Affordable Gym Memberships Near Me
You’ve probably seen hundreds of ads on TV and as many on the radio for gym memberships and fitness club memberships. There’s generally some bonus or discount for signing up, but the fine print in the contracts can be painful.
How do you go about finding affordable gym memberships in your area?
Consider the Amenities the Gym or Fitness Center Provides
Our town has a community center that charges $35 a month for individual members and $65 for families. They have free weights, running space, an indoor pool, a basketball court, and exercise space. They’re also open for over 12 hours most days and provide day care.
For us, being able to use the community center anytime, in addition to actually using it a fair amount, provides enough utility to justify spending the money. If that ever were to change, or the money to spend weren’t there, we would cancel our membership as soon as possible.
You may not be able to find a gym for free, but some things can be worth the money.
Be Realistic About How Often You’ll Go to the Gym
Value does have its limits. For example, my mom had a satellite radio membership for years. It was a small monthly fee, one that is probably pretty easy to agree to because of its apparent value to the member.
There were months, though, when she didn’t even use it at all. There has to be some minimum amount of use for something to be valuable to the member.
If you have a membership you literally never use, it might make sense to drop it like my mom finally dropped her satellite radio membership.
Consider the Value of the Gym
There are memberships out there with relatively low costs and potentially high economic values. A couple examples that come to mind are auto club memberships and air evacuation helicopter memberships.
I’m not saying you should go out and buy one of those right now. Rather, I would recommend checking things like your auto and health insurance policies to see what sorts of expenses like towing or an emergency airlift might cost.
Almost all memberships offer at least some potential value to their members. They are often low priced and may seem like nominal expenses to your budget.
In what ways do you value your own health? Is exercise something you enjoy for recreation and something you’re more likely to do if you have a gym membership? In such cases, paying to be a member of a gym just may pencil out.
There are also some other perks of gym membership you might not think about. For example, how much money do you spend on water for showers at your home each month? Showering at the gym can help defray some of the cost of membership. A friend of mine even figured out how to solve her hair odor problem at the gym, when another member she met in the locker room was able to recommend the right shampoo for her.
Think About Long-Term Costs of Gym Membership
But the cost of gym memberships can and does add up over time. A $50 a month membership costs $600 a year, or $18,000 over 30 years. If that money were otherwise regularly invested over 30 years at a 5% rate of return, we’re actually talking about closer to $42,000.
If you’re trying to achieve financial freedom, you know dollars and cents add up. I would encourage you to seek value and utility in your spending, including memberships. Some will be worth the cost, and others won’t. Your circumstances will probably also change over time.
However, if you’re working on improving your health and your finances, periodically taking the time to evaluate the amount of spending you’re doing on memberships and what you’re getting in return for them can be a worthwhile exercise.
Find the Right Gym for You
Almost everyone knows how to use Google to search and type in a search term like affordable gyms near me. Hopefully, this article has helped equip you to think through the different parts of the decision-making process and find the most economical gym for you.
Remember to consider the up-front costs, the length of any contract, and the time commitment of actually going to a gym. If possible, you may want to negotiate for a more favorable monthly rate or refer others to the gym for reduced monthly fees.
Ultimately, which gym is right for you may come down to any of a number of factors, including price. The good news is gyms have become more inclusive and customer service focused over time. No matter your fitness level or price range, there’s probably a gym somewhere you’d be glad to call home.