The real cost of your New Year’s resolutions

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This article was originally published December 2017 and has been updated.

A new year can often feel like a fresh start—it’s why so many of us kick-off January with hope, vigor, and a mile-long lists of resolutions.

The problem is, statistically speaking, most of those lofty New Year’s resolutions fail by February. But rather than being discouraged to not try at all, the trick is being realistic with yourself—especially when it comes to your budget.

We broke down three of the most common New Year’s resolutions and took a hard look at what they really mean for your finances.

1. Get in shape

Step into any gym in early January and you’re likely to find it bursting with people vowing to get stronger and healthier. There’s no shame in wanting to get healthier, but a year-long gym membership is a pricey commitment if you’re not willing to make a lifestyle change, too. Most yearly memberships will run you at least $800—which is a real waste if you’re not going to show up.

Instead, talk to your local gym, yoga studio, climbing wall, etc. and ask about a trial offer. A shorter commitment means you can try it out without the financial commitment up front. And if you like it, then you can make a longer-term commitment after you’ve had a chance to make it a new healthy habit.

You can also consider committing to other short-term (not to mention totally free) fitness goals like walking to work instead of driving, taking the stairs, or working out at home. By being realistic and honest with yourself, not only will your goals be more attainable, your budget will thank you.

2. Drink less

After a December full of indulgence, it makes sense that taking a break from alcohol is a popular resolution. And after all of those holiday parties, it’s a break for your wallet, too. If the average cost of a pint is $7 and you’re enjoying a couple of IPAs each week, that quickly adds up to just shy of $100 a month—and well over $1,000 a year. That number goes up even higher if wine or spirits are your poison. Setting a weekly drink limit (or taking a few weeks off—#Dryuary anyone?) means you’ll have extra dough in the bank to go towards resolution #3.

3. Save more

Whether you’re saving up for a big vacation or looking to pay off your credit card, don’t be vague with your saving goals. Establish the amount you’re working towards, then commit to an achievable savings target for each month. It doesn’t mean you need to drastically change your lifestyle, but tracking what you spend, and setting automated payments from each paycheck are great places to start.