A splurge is defined as “an act of spending money freely or extravagantly.” A splurge doesn’t have to be exorbitantly expensive. It just needs to feel a little extravagant. Like you’re spending it on something that’s not necessarily a necessity; or perhaps spending a little more on something that is a necessity for a better product or experience. During this month, themed “Money Matters”, we’re sharing the things we (and you) splurge on and why. We’ve already discussed beauty splurges here, next up its fitness splurges we’re chatting.


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I still hold that when starting any type of fitness routine, you need very little. Start with the minimum required and get a feel for it. Once you know if it is a routine you enjoy and have a better understanding of what you need for it, you can make the bigger purchases. It’s how I got started and it has helped me avoid wasteful purchases.


If you’ve been here long enough you know where this is going… or where my fitness splurge went. It is without a doubt my sports watch. I have a Garmin VivoActive 3 sports watch, and I’m sure I audibly gulped when I hit purchase and entered my card details. And then again when I got the confirmation sms showing the amount spent. For a watch.


But, I love it. It’s a splurge that has been well worth it in both the usage (every day) and the enjoyment I get from using it. I like knowing how far and how fast I’m running and have found it especially helpful during speed runs. It has allowed me to create workouts and helped pace me through sprints. It has made running (and speed sessions) more fun and effective.


While it doesn’t allow for open water swimming tracking (works only in pools on a lap basis), I’ve used the swim function to time myself during open water swims so I know where I’m at as I reach the different buoys. If you’re interested in the one I’m using, here’s more details on it. One suggestion before purchasing a sports watch is to do your research. Know what you want it for and the functions you want it to have. Look at battery life (when it’s in GPS mode). And then go on YouTube and search for it – you’ll find reviews and demos which will help you make that decision.


Some of you shared your fitness splurges. Read them below then meet in the comments to discuss.


CrossFit shoes. So expensive but worth it – Belinda


Shoes and leggings. Good quality leggings last years and years – Nikki


My most recent Fitness Splurge was buying a 6-month subscription the SWEAT app. I decided to invest in the subscription as I like having a structured and convenient workout plan in place for exercising.

The SWEAT app takes the thinking out of what I need to do for exercising daily and makes it easier for me to stick to my chosen program and goals. I like the idea of having a personal trainer in my pocket and with the BUILD Powerbuilding program that I’m doing it’s also advising the weights I should be lifting. It also a has variety of programs to choose from and the addition of guided recovery and stretching is a big bonus for me. The cost upfront was for 6 months was R890, almost half of what the monthly cost would be over 12 months ($20 per month x 12). By buying upfront I’ve also managed to avoid currency fluctuations that would possible increase the price as well. – Luci


Taking the time to train properly for my first half marathon – Mushkie


My Garmin watch. So pricey, but I use it every day. Works A+ for running and looks good for daily. Also, Nike leggings. When you can purchase a pair of leggings for R200 but choose to spend R1000, it feels like a huge splurge but over the years of buying cheaper pairs and not enjoying the look, feel, and longevity I have come to realise Nike’s are the best for me and R1000 is probably a saving in the long run. 2 years ago, I bought a 7/8 length pair and I use them from everything to running, gymming, athleisure and travelling. Despite wearing them multiple times a week and washing them weekly they still look and feel great. – Feige


My fitness watch made me more accountable. It died and I fell off the wagon. – Samantha


My Fitness watch. In 2015 I got a step-counter, this was great but I wanted to track my heart-rate after a health check, as well as to track my training better, so I upgraded to the Garmin Forerunner 35. It’s a basic running watch, but then I got really into my running and training and wanted something more. I took the leap and invested in the Garmin VivoActive 3 Music. This is a proper Fitness watch and comes with all the bells and whistles, music player, Payment Wallet (so I can pay for things with just my watch, no more carrying around a wallet) and so many other ‘cool’ features.


However, getting this watch comes with a story. Myself and my husband are stooges and try to save money wherever we can. In South Africa the watch currently costs around R5000, and there was no ways we were spending that on a watch, but then Amazon Prime day came around, and it was 3/5 of the price! We ordered in online, had it delivered to Australia, and my husband’s mom bought it back to South Africa for me. This was a real Splurge item, and if it hadn’t been on sale, I wouldn’t have gotten it (not yet at least).


I absolutely love it and have found tracking my goals and exercise so much easier as well as more fun. I did a lot of research into different watches and their functionality, price points, reviews, features, longevity. But I always knew I’d end up with a Garmin though (this is my third one) as the brand is known for the reliability and accuracy. A fitness watch doesn’t make you fitter or stronger, but it does help you in achieving your health and fitness goals. If this is something you are interested in, investing in a watch that will help keep you accountable to yourself and improve your running is a good place to start.


Another splurge item was running shoes. I didn’t do as much research as I did with other items, but I did try on a lot of shoes. I have small feet and am quite tall so finding a shoe that felt right, had the right heel to toe height, had good longevity and was going to support me when putting in the mileage were all important factors. I ended up going with the shoe that was originally recommended to me by a running guru and absolutely love them. To save money I had them ordered into my local sports store where I get a decent discount cash back on purchases which made the price a bit more bearable. – Shirley


What’s your fitness splurge?

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