Think Twice Before Making These 10 New Year's Resolutions

BETTER RESOLUTIONS

Trying or buying something new might seem like a great way to commence the year -- until you realize how much it costs. Some of the most common New Year's resolutions are some of the most expensive. Here are 10 to consider avoiding in favor of cheaper alternatives.

JOIN A GYM

Getting in shape is one of the most common New Year's resolutions, so it's no surprise that gym membership sales soar at the start of the year. But the average cost is about $700 for the year, according to data compiled by the Statistic Brain Research Institute. There are plenty of free ways to get in shape without signing a pricey contract, such as joining a local running group or using a workout app.

HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER

Those who are serious about losing weight often turn to personal trainers for expert guidance on staying fit and help staying on track. Depending on the location, a personal trainer can easily charge upward of $100 for an hour-long session. Instead, turn to YouTube, where fitness experts dedicate entire channels to showing proper form and technique without the hefty hourly rates.

TRAVEL ABROAD

International travel is another popular yet pricey New Year's resolution. Airfare, lodging, and other expenses can rack up thousands of dollars in spending on just one trip. Instead of traveling overseas for new experiences, research interesting destinations in your state or within a short driving distance.

START A HOBBY

Adopting a new hobby can be a fun and personally gratifying resolution. However, some pursuits (flying lessons, horseback riding, boat racing) are far more expensive than others. Think about taking up a hobby that could potentially make you extra money.

DE-STRESS WITH MASSAGE THERAPY

Managing stress is a healthy goal to set for the new year, but the cost of massage therapy can easily reach $100, depending on the provider. Rather than potentially cause more worry by straining your finances, try free relaxation and stress-coping techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
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BUY A NEW WARDROBE

A new year doesn't require a new wardrobe. If you want to revamp your style, try re-appropriating apparel that's already in your closet. Try new combinations and wear clothes differently than you normally would -- for instance, tuck in a top, roll sleeves or cuffs, or drape a jacket over your shoulders.

RENOVATE THE HOUSE

There are lots of ways to refresh a home without undertaking a professional renovation. Work within a budget by choosing one room at a time to redecorate, and see what an impact you can make with a few DIY projects. Simply applying a coat of paint or rearranging furniture is an underappreciated yet affordable way to update a home.

TAKE A CLASS

Thirsty for knowledge or eager to learn a new skill in the new year? Instead of registering for an expensive continuing education course, check out the offerings at the local library or community center. Many offer free or cheap classes in everything from information technology to knitting to martial arts.

TRY AN EXTREME SPORT

Adventure seekers need not to turn to risky sports this year. Skydiving, bungee jumping, and other extreme sports can cost well over $100 for a momentary adrenaline rush. Rock climbing and cliff jumping are two exhilarating and cheaper alternatives.

FINALLY MAKE THAT BIG PURCHASE

A new year can motivate large, unnecessary purchases, but buying a new car or expensive gadget isn't the best way to start 2016 financially. Set a budget first and be realistic about what you can afford.