Homeownership Guidance, Advice and Blogs

As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.

Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.

The gym is for suckers

When I moved back to DC 5 years ago I got caught up in the hot yoga craze. As much as I, and especially my skin, loved it, I ultimately had to give it up because it cost too much.

SoulCycle, another love, Pilates, Crossfit, Barre3 and other specialty studios cost far more than my hot yoga, automatically knocking them out as well. And ClassPass, which allows you to take classes at studios around the city, had so many restrictions that it wasn’t worth it. Many people don’t have the knowledge to master a session at the gym without a trainer which is another hefty expense. So, what do you do if you love the specialty classes but can’t afford the high priced studio?

Janine had a similar problem. A few years ago she was introduced to Pilates while living overseas, and fell in love with it. When she returned to the States she was eager to continue her training, but as a single woman living on a government worker’s salary, she simply could not afford the high priced studios in the DC area. So, she made a classic Money Magnet move: She studied Pilates and began teaching the class.
Janine nor I expect you to go out and become a fitness guru, but there are things you can do to expand your workout regimen for little to no money. Here are a few:

  1. If you're an intermediate or experienced exerciser, workout DVD's are a great way to broaden your horizons outside of the gym. Janine suggests beginners avoid this as you’ll need to gain greater body awareness in order to maximize the workout.
  2. Scout out deals at new gyms. They typically offer a few free introductory classes and sessions with trainers.
  3. Many community and apprentice centers offer discounted classes taught by yogis and trainers currently studying for their certification exams. They get the training experience, you get a cheaper workout.
  4. Walking and running clubs. Some people simply need accountability partners, and this is the perfect way to get one. Typically free, these clubs are usually available through your local running store or Meetup groups. I’ve run with the Fleet Feet and Pacers Running Stores, as well as Black Girls Run.
  5. Free seasonal classes are often held outdoors in the spring and summer. Check Meetup, Facebook, and your local athletic store for available classes.

Your excuses are officially gone.

And so it is.