The skills it takes to manage one’s weight and instill healthy habits are often similar to those of managing money. Fitness and finance also often top the list of New Year’s resolutions – as well as ongoing desires for self-improvement. Since finances and fitness seem to go hand-in-hand on so many levels, why not tie them directly together and look for ways to earn money while working out? Here are seven ways to start.
Activity Tracker Rewards Programs
On her site about making money online, Anna shares nine ways that you can earn money while using the FitBit, or some other type of activity tracker. Some of the programs, such as FitStudio and Walgreen’s Balance Rewards are sponsored by large companies that reward active users with points in their loyalty programs. Others, such as Leap4Life, Higi, and Achievemint let users earn points that are redeemable for gift cards or cash.
EveryMove is a similar program, but your employer must sign up and make it available to employees. The AARP also has a rewards program for members.
Formerly known as GymPact, Pact expanded its offering and now lets users make – or lose – money while working out, eating healthy, or logging their meals. Sign up for a Pact and commit to an activity, such as working out three days a week or eating four servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Put money behind your commitment and vouch to pay for each activity you skip. If you complete your pact for the week, you earn a portion of the money paid by the members who didn’t.
DietBet or Healthy Wage
Two well-known programs let you wager on losing weight. There are slight differences, but the core idea is the same. You bet that you’ll lose a percentage of your bodyweight, and if you complete your goal, you earn a prize. If you don’t complete the challenge, you lose the bet. Programs run from a quick four weeks to a long-term commitment of six to nine months.
You won’t be earning money for yourself while using Charity Miles, but you can raise money for charities by running, walking, or riding. There is a free smartphone app that tracks users’ movement via GPS and bikers earn 10 cents per mile, while walkers and runners make 25 cents a mile. You can also do other activities, such as skating, but you’ll have to pick the closest approximate activity from the list of three. The money comes from corporate sponsors, and users choose one of the 17 charities available.
Lead a Class
You’ll need to go through lots of training to become a certified personal trainer or yoga instructor, but if you’re dedicated and enjoy the activities already it may be a route worth exploring. Be prepared to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars, and many weeks, learning and preparing for exams during a certification course. Afterward, you can get your investment back by regularly leading classes and working out while making good money.
Look for Physical Side Jobs
If you hate gyms and are looking for a way to workout outdoors while accomplishing something, consider taking on a new part-time job. Look for work as a gardener, landscaper, or outdoor handyman depending on your skills. The pay may not be great, but you’ll get in shape while making rather than spending money.
You can consider starting your own company, but that may require you get proper permits and insurance. If you want a hands-off approach, work for a business that will line up the jobs and cover the overhead for you.
Become a Referee
Being a referee isn’t for everybody, and as Tom writes on BudgetsAreSexy, the work can be hard. It’s not just about running up and down a field or court – which will help you get in shape – but you’ll be yelled at by players and parents. The money can be pretty good at higher levels, over $1,000 a game in some cases, and even at the lower levels, it’s not bad on an hourly basis. It’s also a seasonal job, although the weather isn’t always pleasant. Be prepared to spend some money on classes, certification, and gear in the beginning.