Save Money on a Gym Membership

Aug 14, 2009

Gym memberships are SUPER expensive. When we were single or newly married with no kids, it was easier to justify the cost. We had less expenses in our life and we had more time to go and work out. Thus, we got more "bang for our buck," so to say.

But now-a-days, it's not easy for me to get to the gym. I try. Trust me. I try to go at least a few times a week, but the thought of paying so much for a membership I wasn't sure I could use every day, or even every other day, was daunting.

And then, about 3 years ago, I had an idea. I went on Ebay and googled my gym's name and, lo' and behold, people were selling one year gift cards to this franchise! (I guess a well-meaning relative had bought them a gift membership and they realized they'd rather have the cash.) Whatever the reason for these people selling the cards, I bought two of them - one for me and one for my husband, Rob. The cost was significantly less than a year-long membership and so I didn't feel as guilty about joining and not going as often as I would like. We both enjoyed going to the gym that year (until this point, Rob had been working out with equipment in our garage). And, I found that I loved going to workout because a.) they had cable TV that I could watch while I exercised and b.) they had free childcare. As I often say, "SURE, I'll work out if I can watch TV and have someone take care of my kids for me!"

That year, though, quickly came to an end and we were faced with the realization that two gym memberships were going to be quite pricey and not really in our budget. And then, I came up with a "Great" idea. Okay, I'm not sure Rob thought it was great, at first, since it involved him, but trust me, it was!

By this point, Rob had become a regular attender of the gym's "spin" or cycling classes. I had a friend who taught aerobics at the gym and found out that if Rob became an instructor there, both he AND I would get free gym memberships. AND, he'd get paid.

It took a little convincing, but Rob finally agreed. He got certified and got a job and we've been attending the gym for free for about two years now. He doesn't make much "cash" when he teaches (he jokes that it just about supports his energy drink habit!) but we figure that the two memberships alone are worth his employment there. Plus, I feel good knowing that he's getting healthier because he has to excerise each week for work! And, I don't feel nearly as guilty when I can't get to the gym as much as I'd like during the week, since we're not paying for the membership. I do, however, enjoy knowing that when I can, I have the opportunity to go and workout and bring the kids along with me. And, I also feel good that I'm teaching our kids how important it is to exercise on a regular basis.

If neither you or your spouse are about to become instructors at your local gym, then I would suggest you check your local Costco (and perhaps other wholesale stores near you). I know that our Costco sells a two year membership to 24 Hour Fitness for $299. That's only a hundred and fifty dollars a year. You have to pay up front, as opposed to month-to-month, but I'm sure it is a huge savings in the long run.

So, if you've been looking for a way to join a gym and haven't known how to "swing it" financially, consider some of the above options. I know we are happy that we did.


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