The Why?

Last month, as the UK woke up to ‘A New Year and New Me’ mantra, Roger Black Fitness was lauded within one of the national broad sheets for ‘Best Budget Exercise Bike’ for the Gold Bike The best exercise bikes for 2024, tried and tested ( We were delighted and it also got us thinking… we had never really considered ourselves as a ‘budget’ brand per se – ‘value-for-money’, 100%, and ‘functional over fancy’, most definitely. But budget, less so.

The History of ‘Budget’ Buying

Historically, the concept of ‘budget’ items has often been associated with lesser quality goods or for those who might be struggling financially or marginalised in some way. The rise of supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl have somewhat shifted the perception of ‘quality goods’ here in the UK – particularly with the advent of TV shows such as BBC One – Shop Well for Less – Episode guide.

The UK Cost of Living Crisis

The Cost of Living Crisis, has affected most of us living in the UK. Watching the pennies has become ‘the new normal’ for most of us here in Britain – it’s nothing to be ashamed of. When it comes to gym memberships, according to Pure Gym research “the financial side of going to the gym was revealed as the primary reason behind 54% of people not purchasing gym memberships”. This may be due to a combination of factors, from a post-Lockdown shift in attitudes to consumers opting to exercise at home to save some money.

A Nation of Bargain Hunters

Ironically, there appears to be a shift in attitudes towards budgeting and getting a bargain; from shopping on eBay or to switching to own-label staples such as ketchup or mayonnaise (guilty, AND half the price!), the stigma has eased and there may even be some form of inverted snobbery associated with paying over the odds. It may well be that you can create some family fun doing taste tests and comparing like-for-like. You might surprise yourselves with the results.

Shopping Dupes & The Influencer

The advent of the influencer and social media takes the above one-step further – from make-up dupes to discount code sourcing, we have become a more savvy nation of consumers. The latter also forces retailers to step up in terms of knowing their audience and how to create consistent quality and price sensitivity, especially within the (home) fitness space.

Where to start – The Spreadsheet

So, if you are hoping to save some money in 2024 or re-allocate your earnings or pension, where do you start? Whilst we aren’t accountants or IFA’s, the sensible approach, as supported by The Martin Lewis Money Show Live – Watch Episode – ITVX is to start with a spreadsheet, including every monthly outgoing (as regular or one-off payments). Include things like eating out or takeaways as costs can quickly creep up, as well as school fees, memberships and pet insurance.

Be Ruthless!

Once you have your spreadsheet, either on your own or collectively as a family, agree on what is essential and how much you want to save each month to simply spend less. If you haven’t heard of ‘The Cappuccino Factor’, this shows you how much money you can save during one lifetime if you stop buying your daily coffee, based on the laws of compound interest. Might a similar theory work in relation to gym membership?

Gym Membership Vs Exercising at Home

People go to the gym for a number of reasons, not just to get fit but also for social interaction and to make use of other facilities such as a swimming pool or spa. However, there is also a percentage of the population who isn’t able to travel to a gym or who doesn’t want to exercise in public. It is very much horses for courses but if you aren’t using your gym membership regularly, you may be better off working out at home or finding alternative ways to stay fit and healthy throughout the year, especially if the UK weather forecast is pitiful.

Number Crunching – Gym Vs Home Exercise

So, let’s say your gym membership is costing on average (according to a Leisure DB report) £42.99 per month (rising to £60.00 in London). That’s £515.88 per year, as a very minimum. Depending upon the type of exercise you enjoy, you might be better placed to invest in some home fitness equipment or smaller accessories. Within the range, our Roger Black Folding Exercise Bike | Foldable Exercise Bike ( retails at just £199 and comes with a one-year Warranty. If you use your machine three times a week, that will work out at just £1.28 a day with no monthly direct debit to worry about! It’s all about saving some pennies and losing a few pounds in the best way possible. If you enjoy yoga, pilates or weights, yoga mats, blocks and smaller or heavier weights are readily available to buy via Argos, Amazon or Decathlon. There are also a plethora of free resources available via the likes of YouTube and TikTok.

Diet & Food

Alongside budgeting options for your exercise regime, healthier food choices can and will often complement lifestyle changes linked to health and wellbeing. If you need to shave off £20 from your weekly shopping bill, make sure that you have a shopping list and, if need be, buy your groceries online so that you aren’t tempted into impulse buys. If you do buy in-store, never go food shopping when you are hungry! You are likely to become tempted by treats and snacks. There is somewhat of a psychology to in-store shopping.

Travel Costs

When it comes to weighing up the pros and cons of a gym membership, you may also want to factor in travel costs and parking when working out how much the gym is costing you and your family in real terms. Whilst some gyms do offer free parking, some car parks are paid-for and this can easily ramp up your daily or weekly outlay, especially if you also need to pay ULEZ or similar charges and there is a coffee house on site.


In short, when it comes to budgeting within any area of our lives, we should be celebrating our little wins if it gives us more peace of mind and reduces financial and emotional stress. Regardless of whether you choose the gym or to stay at home, or indeed Hellman’s mayonnaise over Sainsbury’s own brand, your health and wellbeing journey is yours to manage as best as you are able. Stress impacts upon the body and exercise can help with not only your physical wellbeing but also your mental wellness too. We wish you luck on your wellbeing journey. If you would like us to be part of creating ‘your best you’ this year, please visit for our full range of folding and stationary home fitness equipment on a budget.


*When purchasing any type of electrical or home fitness equipment, always be sure to check that the item has been safety and QC tested prior to purchase. As with any form of physical activity, always consult a medical professional prior to starting to exercise, especially if you have a chronic or acute illness or if you are recovering from an operation.





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