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Bye Bye Gym Membership…

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My husband and I both have a gym membership. We pay a combined $50 a month to our local gym.

I’m a fan of daily fitness so I will be the first to tell you, if having a gym membership is the only way you will exercise, spend the money. The monthly gym fees will be far less expensive than poor health now and in the future.

We were able to temporarily cancel our monthly gym dues when my husband lost his job. Now that six months have passed without a trip to the gym, I’ve discovered something surprising…

I work out more now without a gym membership than I did with one.

I spend a quick 20 minutes running with the dogs or doing a workout video before making dinner each night. I do sit ups while watching TV or I jog in place. Before, if I didn’t have an hour to workout at the gym, I simply wouldn’t workout at all. Now, if I have 10 minutes, I use it!

I have always clung to my gym membership even in the leanest financial times. Looking at the impact of working out at home, I’m not sure why I held on so tight. We decided to make the temporary cancelation permanent. Rather than redirect all the money toward debt reduction, we’ve decided to keep part designated to fitness. The money can go toward new tennis shoes, marathon entrance fees, or exercise equipment. If we get desperate for a group class or a swim, we can sign up at the community center for $30 for a 3 month, two hour, twice weekly class.

Try working out at home this month. It may not work for you – but maybe you’ll be surprised at the results.

**If you do decide to cancel your membership, you may need to cancel several times. These companies (especially large gyms like 24Hour Fitness and LA Fitness ) can be very sneaky and ‘accidentally’ automatically deduct your dues for up to six months. You may need to consult with your bank to stop payments.**


7 Comments

  • Reply Caitlin |

    You also have to be careful about the contract you signed when you joined. With some gyms, it’s like a cell phone contract – you agree to pay $x/mo for x years. If you have a contract like that, you will likely have to pay an early cancellation fee, or prove that you moved somewhere where there are no gyms from that chain.

  • Reply cassie |

    i had a contract at the last gym i joined, years ago. it was a year long contract and you couldnt cancel without paying hundreds of dollars in fees. turns out i never went and wanted to cancel 3 months in. so i bit the bullet and paid the fees. it was awful.

    now i just work out at home and its so much easier and FREE!

  • Reply emmi |

    Wow. $50/month really adds up.

    I think I’d celebrate the savings by eating something special. Don’t do that. 😉

  • Reply chitown |

    I may cancel my membership to LA Fitness too. $45/month and I haven’t stepped foot in there in weeks. Shake my head…

  • Reply Cynthia |

    My husband and I used to have a gym membership and gave that up when we had our first child and split our working hours (me during the day, him at night). And we’ve been more active since then than we ever did with the membership! Last year I did 4 duathlons and 1 half marathon. He did 4 duathlons as well (he’s not really a big runner). All that was needed was bikes (already had) and running shoes. We have invested in some fitness equipment to have at home – an elliptical machine, a bike trainer, a couple work-out DVDs (30 Day Shred) and a weight bench which is actually my brothers but he lent it to us while he is living out of state. So we have a mini home gym and then we use the great outdoors (our preference anyway). It’s been great!

  • Reply Debt Free Dude |

    If you have the space for it, you can find great exercise equipment practically being given away on Craigslist and at garage sales. My wife bought me a Nordictrac (normally $699) for $5.

So, what do you think ?