4 weeks to monetary health: 28 steps to get your cash into form | Cash

It is the start of a new academic year and while that might not be as associated with resolutions as the day the calendar year ticks over, it is not a bad time to make a few changes. For those who have been meaning to get their finances in shape, here are 28 steps to follow – the idea is that you can do one a day for the next four weeks or take it slower. Some will need follow-up actions but as making a start can often be the hardest part, we have included them.

1) Take any “free” pension contributions your company offers

It may sound dull but it could be the best move you make this year. Many workers have the option to top up their pension pot by making additional voluntary contributions from their pre-taxed income. The best bit is that lots of companies will match at least some of what you pay in, with the best putting in up to 50p for each £1 you invest – a free pension top-up.

For higher rate, 40%-band taxpayers, it means you effectively pay in 60p (£1 minus the tax relief) and get £1.50 paid into your retirement fund. Once it is set up you can usually stop, restart or change the monthly payments as you wish, so if you can afford the reduction in your salary now there is no reason to delay.

Get in touch with your workplace pension provider and start the ball rolling. It will usually ask you to fill in a form to send back. It is currently the most rewarding saving you can do.

2) Check you are getting the broadband speed you are paying for

Does iPlayer keep buffering? Are different family members struggling to use the internet at the same time? You may not be getting the broadband speed you are paying for. Broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk will give you an accurate reading – it is worth running a few tests at different times of the day – and you can compare your scores with what you were promised when you signed your broadband contract. If you were told to expect download speeds of about 34Mbps but you are only getting 4Mbps, then complain to your provider. If the company is unable to get the speed up to something close to what it promised, you have the right to leave penalty-free, although be aware that it is worth spending some time trying to resolve the problem if you are on the BT Openreach network, as things won’t necessarily be better if you switch supplier. Broadbandchoices.co.uk has some good advice on how to proceed and contact details.

You may not be getting the broadband speed you are paying for. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

3) Unpackage your bank account

If you are one of the millions of people who has a paid-for bank account, take an hour to work out whether you are getting your money’s worth. Some accounts, such as Lloyds Platinum, cost £21 a month and typically offer world travel insurance, mobile phone and car breakdown cover – all of which can be bought separately for less than £252 a year.

That’s if you even need the policies at the moment. A foreign holiday may be the last thing on your mind, and your lease car might come with breakdown cover included. Are you really going to claim on your mobile insurance if you have to send the phone away for repair, or pay a £100 excess? Downgrading to a free bank account is as easy as a phone call.

4) Unsubscribe from emails selling you things

Often signing up to a retailer’s email list will get you a discount on your first purchase but after that you will just be getting messages designed to lure you back to spend more money. Go through your inbox and get rid of temptation by clicking unsubscribe. As well as saving you money, it will mean you are more likely to spot the genuinely important messages that arrive.

5) Watch a Citizens Advice TikTok video on credit scores

Find out what a credit score is and why it matters in only 34 seconds on Citizens Advice’s TikTok channel.

6) Switch gas and electricity supplier

If you are on your supplier’s default, standard tariff you could soon be paying £1,277 a year (average usage) after Ofgem increased the price cap. Plenty of households will be able to save at least £200 a year by switching and it takes about 20 minutes. Go to Energyhelpline.com or Uswitch.com, and input your existing supplier and household details. Click on filters, and tick the “show me all the plans available” option and choose one. We would opt for a fixed price plan – Green Energy’s tariffs are currently good. Then it’s just a case of heading to the website and inputting a few details. On the day of the switch – usually a couple of weeks later – you take your meter readings, if required, and that’s it. Just don’t forget to keep a copy of your final readings, and to chase your old supplier for any balance you are owed.

7) Improve your data deal

If you regularly go over your mobile phone contract’s data allowance, you are chucking money away each month unnecessarily as the excess charges can really add up. Moving to the right data plan could easily save you £100-£200 a year depending on how wayward you are currently being. In most cases, it’s a call to your existing supplier to add a pre-bought bundle for a few pounds each month. If you are still paying more than £8 for up to 15GB of data a month you are generally overpaying, and it may be worth switching to a new contract.

Equally, if you are still on pay as you go and your charges have risen in recent months, you will almost certainly better off buying a monthly bundle or a sim-only contract.

Many workers have the option to top up their pension pot. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

8) Check subscriptions, direct debits and standing orders

It may sound trite but an amazing number of people rarely, if ever, check what is leaving their accounts. The Consumer Champions inbox regularly contains letters from readers who have suddenly found that they had two Netflix accounts or were paying to insure a boiler or to subscribe to gym, a theatre membership or music streaming service – payments they thought had been cancelled months, and in some cases years, previously.

If you genuinely did cancel and the overpayments are the company’s fault, the direct debit guarantee can be used, and there is no time limit. Beware recurring bank card payments so beloved of firms that take annual subscription payments.

9) Switch one of your savings accounts to a better rate

Savings rates at the moment are pretty terrible, and if you take a look at the interest rate on your bank-account-linked savings account, you may well find you are getting a paltry 0.01%.

However, it is still possible to get more than 1% with a bit of searching around. The Savingschampion.co.uk website is your new best friend, listing most of the UK’s best buy savings accounts. It currently lists a host of providers paying about 1.3% for one-year fixed-rate savings bonds – with Tandem the top payer at 1.41%.

If you prefer an easy access account, you can currently get 0.65%, again with Tandem, or you can earn between 0.86% and 1% with a notice account.

Sort your finance Gift PigRound up gift cards and spend them. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

10) Dig out unspent gift cards

Instead of thinking you might save them for a treat one day, round them up and spend them – you could buy something that you need and put the value aside in cash to buy something fun with no restriction of where you get it.

Several websites exist that let you sell cards, or you can do so on eBay or local marketplaces. So if you really can’t spend one you could at least raise some cash with it. Alternatively, give them to a worthy cause to raffle or ask a local food bank or charity if it can make use of them.

11) Arrange to write – or update – your will

This is one of those jobs that is easy to find reasons to put off but, ultimately, is not as painful as it sounds. You can do it yourself or you can get help – the latter is generally better if your finances or family set-upare at all complicated. Solicitors are regulated and you can find one via the Law Society’s website – look for “private clients – wills” or ask friends for recommendations.

Some charities offer free will-writing services to encourage people to consider them as beneficiaries. Cancer Research, for instance, offers a free service with a solicitor or online. If you are a member of a union, check if it offers a free or reduced price deal. Make the appointment today and you are over the first hurdle.

12) Find out what your pension invests in

Few of us probably know exactly where the money in our workplace pension or personal pension is invested.

If you are in a company scheme, your pension contributions will be going into an underlying fund. Log into your employer’s intranet or go online and it shouldn’t be hard to find the most recent fund factsheet or investment report for your fund.

This will typically give details of how much of your money is in shares, bonds, property and so on (often called the asset allocation) and the top 10 holdings. The last can sometimes be an eye-opener if you find it stuffed with companies you would rather not have your money invested in, such as oil and mining firms and tobacco giants.

13) Look into making it greener

Many schemes offer an ethical or sustainable fund option and will allow employees to allocate some or all of their money to that.

If you are unhappy with what’s on offer, contact the trustees of your workplace scheme to ask how much of your money is invested in – for example – fossil fuels, if there is a divestment option (where money is moved out of things such as oil, coal and gas companies) and, if not, one can be set up.

14) Read: Ten Pence Story by Simon Armitage

Have a day off from financial admin, and enjoy this by the poet laureate. It’s a reminder of how physical money has lots of roles in our lives – and how quickly that has been changing. Phone boxes are now a thing of the past but pre-match coin tosses have not gone cashless … yet.

15) Rationalise your Isas and other accounts

Are you one of those people who chased the best tax-free rates and now have multiple accounts from different tax years with different banks and building societies? There’s a lot to be said to said for having the money in one account for ease of management. Switching is as easy as filling in a few forms. However, it is essential that you arrange your transfer through your new provider – the company behind the account you want the money moved to. If you simply withdraw the money yourself and seek to reinvest it, your savings could lose their tax-free status as a result.

Not all Isa accounts allow transfers in but most will, and it will be stated prominently in the marketing materials. If you want to invest some of the money in shares, there is no limit on the amount you can transfer from a cash Isa to a stocks and shares Isa.

Do the same with your other accounts: close those with tiny sums and move money to the one with the best interest rate. At the same time have a clear-out of ancient payees you have set up on your main account. We’ve heard stories of scammers defrauding people by transferring money to existing payees. If your list of payees includes people who you haven’t transferred money to for years, delete them, and limit the chance of them being used in a scam to get your cash.

16) Make your passwords stronger

Take some time changing any passwords you have had for years and think could be on the weak side (if you have any on the National Cyber Security Centre’s list of most-hacked passwords make them a priority).

“A good rule of thumb is that a password should be at least three (random) words long, to fully protect against the chance of a ‘brute force’ attack,” says Alex Hern, the Guardian’s UK technology editor. This has superseded advice about using capital letters, etc because that produced passwords that people couldn’t remember, which meant they reused them. Not all banks have caught up, though, so you may still be asked for something in that format.

“Even more important than making passwords stronger is not reusing them,” Hern says. “Use the password manager built into your browser, like Chrome or Safari, or download a third-party one like 1Password or LastPass, and make sure that every password you use is unique. Otherwise, if one site gets hacked, you can lose stuff from unrelated sites.”

17) Reclaim credit from your electricity and gas bills

If you pay your energy bills by direct debit you may have a tidy sum sitting on account with your gas and electricity provider(s) – in 2018 the energy regulator, Ofgem, found £1.4bn of surplus payments was being held, the equivalent of £65 a household. The money is typically built up in the summer months when your direct debit remains the same as during the winter but you use less fuel. Ofgem has plans to force energy companies to automatically return the cash, which could come into effect next year. But in the meantime you can request a repayment. Bear in mind that you may want to keep some with the provider if you think you will need it to cover winter bills. But if a large sum has accrued, get it back.

18) Switch credit cards

Had the same credit card for years? It may be possible to get a better deal on your borrowing.

If you pay off your balance each month, look out for a card offering cashback or other rewards. According to Andrew Hagger of Moneycomms, the best deals are the store specific credit cards such as Sainsbury’s Nectar, Tesco Bank, M&S (Shopping Plus) and the John Lewis Partnership card. He gives the example of the rewards possible with the John Lewis Partnership card, which offers 1.25% back in vouchers when you spend in its shops. Say you are planning to buy furniture there and you spend £2,500, then do your main shopping in Waitrose and spend £300 a month all year, after 12 months you’ll have earned £76.25 in rewards vouchers.

Hagger says if you are struggling to clear your balance these days, switching it to a card offering 0% interest “is a savvy move”. When you transfer existing borrowing to one of these cards, it stops accruing interest for a set period. This means you can stop your debt growing and make bigger inroads with your monthly repayments. You can currently get up to 29 months interest-free with Sainsbury’s Bank and M&S Bank – charging one-off balance transfer fees of 2% and 2.75% respectively, while NatWest has an 18-month 0% deal with no balance transfer fee.

All of the big comparison sites offer search tools.

Sort your finance Radio pigIt’s worth tuning in early to Radio 5’s Wake Up to Money. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

The BBC’s daily finance show is a great way to get up to speed on the events, big and small, that may have an impact on your wallet. You can listen live from 5am on Radio 5 or catch up with the podcast version.

20) Check your tax code

Having the wrong tax code will result in you paying either too much or too little to HMRC. You should get a paper coding notice each year, and you can log in to the government website at any time to check it. Or grab your payslip, P60 or pension advice slip and check the row of numbers followed by a letter. The most common tax code is currently 1257L, which means you get the standard personal allowance of £12,570 before you start paying tax, but your code may have been adjusted to take into account allowances such as gift aid on regular charitable donations or deductions to cover perks such as medical insurance. The coding notice will show you how it is worked out. If there are mistakes, or your circumstances have changed, you should notify HMRC online or by phone.

21) Put your loyalty cards on your phone

Reduce the bulk of your wallet without missing out on earning points by putting your loyalty cards on your phone. Most of the big retailers, including Boots, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have apps you can download and use to collect and spend with their schemes. Nectar says its cardholders can earn up to three times more points using its app than by carrying around the plastic version.

22) Make your charitable giving more tax-efficient

Donating via gift aid means the charities you support can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give without it costing you any extra. You need to make a gift aid declaration for the charity to claim – some charities have an online form you can fill in, some have one on their website to download and send off, but you may need to call any smaller ones to request a form.

If you are a higher-rate taxpayer, you can claim the difference between the basic rate and the rate you pay via your tax return – if you donate £100 to a charity and it claims gift aid to make your donation £125, you can claim back £25 (20% of £125). Keep a note of your donations and, when you have a moment, go through your emails and paperwork to check you have a record of ones that you’ve made in the past.

23) Go over your insurance policy details

Grab the documents that go with your policies for your car, house and so on, and check the details on them are correct and you have the cover you think you are paying for. If you have simply renewed a policy for several years you may find your circumstances have changed and you are paying for cover you no longer want or need to update your insurer about a career switch or change in how you use your home or car. Some of these things may lead to more expensive premiums but there may be ways to cut cover and costs – and by making sure the facts on the policy are correct, you can remove the chance of a claim being invalidated in future.

24) Get a pension forecast

Find out if you are on track to get the full state pension – and, if not, what you can do about it – on the government’s website. You will need to have or create a Government Gateway or Verify account but once you have logged in you will get a forecast of how much you will receive each week (at current pension rates) and information on whether you can increase the figure and how.

25) Check your credit score

The three main UK credit reference agencies are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. They don’t decide whether you get credit – that’s up to lenders – but the data they hold will have a major impact on how you are viewed and the deals you’ll be offered when you apply for any kind of borrowing.

The agencies typically offer several ways, free and paid-for, to check your credit record or score. You can go on to each agency’s website and request a free copy of your “statutory credit report”.

This won’t give you your credit score but the good news is that it is obtainable for free. MoneySavingExpert’s Credit Club lets you access your Experian score. Meanwhile, sign up to a site called ClearScore and it will give you a score based on information provided by Equifax. And subscribing to Credit Karma lets you see your TransUnion score.

Sort your finance passport pigIt’s vital to check whether your passport is valid for travel before departure. Illustration: Spencer Wilson

26) Check when your burgundy passport expires

Not financial, but it will prevent you losing money on a trip you can’t take. Since the start of the year, UK travellers to Europe have been treated like other non-EU visitors and need to have a passport that is less than 10 years old when they travel. This means that if the expiry date isn’t the same as the 10th anniversary of the date that the passport was issued – and this can easily be the case if you renewed your last one in good time – you could get into difficulties. To travel to most EU countries you also need at least three months in hand, too. So if, for example, your passport was issued in December 2011 but says it expires in February 2022 you will need to get a new one for any trip after September.

“It’s crucial that you check whether your passport is valid for travel ahead of departure as meeting country entry requirements is the responsibility of the traveller, and if your passport is not valid you won’t be able to board the plane or claim a refund,” says the editor of Which? Travel, Rory Boland.

27) Find out if you could be claiming any benefits

If you have recently wed, or have been married for some time but one of you has retired or seen a drop in income in recent months, you may have become entitled to the government’s marriage allowance, worth up to £252 this tax year. Or maybe you are claiming the state pension but now need help around your home – this is something attendance allowance might cover. The website Entitledto.co.uk will show you what benefits you might be able to claim – you just need to answer questions about your circumstances. Charities such as Citizens Advice or Turn2us can offer you help through a claim if you need it.

28) Draw up a budget

Sorry, but we couldn’t leave this out. Even if you don’t need to keep a close eye on your spending, it pays to know what’s coming in and going out each month – it makes it easier to spot an untoward change in your bank balance or missed payment, and is a good starting point if you are thinking of buying any kind of insurance to protect your income or life. A simple spreadsheet with an income and bills column might be enough or there are apps you can link to your bank accounts to provide an analysis of where your money is being spent and use to set savings targets. Bring together your statements and bills to draw up the former or try an app such as Money Dashboard or Emma, which have free budgeting services.

Anytime Health to host 5k run to boost cash for autistic weightlifter

Corey Shelton is obsessed with lifting weights.

Shelton is the unofficial world record holder for disabled men 2 in the 220-pound weight class of the World Bencher and Deadlift Association (WABDL) and has spent most of his life lifting heavy things.

In 2016, he benched 337 pounds during a competition in Jonesboro. A full pound over the world record.

Although the feat was captured on film, the weightlifting organization, which had not prepared for world record attempts, could not officially attribute the record to Shelton.

Today the 5’8 ” weightlifter tips the scales at 385 pounds with ease. He plans to put £ 400 in the bank by the end of the year.

“The world record in the Special Olympics is, I think, 390 or 395,” Shelton said. “My goal is to get 400 by next month. I gained 385 pounds again last week. “

The 26-year-old stands in Anytime Fitness in Mountain Home, his new gym, after taking time off to recover from thyroid problems and injuries sustained in a 2017 truck accident that tore his biceps and his ribs were broken.

He tore a chest muscle while lifting in 2018.

Shelton has been training in the gym twice a week with the help of Bryan Shriver, club manager for Anytime Fitness, and Malina Calloway, member experience manager for the gym. Ricky Rodeo, a professional wrestler from Tennessee, helps Shelton keep his diet going.

Corey Shelton Bench Press 375 pounds.  Shelton is currently trying to compete in the United State Powerlifting Association.

“I love to eat. Of course, as you can see,” Shelton said. “I wouldn’t have got a weigh-in without him. I literally lost 10 pounds in less than 24 hours.”

Shelton is from Cherokee Village and was diagnosed with autism as a child.

Shelton grew up on a farm at a young age and began lifting when she was nine. At 14, Shelton said he started taking weightlifting seriously.

“It’s kind of an addiction. It’s hard to explain, ”Shelton said.

Shelton and his fiancée Jamie Woods currently live with their family at home. The couple are trying to save money in order to get their own apartment.

Shelton works part-time at Truckees Canoe and Cabin Rental while also working on his YouTube channel with his fiancée, who is editing his videos.

Shelton said his personal life had been difficult – his family insisted that he give up weightlifting, calling it a “waste of time”.

“They told us to stop now,” Shelton said. “That it was a waste of time. I have not lost any events. I broke several state records. I mean, I’ve even qualified for the World Cup several times. “

In addition to problems at home, Shelton was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2016.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroxine, a hormone made by the thyroid gland. The condition can lead to joint pain, muscle weakness, and difficulty thinking, which makes lifting weights difficult for Shelton.

Worse still, the drug Shelton uses to treat his symptoms, Synthroid, is banned by the WABDL, forcing Shelton to switch to the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) to continue his weightlifting career.

“Once you take the medication, you can’t stop taking it,” Shelton said. “If a person gets off this, it can get them pretty confused.”

Fortunately, Shriver, a former chef that Calloway recruited to work at the gym, is there to help Shelton with any problems his condition could be causing.

Like Shelton, Shriver is a powerlifter who also has hypothyroidism.

“I got into it pretty hard because I was around a lot with Corey,” said Shriver.

Calloway and Shriver are currently raising funds for an upcoming USPA World Cup in Russia at the end of next year.

The gym that helps Shelton with his diet is hosting the Anytime Fitness Autism Awareness Color Run Summer Bash at Mountain Home High School’s Bomber Stadium this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“There’s a three-mile run and then just a community event,” said Calloway. “We will have free food for everyone. Tips are of course welcome. We’ll be collecting tips for Corey from anyone who wants to do this. “

The gym will also be handing out t-shirts and running a silent auction to raise money for Shelton.

Calloway said Bomb Nutrition will sell iced tea at the 5K run. Game Portal and Nature’s Way would also be participating in the event as sponsors.

Malinda Calloway (far left), Jamie Woods (left), Corey Shelton (center) and Bryan Shriver (right) pose for a picture at Anytime Fitness.  The gym will host a 3-mile run and community even at Mountain Home High School's Bomber Stadium on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

“We shoot baseball for about $ 3,500,” said Calloway. “So far, we’re probably around $ 1,000, minus all costs and everything.”

While the money was originally intended for another World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters event, the money will now be used for entry, plane ticket and hotel room for Shelton during the United States Powerlifting Association championship in Russia.

Whatever money is left over is used to find new shelter and food for Shelton and his fiancée that he needs to keep up his diet.

“Training is only 20% of the work,” Shelton said. “Yes, 80% is your diet. A body is like a car. If you put in bad fuel or if you don’t put enough fuel in, you will get poor performance. “

In Peloton competitors with gyms, health app Strava might win

More than 400 hardware devices can connect to Strava, including fitness and fitness equipment, smartwatches and bike computers, and the company claims it uploaded more than 1.1 billion activities to its platform in the past year.

diet

When this year’s Tour de France left the city of Brest on June 26th, most of the 184 professional cyclists were registered with Strava.

So do millions of recreational athletes all over the world, from runners in Rio to swimmers in Switzerland to mountaineers in Montana. Legions of Strava users were also inside Peloton Ergometers and treadmills, Zwift “smart” trainers and NordicTrack rowing machines.

The Strava mobile fitness app tracks more than 30 different activities in real time and loads speed, distance, cadence and other performance data onto a platform on which 86 million users analyze their own workouts, share and compare them with other users and send them to friendly people Challenges can take part with friends and strangers. Its popularity soared amid the pandemic when gyms closed and home and outdoor workouts boomed.

“We have seen tremendous growth in our community,” said Michael Horvath, Strava chief executive officer. “There were months in 2020 when we had three million new registrants and we are now at around two million per month, double what it was before Covid. This means that Strava motivates people, helps them get through this time and gives them the opportunity to get in touch with other people. “

From the Harvard Row team to a $ 1.5 billion startup valuation

Strava, a privately held company, was founded in 2009 in San Francisco by Horvath and Mark Gainey, former Harvard rowing teammates who now serve as CEO and Executive Chairman respectively. The company has approximately 270 employees and additional offices in Denver, Bristol, England, and Dublin, Ireland – the overseas locations as more than 80% of Strava users are outside of the United States

More than 95% of these 86 million users access Strava for free; the rest pays a monthly subscription fee of $ 5 for additional features. While Strava is not reporting any revenue, analytics firm Sensor Tower estimates it generated $ 72 million last year, up from $ 60 million in 2019, ostensibly from data sales, partner rights, challenges, and subscriptions sponsor.

Strava raised $ 110 million in a Series F round last fall, led by TCV and Sequoia, on new funding valued at more than $ 1.5 billion. The founders said it wasn’t a profitable company yet.

Connection with all types of workouts

More than 400 hardware devices can be connected to Strava, including home fitness and fitness equipment, smartwatches and bike computers. The company said it uploaded more than 1.1 billion activities to its platform in the past year, up 33% from 2019. This is in line with the surge in fitness hardware sales from companies like Peloton.

“Covid has shown the importance of physical activity to people’s lives,” said Tom Cove, president and CEO of the Sports and Fitness Industry Association in Washington, DC, which represents manufacturers and retailers.

At the last count, Horvath said “nearly 50 million peloton activities have been uploaded to Strava,” acknowledging the synergy of his partnerships with equipment manufacturers. “As the hub of the networked fitness landscape, we offer athletes a place where they can keep in touch with their community after training.”

The continued success of fitness products seems a good harbinger for Strava.

Health and fitness equipment sales more than doubled to $ 2.3 billion from March to October last year, according to retail research firm NPD Group. Stationary bike sales almost tripled, while treadmill sales increased 135%. “For the first three months of this year, retail sales were up 30% over the same period last year,” said Matt Powell, vice president and senior industry advisor, NPD. However, sales in March remained unchanged compared to the same month last year, which he proxy for the rest of the year 2021.

Peloton in particular has grown accordingly. Revenue for fiscal 2020, which ended June 30, rose nearly 100% year-over-year to $ 1.8 billion, and revenue from management projects is set to grow up to $ 4 billion in fiscal 2021 – itself under consideration of Peloton expects a $ 165 million loss for its treadmill recall. As of March 31, the New York-based company reported more than 54 million members, each with a monthly subscription fee of either $ 12.99 for digital access to live and on-demand courses or $ 39 for an expanded suite of features will pay between $ 1,895 and $ 2,345 for a Peloton bike or up to $ 4,295 for their treadmill, which is currently not available in the US as a company is working on a solution to the security problems.

Softening of the peloton demand

That demand could fade as personal workouts and gyms reopen. Wedbush Securities downgraded Peloton last week, claiming the company had seen a decline in customer loyalty based on analysis of trends in social media and internet search.

“PTON is now entering the next stage in its growth story, which in a post-pandemic era requires the company to generate its own momentum through clever marketing and compelling new products,” the Wedbush analysts write in their note.

Peloton declined to comment on this article.

The connectivity to Strava has helped Zwift, an online game-like cycling platform that allows subscribers who pay $ 14.99 a month to create animated avatars of themselves that ride from inside the virtual world. Typically, a real cyclist attaches the back end of his racing bike to a digitally controlled smart trainer that is connected to an app that simulates his avatar driving an actual route – from a local favorite to a mountain stage in the tour – seen on one Monitor, tablet or smartphone. The trainer automatically increases and decreases resistance to mimic the altitude of the route. About 75% of the Zwifters upload their driving data to Strava and integrate them into the functions.

My theory is that if you are spending a few thousand dollars buying a piece of equipment for your home, it is very unlikely that you will pay $ 50 a month to go to the gym and exercise on the same piece of equipment.

Matt Powell, Vice President and Senior Industry Advisor for NPD

Since Zwift was founded in Long Beach, California in 2014, 3.5 million accounts have been created. The company didn’t release the current number, but said the number doubled in FY2021, which ended in March. Strava said it uploaded 100 million Zwift activities to its platform, including thousands of grueling “Everstings,” a single virtual ride that climbed at least 29,029 feet in total, the height of the mountain. Everest. During the worldwide Covid bans last year, Zwift held a virtual Tour de France with classifications for men and women.

“Zwift is a platform for people to hunt down any carrot they’re looking for,” said Co-Founder and CEO Eric Min. “Our goal is to motivate people to do more.”

While subscriptions “really are where the value lies to us as a company,” Min said, the company is developing its own smart trainers and indoor bikes that are likely to hit the market next year. Zwift won’t be ruling out its existing hardware partners including Wahoo, Elite and Tacx, “but we think we should be the ones who set the bar,” said Min.

Future of Home Fitness When Gyms Reopen

As Covid restrictions continue to relax, people are returning to the gym. In May, gym traffic across the country was back to 83% of January 2020 levels and only 6% lower than the same period in 2019. according to the research results by Jeffries.

But does that mean Zwifters, peloton enthusiasts, and other exercise bikes are losing their mojo and using their equipment as coat hangers? “My theory is that if you are spending a few thousand dollars buying a piece of equipment for your home, it’s very unlikely that you would pay $ 50 a month to go to the gym and work out on the same piece of equipment,” said Powell.

The challenge for the home fitness industry then is to retain its millions of new customers. The key, Powell said, is keeping users connected to the other exerciser’s communities and “improving the experience so people will want to keep using it”.

This is music to Strava’s ears because no matter where people train, the data can be uploaded to their platform.

Despite Strava’s success, the fitness tracking app marketplace remains highly competitive. MyFitnessPal, which was sold by Under armor to the private equity firm Francisco Partners for $ 345 million in October 2020, which had more than 200 million users at the time of the transaction. Under Armor also owns MapMyRun and MapMyRide, which record running and cycling, respectively, while shoe brand Asics owns RunKeeper. Apple and Google have their own health tracking apps that include some physical fitness activities like walking and cycling that are more geared towards casual athletes.

“It’s pretty simple,” said Horvath of Strava’s loyalty strategy. “We are 100% focused on making Strava essential for athletes everywhere. If we do this well, it will fuel our community growth. “

“We believe there are 700 million people in the world who want to wake up and be active every day. We haven’t met them all yet, but we’re trying, ”he said.

Kylie Jenner ups her health sport to get ‘toned for summer season’ | Leisure

Kylie Jenner is “determined” to be “tinted for the summer”.

The 23-year-old reality star has tried to make sure she got about three workouts a week with her personal trainer and has also gone hiking with her three-year-old daughter Stormi Webster.

A source told E! News: “Kylie is now more determined than ever to prepare for summer.”

She is full of fitness and health. She wants to keep her figure and stay fit for the summer. “

They continued, “She prefers to exercise outdoors because it’s more distracting and feels good to be in nature.”

Kylie – who has her little girl with rapper Travis Scott – is said to have been “super motivated” lately.

The insider added, “She will take long walks with Stormi on the paths next to her house or hike nearby.” Kylie has observed what she eats at home but does not limit herself. When she goes out with friends, she eats what she wants. She’s been super motivated lately and loves the endorphins. “

The fitness upgrade star, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, comes after she recently announced she’s trying to cut meat from her diet after trying veganism earlier in 2017.

She showed fans a plate of sweet potatoes, couscous and broccoli on Instagram and wrote, “I’m really trying not to eat meat, so here’s my little dinner.”

Kylie first switched her diet when she tried “this whole vegan thing” four years ago when she shared a range of meat and animal-free substitutes for her favorite dishes like tacos, salsa, and a smoothie.