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Yes, it is possible. And it’s actually quite simple.

Daunting, isn't it?

My girlfriend and I are in the fourth week of a Fitness Challenge which requires that we each meet our individual goals in order to avoid paying the other a monetary penalty. So far, things have gone better than I ever expected. I’m up $40 bucks, and have been gym-ing or playing sports at least five times per week. As you may expect, there are a few things you need to do at the onset (as this can be challenging proposition to make to a significant other). Fortunately for you, I’ve compiled a nice, simple list for you to follow.

  1. First, preface it as a fitness challenge for yourself: Emphasize that you’re eager to get into shape, and that you need a partner to keep you honest.
  2. Determine a fair and achievable goal for the number of times you’d have to go the gym in the course of a week: This depends on your schedule, but I set the ambitious target of five times per week for myself. My girlfriend (who leads an insanely busy life) chose to shoot for four times a week. I tend to hit the weights and play hockey and soccer once a week each. She’s a walking advertisement for GoodLife’s fitness classes – especially BodyPump.
  3. Set the parameters of the workout: We decided that each in-gym workout needed to be a minimum of 30-40 minutes in length. We also conceded that playing sports for 50+ minutes counted as one full workout.
  4. Determine the punishment for falling short: Sadly, I sometimes need extra motivation to go. We set a hefty punishment of $20 for each infraction. If, for example, I were to only work out three times in the course of a week, then I would owe her $40. It adds up pretty quickly!
  5. Stick to it: It’s a lot of fun! You’re each getting into shape and even occasionally making money off each other. Either way you slice it, you’re a winner.

And that’s not all.

We also set up a simultaneous healthy eating challenge. We have to eat in at least five days of the week. And yes, that includes bringing lunches to work. It’s not easy, and the $10 infraction penalty doesn’t make it any easier. Say you break down and hit up McD’s on lunch one day. That $8 meal just cost you $18. Ouch, right?

You may think we’re nuts, but as tentative as I was about trying it, it’s been a huge success. We’re both getting into shape, eating well, and saving some serious cash. It’s win-win for everyone.

How have you blended savings and healthy living with your significant other?