Cheap tip: Saving at the gym

Up until a couple of years ago, I’d never belonged to a gym.

For a while, I belonged to our city rec center, where I could go at lunch. That was ca. 1998. Then, nothing. I ran sporadically and did yoga because I could do it from home, for a small investment. I do own a treadmill and sometimes even use it — the investment has generally been worthwhile because I can at least walk or run when it’s dark or snowy outside.

Then, a couple of years ago, I talked Mr. Cheap into joining 24 Hour Fitness. Because I work from home, I needed to get out of the house. We signed up, bought a personal trainer package, and went to town.

For a while.

Eventually, while I was still hitting the gym once or twice a week for cardio and once or twice a week for yoga classes, Mr. Cheap’s membership card was gathering dust. Eventually, well … who knows where his card even went.

Meanwhile, we were still paying $67.99 a month for our membership. I asked them what would happen if we canceled, as we had signed up for a membership with Mr. Cheap as the primary member ($43 per month) and me as the additional member ($24.99 per month).

Their answer: His membership would be deleted, and I would continue at the rate I was paying ($24.99 per month).

The only catch was that he had to go cancel in person. Finally, I got him to do that, and now I have a great value for my membership. (Even if I only manage yoga once a week, at less than $7 a class it’s a great deal.) And I can add the $43 we’re saving to my extra mortgage payments for a painless increase in paying off that debt.

If your honey is not hitting the gym, check your rules … and if you are joining the same gym, think about putting the least likely to continue as a primary member — but ask first to find out what would happen if you canceled one membership.

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