When Paying In Advance Works

I’m not one for committing to payment in advance, particularly for services.

For example; we don’t subscribe to cable, and I don’t have a gym membership.

I like to pay as I go (apart from my phone contract).

However, the more frugal I become, the more I am appreciating the additional benefits of paying in advance on occasion. Not in a committed regular payment kinda way, but as a one-off.

I’ve recently started taking yoga classes. They are on a Monday morning. I’ve also started reading **Linchpin by Seth Godin, and I know my resistance is strong on a Monday morning.

So, how do I use my relatively new-found frugality, and dislike of waste, to combat my resistance?

Answer – I pay for my Yoga class the previous Thursday. By Thursday each week I know my plans for the forthcoming week, and know if I can make it logistically.

Did I wake up this morning, full of the joys of Spring, pull on my yoga pants whilst practising my breathing, then proceed to bound into the class with my yoga mat enthusiastically tucked under my arm?

No

Neither did the rest of the class, in fact I was the only one there.

So not only did I conquer my Monday morning resistance by paying in advance, I also got one-on-one tuition (which was fantastically useful, and means I’ll be able to practice more at home now I know what I’m doing wrong). All for the grand total of £4.20.

Result = 

Paying in advance for Yoga class – 1

Monday morning resistance to exercise – 0

A great start to the week!

I’m intrigued – what works for you by paying in advance? And am I the only one who encounters resistance to exercise unless it’s written in ink in the diary, rather than penciled in?

Don’t forget I’m on Facebook, why not pop along and join the conversation?

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11 thoughts on “When Paying In Advance Works

    • That was really spooky! I have just commented on your blog, then realised I’d missed ‘Shopping Is Not A Hobby’. Now I remember lot’s of posts from 2010, and felt sure I must have commented on it, but I reckon it was November before I showed my face. I was so looking forward to what I’d responded almost 18 months ago and whether my opinion was the same! Shame!
      Anyhow – Yoga, yeah…. hard work getting there! But as with running I never regret going despite my lack lustre first step out the door. Just 3 years back regardless of whether I’d parted with hard-cash, had I not been in the mood the morning of the class (despite best intentions aka paying in advance, on a previously motivated day) I wouldn’t have gone. This morning I was “I’ve paid £4.20 for an hour of agony – I’m going!”….

  1. You two are steps ahead of me. I’m still resisting the thought of even going to yoga even though I know it is the BEST thing for my body, my health, and my happiness. And, let’s face it, being healthy and happy saves a lot of money on doctors bills and shopping therapy. Maybe thinking about the money I prepaid for all those yoga videos will inspire me to do one today. Stranger things have happened!

    • Hi Christine, I’m sure you’ll get to it one-day, but not sure it’ll be down to the videos! :-) I bit the bullet and started going because I also know that it is going to be beneficial long-term (I’m starting to get all sorts of aches and pains and my flexibility is deteriorating considerably). There are other things I could be doing with my time, but as with much of my new found habits – slow and steady is the way to go, forming new habits and sticking with it, building up gradually, so that eventually I just ‘do it’ and don’t even think about it.

  2. I hate exercise. Three months ago I told myself I was just going for a walk to give myself some time to think. I didn’t commit to do it everyday, but I did enjoy it. Just a light stroll around the block. Then I started doing it every evening I didn’t have a commitment, so most nights a week. I also stepped up the pace. Then I told myself I would go around the block twice, then three times then four. I was up to walking as fast as I could for an hour. A week ago I found I wasn’t going as often as I wanted, too many evenings were tied up with events especially with summer coming. So I started walking in the mornings. Just so I’m clear, I am not a morning person! At five AM you can now find me walking around my neighborhood for an hour everyday. But it’s not a challenge anymore. So I’m saving up for some running shoes. I’ll start with half a block walking then half a block running. But don’t tell me I’m exercising. I’m just taking some time for myself to think. And if I get the side benefit of some physical activity that’s fine.

    • I too am not a morning person and have the mug to prove it! :-)
      Your story is fantastic, and perfectly sums up what I’ve replied above to Christine about just ‘doing it’ and not thinking about it too much. If every time I decided to spend an hour exercising I really thought about it I could easily talk myself out of it. Like you I just go out the door and get the miles under the belt. I run 3 times a week, but it’s in the diary, I just go it’s a habit. The yoga is a new one, but seems to be working out. I want to add pilates to the mix and also strength training, but I know that I will have to build up gradually else I won’t stick with it.
      So encouraging to hear how you have built up, and now are looking at taking the next step (pardon the pun) and picking up the pace to a run. Please do check back in with how it’s going. Not sure if you are on Facebook, but very often I post about running, usually moaning about going, then commenting I was glad I’d been! There’s was a conversation last week about running shoes also….

  3. Doesn’t quite paying in advance, but…DH and I used to pay for everything with the credit card, so we know at the end of the month exactly what we spent on etc. Recently both myself and my DH got fed up with collecting receipts and spending time checking against our bill. So, we decided to take a certain amount of cash each week for him to have some ‘pocket money’ and for me to pay for food, petrol, kids extracurricular activities etc. Anyway, we now only use the credit card to pay for holidays and larger, more unexpected expenses. So far so good…certainly simpler. :)

    • Shouldn’t you be studying? :-)
      Credit cards are a funny one aren’t they? For us they work fantastically. It’s the actual accounting for each purchase at the end of the month that helps me keep my eye on the prize and encourages me to keep spending to a minimum. In fact we use them for everything we can including tiny purchases, I can see how it all adds up. But I know from reading other blog posts and comments that cash very often works better for others, and of course not collecting the receipts would be much simpler!

  4. I like the idea of your paying for yoga just a few days in advance. That I could do. I get really frustrated with myself when I make a longtime commitment and then don’t keep it, like a gym membership. That sort of thing sets me up for failure. But a pay-a-few-days-before something allows me freedom in my schedule, but would also provide that incentive to show up (“I’ve already paid for this next class, so I have to go”).
    We will make a commitment to a one-time expense, way in advance,such as with travel. It saves money to pay in advance in most cases. So we’re willing to pay many months in advance (and it’s often non-refundable) for a trip, and we simply make that trip a priority in our schedules.
    And for actually getting myself to exercise, I have to block out time on my calendar and actually make it an appointment, even if it’s just a couple mile walk. It works best if I am also able to get out of some of my duties around the house, like right after dinner, and I can leave the kitchen clean-up to the rest of the family!

    • :-) One of my running times is just before the Kids bedtime – and I always hope the Hubby will have it done and dusted by the time I return (1 hour later)…. that isn’t always the case however!

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