Joining a gym usually means adding another monthly bill to your expenses. So, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
Sure, you can opt out of club amenities, such as towel service or racquetball court fees, to save some money. But what you really want to do is get your rate down.
Here are some of the best ways to cut the cost of a gym membership:
1. Skip the gym
Don’t assume that you need a gym membership — or that you need to spend money at all — to stick to your fitness resolutions.
If you have a smartphone, for example, you have access to an array of free apps that can help you get or stay fit.
One such app — called HealthyWage — is not only free but enables you to make money by betting on and reaching your own weight-loss goals, as we detail in “Don’t Pay to Lose Weight — Get Paid for It Instead.”
Another option is make a one-time investment in some home exercise equipment instead of paying a gym membership fee every month.
For example, some of the options mentioned in “The Best Home Exercise Equipment for People Over 50” start at around $10 or less.
2. Join ClassPass instead
If you enjoy a mix of yoga, boot camp and cycling classes, you stand to save by buying a ClassPass membership rather than a membership to a single gym.
Having a ClassPass membership enables you to attend workout classes at various fitness studios. You get variety in your fitness routine without having to buy multiple full-priced gym memberships.
If you’re unsure whether it’s right for you, take advantage of a ClassPass free trial. You’ll be able to take a set number of classes during the trial for free.
The length of the trial and the number of classes you can take during the trial vary based on where you live, according to ClassPass’ website. So does the amount that you would pay for ClassPass once the trial ends.
3. Call your insurance company
A growing number of health insurance plans offer discounts on gym memberships.
Some UnitedHealthcare plans, for example, provide discounts on fitness club memberships as a preventive care option.
If you’re 65 years of age or older and have a Medicare Advantage plan, look into SilverSneakers. Many of these plans come with a SilverSneakers membership, which gives you access to some 15,000 gym and fitness center locations.
4. Talk to your employer
Some employers will cover all or part of your gym membership as part of corporate wellness programs, according to Glassdoor.
When that’s not an option, ask human resources about establishing a corporate membership at a nearby health club so employees can get a discounted rate at that club.
Many gyms offer this membership option, including:
5. Check your warehouse club
If you belong to a warehouse club, ask if it offers discounted gym memberships.
Costco, for example, sells discounted memberships to 24Hour Fitness.
6. Time it well
Like car dealerships, gyms often have sales quotas to meet. Walk in at the end of the month, and sales associates might be more likely to cut you a break on the monthly rate.
7. Try the Y
YMCAs across the country offer financial assistance programs for individuals and families. So, ask your local Y about its program to find out if you are eligible or to find out how to apply for assistance.
8. Show your student ID
Student discounts aren’t available everywhere. You’ll likely have the best luck if you live in an area with a major university.
For example, The Weight Club is located in Blacksburg, Virginia, home to Virginia Tech’s main campus. As of December, this gym charges students $359 for 12 months, while individuals pay $516 or more for one year. It also offers students the option to pay by the semester or the school year.
Did you score big savings on a gym membership? Tell us how in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
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