It’s almost resolution season! The top resolutions people make are to get in shape and save more money. To be honest, you can do both.
The number 1 reason I hear for people not going to the gym is the cost (especially if they need kids care), but getting in shape doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are my top tips for getting an affordable gym membership.
1. Shop Around
It sounds simple, but it’s so true. Gyms will always give you a free week to try it out, so try a lot of them. Keep your specific needs in mind. I need kids’ care for my 3 girls, so the cost of kids’ care is a big factor for me.
Some gyms offer a low membership rate, but charge you an additional $20/month for each kid you want to bring. Suddenly that affordable rate is no longer affordable. Some gyms don’t charge for child care at all, so factor that into the total cost.
2. Sometimes there’s hidden Lower Rates
Sure, you can ask for a lower rate (it rarely works), but if there’s no wiggle room on the monthly fees, ask them to waive the enrollment fee which they will often do. Enrollment is usually where the local owners allow the most lenience (notice all the promos that talk about low to no ‘start up’ deals?). January is an awesome time for this because gyms are typically maxing out the discounts to get you to sign up.
3. “Do I get a Guest Pass?”
My husband and I both wanted to join the gym. We found out I could sign up for $19/month, and then I could add on guest privileges for $5 (at this gym, I could bring someone an unlimited amount of times; other gyms it may be a certain number before they want you to enroll your guest– the point is: check). Now my husband can come with me every day, and it saves us $15/month. It also comes in handy when I’d like to spend some time with a friend. Walking side by side on the treadmill can give you a good workout and allow you to catch up kid-free. Win, win!
4. Use Gym Amenities
If you are still strapped for cash, and wondering where gym money will come from, take advantage of the amenities at the gym. I use the gym’s free wi-fi to catch up on my favorite shows on Hulu. The wi-fi there is fast, and I never have buffer issues, so it saves me having to have a faster speed at home. Besides, it makes time on the treadmill fly by. Also, take advantage of the power and water, and get ready for the day at the gym. Shower, blow dry your hair, and apply make-up on the gym’s dime.
They already provide it, they have private stalls, and someone is already watching your kids while you do it.
Bonus: No little visitors in the shower. Besides, it’s amazing how fast you can get ready without distractions. The savings in utilities is bound to make a dent in helping the gym to be more affordable.
5. Use the Gym for Dates
Yes, this may sound a bit weird, so stay with me on this one.
Our gym has a pool, basketball courts, racquetball courts, and a cardio cinema room. We love to watch movies together on the bikes, so when a good one is playing, we definitely hit that up. But some of our favorite date nights are when we play basketball (okay, so we’re not that cool, it’s more like HORSE) or racquetball. We don’t have to pay for a babysitter which saves a ton!