Why I Pay Twice as Much for my Gym Membership

Changing things up a bit today! A lot of my posts tend to be around saving money, budgeting, etc. Today,  I want to talk about something that I spend more money on than I need to which is the gym. Specifically, as you know from the title of this post, TWICE as much is what I’m spending. Allow me to explain where this twice as much comes from…

For many years I was a member of 24 Hour Fitness. I was kind of on and off with the membership, but mostly on for about 4 years. Full disclosure: I have nothing against 24 Hour Fitness and this post is in no way intended to bash on them, simply sharing my story. When I was at 24 Hour Fitness, I was spending about $45 per month on my membership. It was one of the Super Sport clubs so it had a lot of great amenities: big club, every machine under the sun, fun classes, pool, sauna, steam room, and more.

The problem for me was I was literally throwing away my money every month. Honestly, I probably went a total of 25-30  times in the 4 years that I had my membership. The club had everything one would need, so why didn’t I go that much? I didn’t have a plan for my workouts, I was intimidated by all the weights, and it didn’t motivate me. Most of the time I ended up running on the treadmill or on some other cardio machine for 30 minutes.

If you’re wondering how un-athletic I must be to not know what to do at the gym, my background in sports is mostly water-based. I played water polo and competitively swam in high school meaning all the workouts I had ever done were in water. As you can imagine, working out in the water and working out “on land” are very different and not something I was very accustomed to.

I finally got tired of blowing $45 a month on something I was not getting use out of and something I didn’t enjoy. I wanted to work out and be healthy, but I knew a traditional gym was not for me. So naturally I did what us millenials do and took my search to Yelp and found a kickboxing gym at a really convenient location for me.

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Before I go on, full disclosure #2: I am not getting paid, am not in anyway sponsored, and was not asked to write about my new gym. It’s 100% genuine and in hopes to help others in similar situations.

Okay, back to the fun stuff. 😉 So, I found this kickboxing gym and if you must know it’s CKO Kickboxing. There are far less locations than the big traditional gyms, however, they are nationwide. So if this post sparks interest for any of you, check out their locations and you may find one close to you.

When I found it on Yelp it had great reviews and like I said earlier, it was super conveniently located for me. I also was interested because I LOVE intense workouts and also loved the idea of punching and kicking a bag for an hour. (I’m sure you picked up from the water polo and kickboxing, yes I love any activity that involves punching.) The only downside to it? It was twice as much as I was paying before at $90/month.

Vee Makes Cents wouldn’t pay twice as much to workout, all she does is tell us not to spend money, right? WRONG. While it’s true, I spend a lot of time writing about all the ways to save your money, I also strongly believe in spending money on things that really bring value to your life. And sometimes the most value isn’t from the cheapest option.

So here are the reasons I signed up for CKO Kickboxing and spend twice as much money than I was before:

  • It’s a full body workout that gives me actual results. Have you ever kickboxed for an hour straight? If you haven’t, you should try it. I guarantee you will leave drenched in sweat and feeling like a champ.
  • I never have to plan what I’m going to do at the gym. I show up and just go. The trainers plan what you’ll be doing and guide you through the whole class. Gone are the days of me wandering around the gym trying to figure out  what I should do next.
  • I feel amazing after every class. I won’t lie, I try talking myself out of going sometimes because you know, it’s dark and cold after work and can’t I just go home and watch The Bachelor and eat some ice cream?! I may not always want to get myself there, but I NEVER regret going. I always feel incredibly good after.
  • I’m more than just a number. This is one of the coolest parts about going to a place like CKO. I’m more than just another member that scans their fingerprint and the front desk person says “have a good workout” to. The owners of the gym actually know my name and know who I am. They even notice when I haven’t gone in for a couple weeks!
  • It’s a community. You get to really know the other members and become friends with them. We even save each other’s bag sometimes so we can all workout together like usual. I never thought I’d make “gym friends”.
  • Health is real wealth. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have your health, it doesn’t matter. I’m willing to spend more money on something that will help me live a healthier lifestyle because that is valuable to me.

The final reason is the most important, so it gets its own paragraph. That reason is, I ACTUALLY USE MY MEMBERSHIP. I’ve had my CKO membership for 9 months and I’ve gone a total of 75 times and counting. That’s already 3 times the amount of times I went to 24 Hour Fitness in FOUR years. My cost per visit is significantly lower at CKO than it was at 24 Hour Fitness because I go so much more.

These are my reasons, and I encourage you to explore other options if you’re in a similar situation I was in with 24 Hour Fitness. I know a lot of people that spend money on a gym membership and never use it. Stop wasting your money and use it on something that is actually worth it — even if that means spending more on it.

There are a lot of gym options these days: crossfit, barre, yoga, cycle, HIIT, and so on and so forth. Look for something that works for you. It may be a traditional gym like 24 Hour Fitness or it may not. If you decide to look into a non-traditional workout regime, here are some tips:

  • Do something you love and you’ll enjoy. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you actually like the workout you’re doing.
  • Base your decision on convenience. It’s hard enough to be motivated to workout when you don’t have to go far, so imagine going somewhere that is a 20 or 30 minute drive from where you’re coming from.
  • Don’t prepay for a long period of time. A lot of smaller gyms will want to sell you on paying for your membership 6, 12 or even 18 months in advance. It may interest you because they usually offer you a discount for paying in advance. The discount is usually not worth the risk you’re taking for putting that much money down. You may decide you don’t like the gym, you may move, you could get injured, or you may simply lose the motivation to go. If any of these things happen, you’ll end up wasting a lot of money. If the discount really gets you, try going for 3-6 months before paying all that money up front to see if you really love it.

Working out is a good part of any healthy human’s life. There is no rule on how much you should or shouldn’t spend. As long as you’re getting use out of it and it’s something you can afford, it’s perfectly fine to spend a little more on it, even if it’s twice as much more… Don’t put a price on your health, because it’s truly priceless.

Xo,

Vee

Nothing on this blog should be considered personal actionable advice, research, or an invitation to buy or sell any securities. Consider all risks before investing, including the loss of your hard earned money. Vee is an Investment Advisor for Warren Street Wealth Advisors, this blog reflects her personal views, and not that of Warren Street.

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