People generally see gym memberships as a good investment and a good way to stay fit. But gym memberships often put a dent in your wallet without doing anything for your personal fitness. Here are the three top reasons to cancel your gym membership and find other ways to stay in shape.
1. The average gym membership costs $30-50 per month, plus membership or setup fees up to $200. That means that an average year of gym membership can be costing you up to $800. This can put a big dent in your budget, especially if both you and your spouse have memberships. If you’re a dedicated exerciser, see what materials you might need to keep in shape on your own. If you love weight lifting, for example, invest in some free weights. You’ll stay in shape with a one-time start-up fee instead of a monthly charge to use someone else’s equipment.
2. There is little time in our busy lives to use the gym. Many people buy gym memberships as part of a New Year’s resolution to stay fit and then find that they don’t have the time to use it as much as they should. But canceling the membership feels like giving up; and so people keep the memberships and keep promising themselves that they’ll make time to go, only to see their money go to waste. Gyms depend on this kind of attitude to make their money. If you don’t have the time to go to the gym, find ways to multitask. Do sit-ups in front of the television, or buy a bike and ride it for a few miles when you would have driven.
3. It’s easier to stay motivated when you workout with friends – but what friend wants to be roped into also paying hundreds of dollars a year for a membership she probably won’t use to its fullest? Instead of spending the money, find a friend and do some exercising on your own. Go jogging together, or have a good laugh together at cheesy aerobics videos while you do the exercises. Your friend will thank you for saving her money, too.
It’s easy to avoid wasting money by not buying into the gym membership craze. All you really need is to be honest with yourself. Will you really use the membership enough to justify what you’re paying, or are you just promising to stay in shape in order to make yourself feel better? Exercising on your own takes some more motivation, but you can get the same results for a start-up cost instead of ongoing membership fees. The important thing is that, whether or not you keep with it, it will save you money.