earned cash for. For those who don’t have gym memberships within your budget, you lose the feeling of obligation that you get from a gym membership.

A great substitute for a gym membership that still provides a similar compulsory feeling is by making fitness into an event. Find a friend with similar fitness goals, or someone who already exercises regularly. Instead of making plans to get drinks, make plans to go for a bike ride every week. You’ll have that block of time already set in your schedule. It’s a lot harder to bail on a friend than it is to ditch your solo workout.

Have no fear my fitness friends! Contrary to what you may believe, sticking to a budget and staying fit can actually peacefully coexist. A little creative thinking and taking advantage of the technologies of today can really go a long way when it comes to adapting a new healthy lifestyle. What are some of the ways that you stay fit without breaking the bank?