We’re about one month into that time of the year when everyone’s talking about “new year, new me”. And with this period, gym owners all over Australia are saying “hallelujah!” as people sign up and lock themselves into 6 and 12-month contracts.
So how can you cut costs on your gym membership?
Don’t pay for what you don’t need
If you’re only going to the gym to use the treadmill, don’t spend $50 a week on a platinum gym with a pool and a spa. It’s unnecessary and it can mean that you’re really racking up the long-term costs. Instead, consider a smaller gym that doesn’t offer things such as classes. There are a couple of chains such as Anytime Fitness and Plus Fitness that only charge around $16 per week, as they don’t offer all the bells and whistles.
If you’re not keen on forking out on a gym membership but you’re really interested in doing classes, consider an outdoor class instead. These are typically cheaper as they don’t require as much equipment upkeep or building maintenance, and they’re a great way to get sweaty in the open air. Step Into Life offers a free trial session, so you can try it out before you commit.
Don’t “pause” your membership
Many gyms capitalise on the fact that most people can’t be bothered cancelling their membership once they’ve got it. Knowing this, gyms offer you the option of pausing your membership for a lesser fee than your actual membership. This typically means paying $5 or $10 a month to not use the gym, to save yourself from having to sign up all over again when you want to come back. Even if you’re pausing your membership for only a few months, it’s really not worth paying money for absolutely no reason. You’d be financially better off just cancelling your membership outright and then signing up again later if you really want to go back.
Don’t pay if you’re injured
If you’re sick or injured for a prolonged period of time, do NOT pay for your gym membership. Most gyms allow you to pause or cancel your membership with no fee if you’re unwell, as long as you can provide them with a doctor’s certificate. And if you do pause your membership, make sure you receive written confirmation that withdrawals from your account will be stopped. You can also check an ombudsman or government website for more guidance on this if you aren’t sure of your rights.
Check your health insurance
Most health insurance extras policies provide some cover for a gym membership if it’s deemed medically necessary. So if your doctor provides you with a medical certificate stating that you need to join a gym to exercise for health reasons, you should be able to claim the cost of your membership back – or at least part of it. A similar thing applies if you have a personal trainer, a physiotherapist or another form of exercise coaching. With HIF, you can claim a healthy lifestyle benefit for most major gyms.
Exercising doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re really keen on cutting costs, you can always find ways to get moving for cheap. Just make sure you jump online and do some research to ensure that you come out on top.
Bessie Hassan is a Money and Insurance Expert at finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website.