Alright, I know, you don’t want to talk about exercising until after the holidays. You’ll be setting a New Year’s resolution to lose some weight and get into the habit of taking care of yourself. But for now, you want to enjoy the season by eating all you want, relaxing and having a good time. I understand how you feel, I do. But hear me out on this one: If you wait to join a gym after the holidays, you’ll be throwing your money away.
How to Save Money on a Gym Membership
The best way to save money on a gym membership is to buy during the off-season. The closer we arrive to the New Year, the more money you’ll spend in gym dues. It’s a simple supply and demand scenario. Rates for gym memberships start to drop as the weather becomes warmer and more people are exercising outdoors, or particularly in college towns when students head back home during semester breaks. Depending on where you live, there may be other times that gyms slash prices in the off season (think autumn and winter in a resort town, for instance). Back to school deals are also available at some gyms during August and September.
Alternative Ways to Save
If you’d prefer to wait until after the holidays to join a gym, you may still be able to save some money. Many gyms will offer free trial periods and discounts in January, so take advantage of trying before you buy. Your employer may have it’s own facilities, or affiliates with a local gym, giving you access to a discounted rate. The colleges I attended for undergrad and graduate school offer lower rates for alumni; if you live near your university this may be an option for you. Your health insurance may also cover the expenses of a gym membership; you’ll want to check to see if there are any restrictions. Professional organizations may also offer its members discounts at participating gyms.
Negotiate Gym Rates
Just like shopping for anything else, it doesn’t hurt to look around and find the best deal. You may find that if you ask a gym to match the price, you could save significantly on your membership. Make sure you completely understand the contract terms in case you need to cancel your gym membership. While annual dues may be cheaper, you may find that a full year isn’t suitable for your goals or lifestyle, or feasible for your budget. Depending on your fitness goals, the equipment you may have in your home, or available as an amenity at your apartment building or in your community, you may not need to have access to an entire gym. You may be able to save money by simply paying for a fitness class, or investing in equipment that’s suitable for your home.