Gym Memberships can be the black hole of cash. The direct debit that comes out of your back account each fortnight that you like to forget about. And probably will, for many years!

But there are some ways to prevent this cash drain and save yourself hundreds of dollars each year.

First, consider why you are joining a gym? Is it as motivation to attend? Do you have a fitness or weight goal? It is because you want to attend group classes? Or because you need access to equipment? Make a list of your aims.

Before you consider joining the glossy fitness centre with loud music and unrealistic promises of a “New You”, check out non-profit organisations in your area that may be able to satisfy your needs and help you achieve your goals. YMCAs and city councils offer gyms and fitness programs, usually at a fraction of the cost but with the same service and qualified fitness staff.

Also consider training groups in local parks, running groups and specialized sporting facilities, who often allow the public access to their gyms and facilities at very cheap rates.

 

If you decide a gym is for you, follow our tips and advice on how to save money on a gym membership:

  • Do your research first. Know how many other gyms are in the area.
  • Check out what rebates your private health care offers.
  • Call around first and try and get prices over the phone (this is very difficult, we know).
  • Go armed with information on what sort of membership you want and a list of any questions you have.
  • Don’t let yourself be railroaded or pushed into a membership, or type of something you do not want or need.
  • Check for a cooling off period.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a better price.
  • Avoid signing up at the beginning of the month – aim for the end of the month, when staff are conscious of meeting sales targets, and more willing to do a deal.
  • Ask for a week’s free trial to see if you will actually go.
  • Double check to the terms and conditions – how long are you signing up for? What is the minimum you will end up paying out? What happens if you get sick or go on holidays?
  • Importantly don’t enter the door of a gym until you want to sign up (unless you are a very, very strong-willed person!).