I am a new-ish Lither; I started going to classes the end of May. I was introduced to Lithe through the LivingSocial deal and planned to only take the 5 classes due to money restraints. Of course after the first class I was hooked and have since purchased two 10 class cards and the Rue La La deal.
My only issue with Lithe is, and I'm sure you've heard this before, the cost (I should note that I do think the classes are worth every penny). Judging by the amount of full-blown Lululemon outfits worn in the studios ;), most of your clientele seem to be, perhaps, a bit on the wealthier side. I unfortunately make a meager salary...however I really love taking the classes, so I'm struggling with how to budget in order to continue on.
Have you heard from other Lithers who are in a similar situation? I'm wondering if you have any budget-friendly tips to share with your readers which could ultimately result in more "fun money"...ie. more to put towards a healthy lifestyle. Just thought I'd drop you a line about this! Thanks, Jenna
I've been there! I remember trying to pay for two studio rents/expenses, my own expenses and also trying to stay as healthy as possible so that I could have the energy to teach 20+ classes a week (because I had to). Most of the instructors and I agree: Make your own brew, shop at Whole Foods sparingly and visit those farmers markets! I recommend purchasing the Rulala & Living Social Deals (they are a huge help!) and participate in our Twitter Tuesdays (you'll have more of a chance to win free classes since there are less participants involved). Here's the fitness formula: Take 1-2 Lithe Classic classes a week (Skinny Jeans, Split, Sculpt) to build your Lithe muscle structure. Then, try to remember our wide second, push-ups and Method Abs sequences. On the days that you're not in the studio, stay active five days a week by walking, running, Hotstepping outdoors...keep moving and pepper in those sequences! Enlist a buddy. We have a wonderful community of women that would probably love to partner up with you (it will keep it fun, keep you committed and feeling like you're involved in the Lithe community). I promise that it will work! -Lauren
When I started lithing I had to get rid of cable to afford it. I also didn't eat out as much because 1. It was healthier for me to cook 2. Better for budgeting. I know people who've gotten rid of their parking garages and now park their cars on the street. Shopping less too! I learned to put $200 in my budget for necessary things so I wouldn't spend it. The monthly unlimited is the best deal ESP if you're going more then 3-4 times a week. It'll teach you not to cancel or sleep in on classes too so you'll get more for your buck. That's my experience as a client. I know a lot of us have made sacrifices because we all can't afford it but make it work. Let me know if you have any questions. -Jess
Some things Brian and I do: Join a CSA, cut back on eating out, buying lunches (bring your own), making your coffee at home instead of buying it, cooking more (use leftovers for lunch next day), buy grains in bulk at whole foods, setting up a monthly budget including bills & spending money is crucial, eliminate and unneeded spending on magazine subscriptions, etc., walking when you can instead of taking a taxi or paying for parking. It all adds up quickly!! -Steph
You are not alone - but I find that once you adopt the the Fit.Hip.Healthy lifestyle you find yourself saying no to the high calories, high sugar, high dollar lattes, cook more meals instead of eating out (or ordering in), etc and the money saved just goes towards the Lithe class cards. -Anne
You're definitely not alone! Many of us go through the money factor with Lithe and go back and compare it to our previous workouts, trainers, home gyms and specialty gyms but find our way back...(it's worth the creativity, instruction, motivation,support, feeling and results ). After lithing for a while we tend to lean towards a healthier life style in general which equals spending less $$ in areas you did before. I say skip Starbucks or your favorite coffee shop during the week (make your own brew) and treat yourself after your favorite lithe class on Saturday! Buy select items @ whole foods and the rest from local retailers, fruit stores and farmers markets perhaps! When friends & family ask what you want for b- days and special occasions = lithe gift cards! Give psychotherapy a break = an alternative may be work-it-out at lithe ( awesome for the mind-body-soul). Check your insurance! Some insurance plans give their members money back or discounts if they workout! -Bari
The only advice I have is "make health a priority" -- by this I mean, bump "Lithe class" up on the budget list of priorities and triage by sacrificing in other "lower priority" areas like cable TV, clothes, going out to eat/drink, buying coffee/water out. For example, I saved $50 a month cutting back on the cable package I had, $50 a month making my own coffee at home and nixing the Starbucks habit, and I make it a rule never to buy my own alcoholic drinks when I'm out (saves me calories & cash)! Little things like that really add up. I'm not sure what kind of budget she's working with, but there is almost always a way to make something you really want to do happen -- just have to make sacrifices and get creative. -Melissa
I definitely struggled with this when I first started taking classes. In fact, I looked at it as part of my budget--not an additional cost, but depending on how much I was spending on Lithe per month, I forced myself to reduce spending in other areas; in essence, it was about prioritizing. If you're not ready to take the monthly unlimited/$200 commitment, which seemed crazy to me as well (before I understood the important place it had in my life), you might consider getting at 10-class card. I added on one or two classes to my regular workout/cardio regimen, which worked for my weekly/budget at the time in that it meant I had one less dinner out with friends, or limited the number of glasses of wine I had while I was out (which ultimately helped me reach my fitness goals faster). I did this for about 6 months, and loved lithing more and more each time. You might consider doing this, and then scooping up deals whenever they are available. I also asked for lithe classes/gift cards as gifts for birthdays and holidays, which got me through most of the first year of taking classes (before getting a raise :-) As a reward for myself for reaching a work goal, I treated myself to a monthly unlimited pass. It became my own mini-challenge--I wanted to make sure I maximized the pass by using it 6 times a week while still pushing myself to stay within my budget. I still maintained my monthly budget, but I sacrificed other things. The beauty of it was that it ended up not feeling like a sacrifice--I was living healthier, eating better, and was more balanced. After staying within my budget and realizing I could do it, spending the money each month felt far less drastic (especially after doing the math and realizing how little each class was actually costing me). I'm not sure this is helpful--but I know for many who work in nonprofit, it's all about prioritizing our spending money (and knowing that over time, your salary increases and things don't feel so hard). Many of my colleagues and friends from grad school would NEVER spend $200/month on fitness, but eat out/shop/pay more in rent/etc. more than I did. I know all of this is pretty obvious, but maybe the fact that you're not alone will help --I have heard so many girls in the locker room over the years say things to the effect of "I don't spend money on clothes, or eating out, but I do spend money on my hair and my workout..." etc. -Gerri
If you are buying class cards set aside $50-$60/month so you have the extra cash on hand when it's time to purchase a new card. Make a list of everything you purchase for a month & it will give you a great idea as to where you can start saving. Seemingly 'little' purchases add up over a month. -Krista
I started lithing when I was a resident, so both meager on time and money so I understand what you are going through! I think it's important to budget and really plan everything, including money. If going out with friends, go to places with specials or happy hours. Or do a potluck dinner and share leftovers! I prioritized what activities I really enjoyed. So I don't love going to the movies and am willing to sit that out. So try to figure put what you can live without entertainment wise. Lots of places offer student discounts, make sure you ask. (including places like j crew and club Monaco). I was someone who couldn't lithe regularly with my schedule, and so if I was lithing less than 3 times a week, the 30 class card makes the most sense. An then I'd do other workouts on non lithe days. If you think about that it's less than $20 a class (which you could spend on dinner it doesnt seem so bad). Do pushups and see saws at home on off days! I use mint.com religiously and budget my months beforehand, and try to plan for expenses. -Anna Marie
I feel your pain! Sounds like you are committed to fitting Lithe into your budget, but sometimes easier said than done. Mint.com is a great money website I use to budget and track where every dollar is going. It that's too much, just start writing it all down for a month - knowledge is power, you would be amazed how a dollar here and there adds up. If you use online banking I think automatic savings plans really help too - you can make one for Lithe! Be a month ahead of the game. For me, the $$ towards my savings comes out of my checking into special accounts right after our paychecks are deposited. It makes it a no brainer and like the $$ was never even there. This next one may be a little over the top for you but I'm a bit of a finance nerd. I've read helpful books by Suze Orman, (Young, Broke & Fabulous is great), Dave Ramsey (he uses an envelope system) and Jean Chatzkey to name a few. I believe when you understand more about your $$ it's less intimidating and easier to make smart choices. Good luck! - Heather
Images of Lithe Instrucotrs via Dom