Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thrifty Thursday :)

I love fitness ... my elliptical, my Zumba. I'm not sure where I'd be without them. I'm also cheap ... even as active as I am, I know I wouldn't get my monies worth from paying gym fees.  Luckily, ou really don't need expensive equipment to workout at home. I admit, I'm super spoiled with our home gym  which did require investments (added to  over years)... but it's been worth it.  No excuses when it's right downstairs. I've also discovered a ton of free Zumba classes here in my area (♥Utah). I NEVER thought I'd try Zumba (much less love it) but seeing that first class advertised for free ... the frugal part of me said "you HAVE to try it, it's FREE". 

I will admit ... I did get a little spendy with my gadgets. I started with a cheap-o pedometer ... and went through several of those. Then I invested in one that was a little more expensive (an Omron, not this one, but close, mine was about $25 and I still use it!) When the Fitbit came out ... I stressed over the cost a little. $100. But I bit the bullet and bought it. And I LOVE it.

My little Fitbit has more than paid for itself though. In actual money. There are many reward programs out there. And as my parents and hubby&kids jumped on the Fitbit bandwagon, I've gotten them on board with many of these programs too. In addition to setting up their Fitbits, I've also signed them up for Achievemint, Fitstudio and Walgreens Balance Rewards. I'll check in on things occasionally, letting my mom know that Dad earned his $50 award from Achievemint, and to watch for the email with the information. I looked up the balance on their Walgreens before they made a trip in ... and I'll admit, when they have some Fitstudio points and aren't going to get into a Kmart or Sears themselves before they expire, I'll sometimes stop in, buy something with their points and tell the boys it was a gift from Grandma and Grandpa. 

My mom just happily received her first $50 Achievemint award this past week, and encouraged me to share the programs with my siblings (as many of them have become Fitbit fans as well). I've copied a bit from my email to them ...

  • Achievemint:  It's quick and easy to sign up and link your Fitbit account. Then you can just forget about it, and check in occasionally (website or app). After a while, you earn enough points to claim a reward. It takes a little time to earn, and then another wait to receive ... but I've earned it several times ($50), Callahan, Landon, Dad and now Mom.
  • FitStudio: *** Update 02/2016 ... Fitstudio had shut down ;( (Farewell Fitstudio). This program works with the Kmart/Sears ShopYourWayPoints ... you get store credit (up to about $8 a week). The credit does expire quickly (within a week, you can't let it roll over and add up. Use it or lose it) ... but while I rarely ever shopped at either store before, I sure do now! You DO have to be a little proactive (tell them you want to use your points, they don't always ask). The program has had a few kinks here and there, but hey, it's free credit so I'm really not going to complain.
  • Walgreens You can earn points (store credit) by linking your Fitbit. Walgreens does have a monthly limit to what you can earn through activity (just $2, or 2000 points) but unlike Fitstudio, the points do not expire and can roll over and add up. I'd signed up Mom a while back and forgot about it, then Mom was making a trip in and wala ... had $20 in credit to use.
These are the top three reward programs I like and recommend. Mainly because there is no risk, only reward. Link up your Fitbit ... or if you don't have a Fitbit (why don't you have a Fitbit?), Fitstudio and Walgreens will work with manual logins or with some other brands of trackers. 

Another program I do like, and just did another review of recently is Pact (My Yearlong Pact). The reason I didn't recommend this one to my parents or siblings is that there IS a risk. You make a commitment, and if you do NOT meet your pact, you will end up paying (they do require a credit card #). But as I mentioned in my review, I've never paid a dime, I've only collected.

Here's a little "snag" from my Paypal account ... $50 from Achievemint (they pay with a GiftRocket E-card), then some of the money earned in 2014 from Pact, which I had let pile up after my first couple smaller withdrawals (just to make sure I did actually get the money!)  The outgoing $$ were some new batteries for my PolarHRM :)

When I see people pondering getting a Fitbit ... I like them to know in addition to all the wonderful feedback, graphs, competition with family and friends for motivation ... it may not be the investment they think it is, as it can actually pay you back!

So that's my Thrifty Thursday report ... I'll probably post more about certain programs as I continue to have additional experiences with them. I hope to post other little money saving tips too. Sometimes fitness related, sometimes not.

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