One of the best times to consider getting a gym membership is in the summer. Fewer people think about heading to a gym when the weather is nice, so annual rates and fees wane in an effort to attract new members. Looking into a membership toward the end of any month can also earn you a better rate as gyms may be trying to meet monthly quotas and sales goals.
I personally just locked in a new gym membership after careful consideration and some serious bargaining – I seriously had to give myself kudos for not backing down on anything. Make it about you, not them – because it is your personal health journey, and that’s the most important thing to remember.
Here are some other ways to save money on a gym membership.
Try before you buy – many gyms will do a trial run of a few days or at least a week. Take full advantage and be sure to check out all of the amenities. Get a good feel for the gym, especially to determine if it’s a place where you’ll be motivated to go even after the free week….refunds usually aren’t a thing.
Go bargain hunting – when gym hunting, consider location, amenities, classes (if you’re a class person), hours, and reviews. Don’t settle, but be practical. Sometimes location might be more important than classes offered if there’s a greater chance you’ll go. And vice versa. Whatever will keep you interested is the trump card. Know thyself.
Negotiate a deal – before you start negotiating, make sure you do your homework. This means researching other membership rates at comparable gyms. Look online for deals – LivingSocial and Groupon are good places to check out. Use other rates as leverage. If they don’t come down on the monthly rate, discuss waiving the initiation fee if there is one or credit toward personal training or other paid amenities. If you can swing it, some gyms will give a discount for paying for months in advance versus on a month by month basis.
Check your employee and insurance benefits – some companies will subsidize a gym membership or partner with gyms to provide a discount. Additionally, some health insurance plans will provide discounts on a gym membership with participating fitness centers. Call your insurance plan’s member services number or check with your company’s human resources insurance expert to see if you’re eligible for a discount.
Read the contract – ’nuff said. Don’t get roped into increased fees annually or an astronomical cancellation fee.
Weigh the options – you might get a better deal if you agree to off-peak hours or fewer amenities. Consider the options and what you’re able and willing to do. It could be worth the savings.
Do you have any other tips on how to save money on a gym membership?