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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You and The Faithful Prepper.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are typically times when the bulk of the population does a bit too much sitting and eating and gains quite a bit of weight in the process. When January comes around, people realize that they don’t like struggling to put on their jeans in the morning, and they finally come to the conclusion: it’s time to do something.
For most, joining a local gym is the answer, but if you find yourself financially strapped, you may be wondering how exactly you’re going to make that work with your budget. How do you save money on your gym membership?
If this is where you find yourself, here is a bit of advice that may help you to accomplish your gym and weight loss goals without breaking the bank in the process.
Join in January
New Year’s resolutions are a huge membership boost for gyms across the country every year, and make no mistake; the gyms know this. What happens is there’s this massive influx of potential customers at the beginning of every year, and each gym wants to attract as many of them as possible.
The gym is secretly hoping that you’ll sign up, never come, and then neglect to cancel your membership. This is the trend. The bulk of a gym’s income actually comes from these people who never use their gym membership but let it ride out with the good intentions of “maybe next week.”
Because of this, gyms offer massive discounts on memberships in the month of January, and these savings come in two forms.
For starters, gyms typically have you pay a “new member” fee. It’s a total crock, where they charge you to fill out paperwork, but just about every gym has it. In January, this is typically waived.
In addition, you can typically either get the January membership free, a substantial discount on January, or some form of savings on the gym for the next few months if you sign up in January. All this combined means it’s a very good idea to look at joining the gym the first month of the year if you need to save money on your gym membership.
Use a friend as a reference.
Some gyms out there offer “finder’s savings.” This is nothing other than a referral program. Each member that gets a friend of theirs to sign up for the gym membership ends up with some type of financial kickback, and the friend is often offered one as well as an added incentive for them to join.
For example, you may have a gym in your area that offers a free month to a member and their friend if the friend signs up. One of those gyms may be in your area, so it’s worth asking your buddies to see if that may be the case in your region too.
Use a coupon
This time of year is typically when those coupon booklets are sold by high schoolers for community savings. You should absolutely pick one of those up and scan it for gym membership savings. There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to save some money that way.
If the booklet doesn’t have the answers that you’re looking for, check out some of the various online coupon sites that are out there, such as Groupon. Gyms are fanatical about attracting new members. It’s one of the things that they constantly harp on in their trade journals and staff meetings. There’s a very good chance that you’ll find a coupon in one of these locations.
Ask for a discount.
I gave a lot of discounts at my gym simply because people asked. Granted, we had a special program for that, but there’s a good chance that your local gym may as well. There are a few ways that this works.
For starters, your gym may have a senior discount, financial discount, mother’s discount, or something of the like. The problem is that the person you’re going to be talking to about signing up is going to be a jaded teenager that would rather be sitting at home on TikTok. They’re not going to take the incentive to mention these discounts.
They don’t care. Asking presses the issue.
Secondly, some gyms have a “turn none away” policy. They typically view themselves more as a community center than they do a gym, and because of this, if you can prove financial need – something that typically involves your filling out additional paperwork – they’ll heavily discount your gym membership. But, again, you have to ask, or they likely won’t bring it up.
The third way that asking can help to get you a discount is that the head honchos at the gym are involved in sales. That is their job – to sell memberships. They’re something like a car salesman in that they’re willing to bend the rules a bit if it gets them the sale. While the sticker price may be $40 a month, if you can concoct together some type of plan where you say that you would like to sign up today, you would like to pay for three months in advance, and you were wondering if there was a discount of some sort for your doing so, they may be willing to work on a deal with you.
If you’re a business owner in the area to boot, they may be further willing to craft a deal with you if you are willing to do a bit of advertising for them in your store (maybe putting their monthly flier up by your cash registers for your customers to grab) or something of the like. Just food for thought.
Working out is important.
You have to move.
Movement is vital to good health, and a gym is one of the ways that you can make sure that you are taking care of yourself. If you find yourself needing to watch your finances closely, though, these are a few of the tried-and-tested methods that may really help you to save money on your gym membership.
And, of course, you can always build your own home gym for a fraction of the cost of a yearly gym membership as well.
But what are your thoughts about all this? Do you have more to add to the conversation? Have you tried any of the above methods? Are there other tricks to getting a thrifty gym membership that you know about? Let us know in the comment section below.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.