I have written about spending money on self-improvements, I also spoke about Gym membership and how useless they are. I have seen people who don’t go to the gym but always keep fit. I also know people who go to a gym regularly but still obese. Also, there are fit and muscular friends I have who go to the gym regularly. If gym happens to work in your case, then this guest post is for you. Enjoy the post and save some money!
We all know that joining the gym can be an eye-watering (and sweating) expensive exercise (no pun intended!) but if you know what you’re doing there are a number of ways to save money on your gym membership.
The fact is that like any other business, your local gym wants to try to extract as much money as possible from as many people as possible. And the most common ways to do this are:
- To charge a monthly membership fee, thus ensuring them cash flow whether you turn up to the gym or not
- Charging extra wherever they think they can get away with it, with a variety of premiums and add-ons designed to boost your subscription fee
Fortunately as it turns out, it is possible to shave a considerable amount of money off your gym fees when you understand where the “loop holes” are that you can slip through. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective strategies I’ve used in the past to help you pay less for your gym membership…
Investigate Workplace Schemes
A surprising number of employers appreciate that a healthy workforce is a profitable workforce and, as a result, you may find that your job offers some kind of discount scheme at your local gym. (SEE ALSO – Look good and fit to excel in your job)
Ask your boss or check your staff handbook for a list of current perks offered by your employer and see if there are any discounts on local gyms. And if not, why not consider approaching your boss with the suggestion?
Keep An Eye Out For Discounts & Promotions
It’s normal for gyms to run price-related promotions on a regular basis. One great example is all the “New Year, New You” discounts that many gyms offer in January each year, knowing that a whole host of people will be putting “lose weight” at the top of their New Years resolutions.
Depending on the gym though there may be all sorts of promotions throughout the year. If in doubt, locate your local gyms online and, if possible, add your email address to their newsletter. You can virtually guarantee that sooner or later you’ll be getting emails about an “exciting new promotion” they’re running 😉
Monthly Subscription Vs One-Off Payments
Most gyms live or die by their monthly memberships but before you sign up for anything long term, it’s a smart move to consider how frequently you’ll be going to the gym.
Try to be brutally honest with yourself. Will you *really* be going three times a week or is once a week really more realistic once the initial excitement has burned off?
While many gyms will try to pressurize you into signing a monthly contract, if asked many will let you attend whenever you like in exchange for a one-off fee. Depending on the facilities you plan to use and the frequency you expect to visit, it *may* work out cheaper to just pay the one-off charge whenever you visit, rather than paying over the odds for a monthly subscription.
Consider The Membership Length
If you opt to choose a monthly membership plan, another great way to save money on your gym membership is to consider membership lengths. On the one hand, some gyms will offer a significant discount if you’re willing to sign up for a longer period of time.
Equally, like my gym, the discounts might be minimal. In this case, I normally opt for a 3-month membership at a time, and then cancel it over the summer months when the weather is good enough for me to be exercising outdoors. It’s only really in the cold, the wind and the rain of winter that I need a gym membership to keep me exercising regularly.
Offpeak Vs Peak Memberships
Another surprising money-saving tip revolves around the way that many gyms charge different fees depending on when you’re planning to visit. It really is a case of “supply and demand” where people who plan to visit on the weekend or in the evenings pay more.
Equally, if your lifestyle allows you to visit in the mornings or during weekdays when gyms are normally much quieter, you can often get a cheaper “off peak” membership for considerably less than the standard fee.
Match Your Membership Level To Your Needs
The more “value” that a gym can offer you, the more they can charge you for your membership. However in many cases if you take the top-level membership you’ll find that you’re paying for all sorts of activities and resources that you’re not really using.
What a waste. At my gym, for example, I don’t really like the structured classes so I typically avoid them altogether. I’d rather be doing my own thing. So I found a membership level that excludes all the classes and, as a result, I save money each month.
So the long and short of it is this; really dig down deep into what your membership really offers and see if there are different “tiers” available so that you only pay for the services you’re actually going to be using.
Avoid Convenience Fees
Some gyms will let you use their towels – for a fee. Others will let you us their weighing scales – if you pay for it. And so the add-on fees keep coming. Save money on your gym membership by laundering your own towel and buying your own scales; you know it makes sense.
The final point worth making is that many of the better-known gym companies have professional “sales people” who will walk you around and try to convince you to sign up. While they won’t be known as “sales people” they’ll likely have goals that they need to hit each month; don’t be under any misapprehensions about this.
And like any good sales person, there’s often a little “wiggle room” in what can offer you. Remember: they really want your business so be willing to negotiate; you might be surprised by the results.
So do your research in advance. Understand when you’re going to be using the gym and what services you’ll want. Check out a number of gyms and their fees so that you can play them off against each other a little bit.
And once the sales person thinks they’ve got you hooked, try negotiating. Mention it’s a little more expensive than you want. Or that the gym down the road offers more facilities at a cheaper price. Or that this gym is a little inconvenient to get to; are there any other savings available to make it more tempting?
You’re not in any hurry to sign up that day. But you can bet the salesperson would rather close you then and there. So they’re highly motivated. Stay aloof. Ask for discounts. Say you’ll think about it. Make them work for your business and see just how much money you can really save when you’re willing to ask.
If you have a gym membership how did you get the best deal possible? Why did you join a gym rather than simply exercising at home? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below…
About the Author: After having dug himself out of debt, Richard is now on a mission to achieve financial independence as quickly as possible. Follow his journey to save money, increase his earnings and conquer his spending habits at Frugality Magazine or follow him on Pinterest.
Deb @ Saving the Crumbs says
Good points! My husband was thinking about gym membership, but I told him that he would have to prove he would go by being consistent exercising at home first. Ends up, we realized he didn’t have the time to drive to the gym and wasn’t as gung-ho about it after a few weeks. Good thing we saved the money!
Another way you might be able to save is to see if a college near you has a gym/wellness center. They often have all the equipment for the students and have fairly cheap rates for community residents (and alumni discounts!).
And your housing association might have one. In our previous association we had a common and free gym. There were time when it was used to be empty. We made full use of that facility
Money Beagle says
Look for the right gym for your needs. For a long time, I paid for the gym closest to my house that had a lot more weights and such than I needed, but it was the only one that was close enough and fit into my schedule. Eventually a Planet Fitness opened, it was half the price and has everything that I need to the tee. Make sure that you look at the various gyms and find out what you need, and keep an eye open as the landscape often changes.
Chris @ CentsToMe says
Great tips. Gym membership is one area my wife and I struggle to save. Location and convenience is a major factor. Being fit and healthy will pay off and save big time in the long run, i believe.
For us she does her exervise at home and she goes for running outside. I use my work gym. no gym cost at all