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Gym Membership Financials

Do you have a gym membership? My family always had one at the YMCA when I was growing up, and when I met my husband, we joined a gym together. In both cases, there wasn’t a whole lot of choice involved. As a child, you do what your parents do. And when my husband and I got our own gym membership, there was only one gym close enough to make sense, and there was a “family” option.

Now that we’ve moved from south Pinellas county to north county, we’re in a similar situation. The only gym really close to us is Anytime Fitness. For the first time ever though, I am considering the choice between that gym and no gym at all. As always with me, financial considerations are a part of the decision.

During the Coronavirus lockdown, I became accustomed to doing strength training at home, and cardio outside. This routine meant going for a long walk or a bike ride, then using small free weights or body weight and stretching when I got back. To my surprise, I didn’t miss the gym.

But my husband did. The Anytime Fitness near us does not have a joint option for a couple. It’s $40 per month for him and it would be $40 per month for me. He signed up in no time, but I’m dragging my feet. According to him, the Anytime Fitness has helpful staff, clean facilities, good choice in machines, and some fitness classes. A bonus: we can work out anywhere at anytime (I couldn’t help it), so when we do get back to traveling in earnest, we can stay in Airbnb’s or VRBO’s and still have somewhere to work out nearby (as long as there’s an Anytime Fitness nearby).

In addition to the $40 per month, there’s an additional $40 charge per year for miscellaneous upgrades. In doing the math, that’s $80 per month for both of us x 12 months, plus $40 each per year, or $1,040 per year in total. The decision I’m responsible for is half of that, $520, because my husband is already all in.

One of the things we enjoyed the most about our last gym were the yoga classes. We went to approximately one per week, usually on Sunday morning at 11:00. Anytime Fitness’s yoga class times don’t fit so easily into my schedule. Do I really want to work out at 8:00 on Saturday morning?

In addition to never going to the gym or getting my own membership, there’s a third option. If I only go with Aric, the guest charge is $5.

Now to account for potential gym utilization. Worst case scenario is I only use the gym once per week, either for yoga or when it’s raining, which comes out to around $10 per visit. Is it worth the additional $5 per visit (versus the guest rate) knowing I can go by myself? And let’s be honest, there are no signs showing I’m going to suddenly want to go with my husband at 6 am.

Best case usage scenario, I get right back into the habit of going to the gym and I go back to going at least 3 times per week, which works out to about $3 per visit.

What do you think I should do? Is there anything I didn’t consider? The bright side is that due to educating ourselves about finance, being consistent investing towards our goals, and some luck, we’re blessed financially and $520 isn’t a material amount of money anyway, so I’m leaning towards signing up.

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