Physcology and personal finance are closer friends than you’ve probably ever considered. I’m so fascinated in using logic to change my behavior, and so should you. Specifically, logic that makes a difference in the cash I have. Here’s a great example I want to share with you, I’ll explain why my gym membership that costs me $50 a month (family) actually saves me hard cash. That’s right, I’ve got the gym paying me to go there. I’ll show you how I reduce my water and electricity bills by using the full potential of my gym membership to actually save money, and well there are the health benefits you know, being physically active and fit.
As an active person, I typically shower 7 days a week. Granted, this would be considered excessive by many standards, but I’ve got naturally oily skin, my dermatologist told me it will keep me young looking, so I can deal with it. According to this eco-website, the cost of a 10 minute shower is roughy $2.10, here’s the numbers:
What does it cost to take a ten-minute shower in the morning!
You will be surprised the amount of money you can save each year, changing out your standard showerheads for a more energy efficient low-flow showerhead. You must remember the amount of wet you get doesn’t change, just the amount of water waste.
To calculate the cost we need to know some things:
The National average cost of water in the United States
The National average cost of electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh)
The average cost to heat 1 liter of water
The average flow rate of a showerhead
The flow rate of a low-flow showerhead.The National average cost of water is $.0030274 per liter. Info Here
The most recent figure for average cost of electricity (April 2008) in the United States is 9.44 cents per kilowatt-hour. Info Here.
Cost to heat one liter of water to average showering temperature” $0.1313685. Info Here
Most regular showerhead fixtures installed before 1992 have flow rates of up to 5.5 gallons of water per minute. We will use is 3.5 for this exercise. Info Here.
Using the information from the websites (linked above), we can do the math:
Cost of electricity:$0.0944 per kWh
Multiplied by the cost to heat one liter$0.1313685
This gives us a heating cost per liter$0.0130054 (or a little more than one cent).
Add the cost of water $0.0030274
Total cost of one liter of shower water $0.0160328How many liters of water are used in the average ten-minute shower?
The average flow rate showerhead uses 3.5 gallons per minute. Since there are 3.785 liters in each gallon, this would be 13.125 liters per minute, or 131.125 liters in ten minutes.
131.125 liters, multiplied by the cost per liter of $0.0160328,gives a final answer (rounded to the nearest cent) of $2.10 for the average ten-minute shower.
If I’m taking a shower a day, with an average of 30 showers per month, it costs me $63 per month to shower. I’ll be realistic and say maybe 5 of the showers will still be at home, so I’ll knock off $10 and say my personal costs are $53 per month. Right there my gym membership is paid for, and I’m actually making $3. That’s not including my kids, the free daycare provided (for all my 4 kids) while I workout or take a couple of the kids to the pool or to play basketball. And you bet they are showering there too after swimming or other activites. If 3 of the kids take just one shower per week there, that’s an additional $6.30 per week I’m knocking off my water, electric and gas bills. That’s another $25 or so I’m saving per month.
Total Cost of my gym membership per month: | |
Membership fee – | $ 50.00 |
My showers – 25 showers @ $2.10 per shower | $ (52.50) |
3 Kids, 1 Shower per week: 6 @ $2.10 per shower | $ (12.60) |
$ (15.10) |
Essentially, the gym is paying me $15 per month to get healthy. Not to mention, if I were to add in daycare for four kids being watched for 2 hours, 3 times a week, at minimum wage or $6, that would be an additional $36 I could consider savings (6 hours times $6/hr = $36). I estimate the gym pays me about $50 per month to get healthy, and I love it.
What’s more? I’m not counting the electricty savings I’m enjoying while not sitting around with lights on and TVs on in the house, because they’re turned off when I’m at the gym.
Clearly, the gym is a smart decision for both you and I. Challenge your perceptions, logic is your friend.
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