Move over, 1999. We are going to party like it’s 2013. Or 2014. Or whenever it was that most of the world bought their Fitbits. We might also have to redefine the word party. It’s more like eating financial crow. Here goes nothing.
One of the first things that I did when we decided to get our money acts together was to pull the plug on our gym memberships. For years, I balked at the idea of paying for health and fitness, aside from the occasional pair of running shoes. I could not even comprehend the notion of shelling out big for an activity tracker when my iPhone already counts my steps, thankyouverymuch.
Still, my husband wouldn’t let go of the idea. I hemmed. I hawed. I pointed out that I was already in decent shape, reminding him that I walked so many miles postpartum that I shed my baby weight in a handful of weeks. (Read that with undertones of cheap, not vain. I had already been fitted for a $400 bridesmaid dress and this frugal mama wasn’t springing for another one.) I also pointed out the fact that as parents of a newborn, we absolutely, positively did not want any further documentation of the fact that we were not sleeping. The bags, the lines, the dark shadows. How much more proof does a body need?
This Christmas, one thing became apparent: I have met my match in terms of stubbornness. There in my stocking was a Fitbit. Truth be told, I don’t hate it. In fact, I quite like it, even if I don’t always like what it has to say. And that is what makes it such a solid investment.
The Financial Sting is a Good Thing
I’m not saying you have to buy a Fitbit Charge 2. I’m not saying you have to buy any kind of activity tracker. But what I am saying is that there is something to be said for spending money on health and fitness, be it equipment, classes, or some kind of technology tool. This is especially true if you are someone who has become money conscious. Like moi.
I know that my husband popped for this FitBit, and I know exactly how much popping happened because of joint accounts, baby. (And because he used my Kohls charge so I could get the rewards points for it, plus Ebates, because you know, I love me some moolah.) Because I know that this fine piece of gadgetry cost $100, I have some skin in the game. It seems downright wasteful to have spent that kind of money and not wear the dang thing. And once it’s on my arm, something magical happens. It’s that same number-loving part of my personality that made me so obsessive about checking my Vanguard account when I first started investing. I can’t not look at the numbers. Once I look at the numbers, well, I had better get to stepping and sweating.
Another Metric to Measure By
Is 10,000 steps the end-all, be-all when it comes to fitness? Not even close. In fact, there has been a lot of hubbub lately suggesting that maybe that number is a lot more meaningless than the fine folks at Fitbit would like us to think.
While I know 10,000 steps won’t paint the full picture of my health, it is another metric to measure by. Looking at how many flights of stairs I walk, how many hours a day I’m active, how well poorly I sleep, and some of the other details that my Fitbit captures does remind me to prioritize my wellbeing and put in more work. What we take the time to measure matters.
Investing in the Long Haul
There’s no way around this one: getting older is costly, at least in terms of health care. The thought of shelling out $12 for emergency cherry juice made me uneasy. The estimate of spending a quarter of million dollars on health care in the future makes me downright lightheaded. Still, I plan on living for a really long time, and I want my blue-hair years to be as exciting as possible. Instead of putting the majority of my money toward medical expenses, I’d rather put it toward traveling or penny slots in the casino (because 101-year-old Penny is apparently going to be identical to 31-year-old Penny). While I know that I’m going to have to spend some money on my health, the more I can keep an eye on my health now, the better off I’ll be in the long run.
Final Thoughts on My Fitbit
Is my Fitbit a fitness and financial panacea? Not even. But I am finding myself doing a lot of bizarre things in the name of staying active. Like walking in place next to my bed for2,000 steps one night when I realized my FitBit didn’t register any of the steps I took pushing the stroller around for hours. While only time will truly tell what kind of an investment it was, I can say that I don’t regret spending a bit of money on fitness.
So Tell Me…How do you invest in your health and fitness?