Each new year brings resolutions — vows of self-improvement many people make but often fail to keep. Although everyone is different, many New Year’s resolutions are the same. Themes run the gamut, from weight loss to travel and saving more money.
Learn about the most common New Year’s resolutions and how much they’ll cost you in 2017.
Stay Fit and Healthy
The most popular resolution of 2015 and 2016 was staying fit and healthy, according to survey results from Nielsen. Losing weight was a close second both years. For many, this vow is as elusive as it is common. But everything from free apps to fitness trackers can help you meet this goal in 2017.
Look to apps like Lost It! to keep tabs on calories and Nike+ Training Club for free workout routines. Buy new and used healthy cookbooks for around $10, or close to $5 on Kindle.
Fitness trackers like Fitbit help you track steps, your exercise routine and even food plans. They keep you informed on what you’re doing right and where you can improve. The cost? Around $130, if you’re picking up the Fitbit Charge 2. Other high-tech fitness trackers can run you well over $200.
A whopping 32 percent of survey respondents said losing weight was their 2016 New Year’s resolution, reported Nielsen. Although you can lose weight for free — with a bit of hard work, of course — a gym membership gives you access to a vast menu of machines, free weights and even classes. And nothing helps you burn calories like watching Becky with the good hair rocking the elliptical.
The average monthly cost of a gym membership in the U.S. is $58 per month, or $696 per year, according to Statistic Brain. Sadly, an astonishing 67 percent of gym members never go to the gym, meaning this is one New Year’s resolution that can nip you in the wallet.
If you lack the discipline to hit the gym, consider a personal trainer who can call and yell at you when you’re feeling lazy. Be prepared to pay up, though. The average cost of a one-hour session with a personal trainer is between $80 and $125, according to Angie’s List. Assuming you take two sessions per week, that’s an annual cost between $8,320 and $13,000.
Save More and Spend Less
According to a GOBankingRates.com survey, 22.73 percent of people are vowing to save more and spend less in 2017. The numbers are comparable among men and women, and across most income brackets.
When it comes to saving money, you know the basics: Make coffee at home and don’t eat out. But this is one New Year’s resolution you can really accomplish for free — and even make money on. Coupon sites like CouponSherpa.com and cash-back sites like Ebates.com help you save every time you shop. And you know that pesky tax return you’re getting in 2017? Use it to pay off debts and pad savings.
Use free apps like Mint to better manage your money and plug holes in your budget. For savings, open a high-interest account to earn more on your money in 2017. Online banks like Ally offer 1.00% APR or more on savings, plus low or no maintenance fees.
Looking to travel more in 2017? It’ll cost you. According to 2015 pricing data from Hotels.com, the average cost of a hotel room per night in popular U.S. destinations ranges between $88 in Reno, Nev., to $254 in New York. Per night, Los Angeles costs $175, while Las Vegas comes in at $122.
While you’re out of town, keep an eye out for popular chains known for low menu prices. The average check at Red Robin is $12.17, according to March 2015 data from Morgan Stanley. Applebee’s was similarly cheap, costing $12.42 per person. Other low-cost chains include Logan’s Roadhouse, Chili’s and BJ’s.
The killer of all travel budgets is airfare. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the average round-trip domestic fare in 2016 was $361. Rather than fly to far-off destinations, opt for a road trip for big savings. A seven-hour drive from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon will cost you $37.84 in gas, assuming you’re averaging 28 miles per gallon. Head up to Seattle from Los Angeles and you’ll only spend $87.57 on gas, plus the cost of a one-night stay at a hotel.
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Save Money for Retirement
Only 8.57 percent of people are vowing to save more for retirement in 2017, according to GOBankingRates data. Considering one in three Americans have nothing saved for retirement, vowing to save more is a healthy — and smart — resolution.
Although contributing to an employer-sponsored 401k with low fees is ideal, not everyone has access to this retirement vehicle. If you don’t have a 401k, look to an IRA to start savings. You can make contributions up to $5,500 per year, or $6,500 if you’re age 50 or older.
If you don’t have much room in your budget for savings, put 3 percent of each paycheck into a retirement fund. Over time, increase your contributions. Ideally, you want to put 10 to 15 percent of each paycheck into retirement.
Many New Year’s resolutions directly involve money. But even if your resolution isn’t related to your finances, chances are it will have an impact on your wallet in 2017. Take time to plan your resolution and calculate its cost before diving in. More importantly, make sure you to stick to your resolution so you’re not losing money in the new year.