I sold our couch and bought a treadmill.

Since we moved into our new home two years ago, I’ve been unhappy with our couch. I loved the couch, it was comfy, and nice to cuddle together as a family, but it cut the living room in half and didn’t really fit the space. No one ever sat in that corner seat, either. It felt unfinished, a little haphazard, and behind it became a row of junk collection off and on since we moved.

Last summer, I opted to re-stuff the couch hoping that might make me happier with it’s appearance. While it did cause me to keep it another year, I was just done this summer with such a large piece of furniture without flexibility for moving anywhere else in the house.

Around the same time I came to the conclusion it would be awesome to have a treadmill at home, instead of looking to get another gym membership that will be difficult to get out to use. I jokingly said to Mr. FM that I should sell our couch and buy a treadmill. He laughed and bet me to do it.

So, I did.

Two days after that bet, I sold our couch on Craigslist and turned that cash into a treadmill, actually making $10 in the process. While I drooled over the $4,000 treadmills that promise scenic virtual running routes and races, I didn’t want to spend more than I would on a year’s gym membership for one.

Last year, I bargained my gym membership to about $240 for the year. I wasn’t able to use it that much with Mr. FM working some side gigs, myself working on the side, both of us working full-time, and being unable to leave two kids 3 and under to fend for themselves while I worked out at the gym. I don’t like to waste money, but it definitely turned out to be a waste for the year I had it, aside from going almost daily for the first several months.

I didn’t want to consider a gym membership again, but buying a quality treadmill I’d actually want to run on was going to be in the $1,000+ range, brand new. That’s about 4-5 years of a gym membership, which I really didn’t want to spend on something I wasn’t sure if I would actually want to use on a regular basis. You know, most people hang their clothes on treadmills I’ve been told.

Next I decided to look to Craigslist at treadmills. It was super confusing, with so many types, brands, options, and price levels. I did my research and learned that I needed at 2.5 chp motor for basic running or higher. Every treadmill listed I looked up info on for resale prices, quality, problems, and how long it might last. It’s also hard to decide to buy something you’ve never stepped foot on!

And oftentimes, by the time I was done doing research and decided to contact the seller about the treadmill, they were sold or being picked-up that day. Or I needed to bring someone to get it out of their basement. Bummer.

I realized I needed to be a bit quicker when I found one I liked, and I also needed to ask if I could run on it before I bought it. So, after several days I knew the models, the types, and the extras I wanted or didn’t want.

At first, touch screens and virtual routes had my attention. Then when I learned an iFit membership was needed at $10 a month to use said virtual routes I nixed that idea. In the end, I just wanted something that I could run on. No bells and whistles. No extras that could break down or need repair. I wanted to go fast, slow, and uphill. Save the downhill for later when I’m fitter and need more flexibility.

From there, I found a treadmill, went to see it, even was able to take a test run on it, and brought it home with the seller’s help getting it into my car.

We rearranged some furniture around the house to make room for the treadmill, and now it lives in a family room that used to be a sitting and toy room we rarely used. This new space is where the kids play, I run, and I can setup my exercise mat to be used more often.

I rearranged one more time to put the treadmill up when I’m not using it, as the kids seem to like to crawl or stand on it too much. And their toys are all in one place now instead of a mess all over the house.

My goal for this treadmill is for it to last at least a year. Anything over that and it’s a win for me. My goal is to run 3 days per week, and now I can actually stick with that routine. A few weeks ago, I tried getting back into running, but it got hot, humid, and I ran out of time most days being with the kids. Now, when they are up and playing, I can “play” too. And it’s quiet enough that I can run after they go to bed.

Come the fall, this will be super handy when Mr. FM is out getting his professorship on. I won’t have any excuse. Nor rain, snow, heat, or being home with two kiddos, I can run!

So far, after about ten runs, I’m still loving it. I had to move the treadmill belt more center, but other than that, it’s been great.

Do you own any home gym equipment? Would you like to?

I definitely used to think I was an outdoor-only runner (though I loved the monotony of the treadmill at the gym more often than I’d like to admit) and I used to believe I couldn’t really get efficient workouts at home. Years after becoming more frugal, I’ve realized it’s far better to get my exercise on at home, showing my boys how fun it can be, than it has been at the gym.

Plus, our extra room is now getting used on a regular basis. I no longer feel like the space was a waste of extra investment. How I never thought of buying a used treadmill before baffles me…

Health is wealth.