Wednesday 25 October 2006

Frugal living: getting paid to exercise

I used to have a gym membership, but after the gym located on my route home from work closed down I didn't bother looking for another gym. I simply walked half an hour each lunchtime at work which saved me at least $10 a week in gym fees.

Later on I helped my son do a paper round before school/work. This involved a 2 hour walk (starting at 6am) 5 days a week, and earned my son around $95 a week - it's much better getting paid for exercising than having to pay a gym fee! I also found that I got more exercise that way, as we couldn't skip a session if I wasn't in the mood.

Also, because my son was earning an income, he was eligible to contribute $1,000 into his own retirement savings account (RSA) and receive a $1,500 superannuation co-contribution from the government. Hence the net benefit of getting paid to exercise was me saving $520 pa and my son adding $6,440 pa to his net worth.

I stopped doing the paper round just before the arrival of our second child last month - getting up a 5:30am doesn't fit in well with disturbed nights and dirty nappies! I'll now have to get back in to the routine of daily lunchtime walks, and swimming during the summer months. Later on we'll look for some weekend work delivering flyers to peoples letter boxes - because our local paper has to be delivered before school each day it's not a viable long term job for a school boy and his poor, old dad!

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