Going Broke to Be Fit

 Millennials and Gen Z are willing to go into debt for fitness
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In 2020 money was definitely not an obstacle when getting those “Body Goals”. A Compare Cards  February 2020 survey shows 38% of millennials and 41% of Gen Z are either currently in credit card debt or have been because of fitness related purchases. Despite the financial implications investments. 

The top 5 expenses are the following:

  1. Gym Memberships
  2. Workout Attire 
  3. Equipment
  4. Mobile Apps 
  5. Personal Training 

Wei Mei a Gen Z fitness enthusiast quoted the following when asked about his fitness related purchases “Yes, my biggest recurring fitness expense is my weekly grocery runs for meal prep that is catered towards my macronutrient needs while helping me meet my fitness goals. There’s also my gym membership that automatically renews every month and supplements creatine, caffeine, vitamin D, vitamin K2, fish oil, and protein powder that I order as needed.” 

Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

Also, when asked if he is willing to go into debt to make these purchases he stated “Definitely not. I hate the idea of being in debt and the only time I’d be willing to go into debt for a purchase would be for something big like a house or a car.” 

Mei’s opinion about fitness and debt is quite different from others in the Gen Z generation according to the survey

What are the factors driving this trend? Most say it is the need to be healthy while others believe that Social Media and its influences play a major role in this trend or a combination of both. A survey from The Digital Mirror stated that 59.2% of the most avid users says physical appearance is extremely important and 48.8% is unsatisfied with their over all look. This a direct correlation on how much time the participants spent on Social Media. With more advertisers looking to target consumers here is a correlation between purchasing decisions and emotional state while on Social Media. 

When asked about how Social Media influences his purchase Mei states, “Social media plays an important part in helping me discover fitness-related products, but I seldom buy since the functions of the products that are being marketed can usually be replicated using more economical means. I like looking into the underlying principles and researching the effectiveness of the products. If I feel that idea is useful, I’ll employ a more economic[al] solution at home for personal use.” 

As this trend is currently growing especially with the effects COVID-19 here are low cost options that could help offset the fitness related purchases. 

  1. Consider used equipment to start
  2. YouTube has many free workout channels
  3. Compare pricing and look for deals for workout apparel 
  4.  Add a nutrition/fitness amount in the monthly budget so there are no surprises

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