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Why You Are Wasting Your Time (and Money) Going to the Gym?

Imagine you are how to lunch with a friend at a casual restaurant.

You take out a $20 bill to give the waitress a tip. Then your friend says to take out another $20 bill to give the waitress another tip on their behalf.

What would you do at this point?

Maybe you trust your friend and you give another $20, but what if the table next to you said: “hey, put down another $20 from us.

Now you’re probably thinking “now I’m just wasting my money.”

This is exactly what most people do when it comes to gym members. They waste their money!

Why Gym Memberships are a Waste of Money

It sounds a very rejuvenating after you walk through the gym doors, get a great sales pitch of how you will be healthy, live longer, and have more energy.

Once you sign the paperwork you now have a gym membership and you start going to the gym. Within two months of going to the gym consistently 2 days a week, you start to drop one day here, one day there.

By month four, you barely make enough time to go once a month, yet you still keep paying your membership dues.

This is one of the big reasons why gyms are a waste of money for most people. It is because the newness dies down, and you stop going consistently – yet you are stuck in a membership plan.

How Are Financially Locked In!

Many gyms charge membership fee every single month and put you on a contract. You might be lucky if you don’t find one with a contract. Generally, you’ll be locked in a contract for six months or a year.

Membership fees can range from a $99 sign up fee + $29/month or if you’re going till more premium gym you might be paying $99/month.

The reason gyms have contracts is lock people in. They know that most people quit after the first few months. There is a drop-off effect.

They may market it to you as the contract will help you come to the gym more often to lose weight and be more healthy, but the reality is – it comes down to the financial numbers for them. They are running a business!

You should also look at your numbers. How much does it cost and is it worth your time?

The costs of a gym membership

When we look at the financial costs of a gym membership it’s not that difficult to figure out.

  • $19/month membership = $228 per year or 10 year cost: $2,280
  • $29/month membership = $348 per year or 10 year cost: $3,480
  • $49/month membership = $588 per year or 10 year cost: $5,880
  • $99/month membership = $1,188 per year or 10 year cost: $11,880

Overall you can see a gym membership is not that expensive when it comes to annual costs relative to being more healthy.

After all, to spend $500 a year and to stay healthy, lose weight, and meet new people is not a huge price tag IF YOU MANAGED TO GO. However, since most people drop off after the first few months most of that money is wasted!

Wasting money is one thing… but wasting time? 

Time is the biggest costs when it comes to going to the gym and there are many time wasters associated with the gym.

What classifies as gym time wasters?

Gym time wasters are things that take up your time when you could actually be doing something else instead like working out.

  • Getting ready (water bottle, clothes, load the car, etc)
  • The commute is a big time waster
  • Switching equipment (waiting for equipment)
  • Chatting with friends
  • Taking selfies
  • Talking on the phone
  • Flipping through your song playlist

All these are common gym time wasters that I have seen when I used to go to a gym. Today I don’t go to the gym and do other workout alternatives and you should too if you found the gym to be a big time-waster or haven’t been consistent with attending.

What should you do instead of going to the gym?

Instead of going to the gym you can definitely work out at home on your own (if you are disciplined –  the most people are not).

In some situations, the gym can be a motivator to get you away from your normal environment and get you to work out, but for most people, they fail because they can’t keep the consistency.

If you can’t work out at home on your own consistently over multiple months. Then chances are, you’re probably not going to be successful at the gym.

Let’s evaluate what you should do instead… To get there we need to understand why do people go to the gym and what causes the drop-off?

I would say for most people they go to the gym the first few weeks or months because there’s a newness factor to it and they’ve committed themselves to this new activity.

Think of this as when you are in a new relationship with a new boyfriend or girlfriend.

At the beginning you might be spending much more time with them, texting them often, but later on, as the relationship evolves you realize that the maintenance and work involved is not as necessary because you feel safe and secure in the relationship.

Our brain has this concept of putting more emphasis and energy on anything new.

So what should you do?

The first month when you are serious to work out or lose weight (whatever your goal is) – sign up to 5+ different classes or activities for different months and pre-pay your money in advance for that month. For example:

  • January: Regular gym
  • February: Karate classes
  • March: Yoga classes
  • April: Cycling club
  • May:  Runners club
  • June: Swimming club
  • July: Crossfit
  • August: Barre

As you can see there are many different activities that you can do and this will keep your mind stimulated!

Of course you could just work out at home, but eventually, people get tired of those routines as well. Habits and routines are great, but remember that mixing up your workout will give your body a different kind of workout and stimulate new muscles.

If you’re able to attend different classes throughout the different months then you’ll also be up to meet some new friends with whom you can eventually have a lunch date with.

This time instead of wasting the $20 – you can use it to take a few extra friends out to lunch.

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DISCLAIMER:

On MyLittleNestEgg.com we try to provide accurate information on personal finance and investing, but it may not apply directly to your individual situation. We are not financial advisors and we recommend you consult with a financial professional before making any serious financial decisions.