My wife and I are both fairly active people and when we went to school together we frequently worked out at the fitness centre on campus.  But after moving into the work-force full-time we found ourselves lacking the dedication to continue.  Just after we got engaged, about a year before our wedding date, we decided to get a gym membership at a local fitness centre.  We wanted to look our best for our big day.

Is A Gym Membership Worth The Money?

One of my biggest pet peeves was that to get a new gym membership you typically had to pay a sign-up fee (around $100).  This seemed ridiculous to me considering we’d be paying a monthly fee to work out there.  This particular fitness centre had an offer to waive the sign-up fee if we chose a 5-year gym membership, which also had a low rate of $25/month.

Related: 10 Fees You Can Avoid Paying

So off we went to the gym each morning, committed to getting into shape before our wedding.  And it worked, we both lost weight and found ourselves in pretty close to the best shape of our lives.

We got married 4 years ago in mid-October, and after our honeymoon was over we were determined to get back into our morning fitness routine.

Anyone who goes to the gym in the morning before work can attest to the fact that it is even harder than it sounds, especially in the middle of winter.  It’s dark, cold, and depressing to be out of bed so early, and now that we didn’t have a clear goal to motivate us, we quickly lost focus.

Why We Cancelled Our Gym Membership

By the end of that winter we stopped going all together.  But the $52.50 kept coming out of my account every month, and because of the “great deal” I got on the gym membership we would have to pay this monthly fee for the next 3.5 years.  Talk about depressing.

Don’t get me wrong, we were still motivated to lose weight and stay active. It just became more difficult to get ourselves up in the morning to drive to the gym.

When the weather turned nicer we decided to run in the mornings, and this became our new routine to keep ourselves in shape.  We also started eating healthier by creating a meal plan and cooking more at home.

I almost forgot about the monthly fees that continued to come out of my account.  I thought I was stuck with this monthly fee until the contract expired, or else I would be faced with a huge penalty for cancelling our gym membership.

I quickly learned that you should never assume anything and I simply called the fitness centre to discuss my options.  I was surprised to hear some great advice from a staff member who recommended that I transfer my memberships to another couple who is looking to join the gym.

She said that our low $25/month rate wasn’t even offered to new members anymore, so someone would surely snap up our gym memberships.  I placed an ad on Kijiji, and within a day or two had a couple ready to take over our contract.  They were so excited about the low monthly rate that I was able to convince them to pay for the $100 transfer fee as well.

After our daughter was born, we were again pressed for the time and motivation to stay active.  Not to mention we were trying to find ways to save money.

With so many free or inexpensive activities out there we still found ways to keep fit without forking out monthly payments for a gym membership.  How many of you out there have a Nintendo Wii?  Try the Wii Fit, or Wii Sports, or even a good session of Rock Band and you will get a great workout in your own living room.  And now that we have a toddler on our hands, it’s a workout just to keep up with her every day 🙂

Do you think a gym membership is worth the money?

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