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Gyms That Can Be Good on Your Wallet

SmartAsset: The Best Gyms for Your Wallet

Getting in shape can be expensive, with all the pricey exercise classes, gym gear and subscriptions. However, there are some gyms out there where you can get the benefits of working out without overly draining your wallet. If you’re looking for a place to work out that won’t break the bank, check out these deals from the nation’s most popular fitness centers. Be sure to select the membership option that best meets your fitness and financial needs.

If you’re budgeting your gym expenses, make sure you also have a long-term financial plan in place. Speak with a local financial advisor today.

The Cheapest Gym: Planet Fitness 

SmartAsset: The Best Gyms for Your Wallet

Planet Fitness is a spacious gym that has ample equipment at its more than 2,200 locations across the U.S. Planet Fitness prides itself in being the “judgement-free zone,” or a gym where the occasional athlete will feel comfortable navigating. According to the New York Times, Planet Fitness can be summed up as a “gym for people who don’t like gyms.” It also offers weekly aerobic and cardio classes to work with your busy schedule.

There are a few different membership options at Planet Fitness. A Black Card member pays $1 to sign up, a $49 annual fee and $24.99 monthly fee. This membership has reciprocity at any location around the world, so you can work out on business trips or vacations. With the card, you are also granted unlimited use of massage chairs and tanning beds, 50% off drinks and you can bring one guest per day for free. If you’re planning on recruiting a gym buddy to motivate you, this might be the membership for you.

Planet Fitness also offers a base membership, which costs $10 every month, a $49 startup fee and a $49 annual fee, with a 12-month commitment. It’s the more cost-efficient option, though you lose access to the rest of the aforementioned Black Card perks. That means you’ll pay extra for tanning beds, massage chairs and more.

The gym also offers a third-tier no-commitment membership for $15 a month. You will also have to pays a $59 startup fee and a $49 annual fee.

The membership offers at Planet Fitness have very specific deadlines and expiration dates. So before you sign up, be sure to call a location near you to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.

High-Quality Gym With Low Costs: Gold’s Gym 

Gold’s Gym facilities across the country are known for their top-of-the-line equipment, which has led to their generally positive image across consumer reviews. If you have a Gold’s Gym nearby, stop in and explore the free pass, which gives you free access to their facilities before you make any commitment.

Memberships vary by state. Here are the rates for Southern California (though they are subject to change at any time):

  • Single Basic Membership: Costs include a $99 processing fee, a $49 annual fee and a $9.95 monthly fee. Members have a one-year commitment and must pay first and last month dues upfront ($19.90).
  • Passport Premium: This option has no processing fee, a $49 annual fee and a $21.95 monthly fee. Membership commitment is month-to-month and members must pay first and last month dues upfront ($43.90).
  • Passport Gold Combo: This membership has no processing fee, a $49 annual fee and a $29.95 monthly fee. Commitment is month-to-month and members must pay first and last month dues upfront ($59.90).

If you promote Gold’s Gym on social networking sites or refer members, you can qualify for a rewards card. Perks include free personal training sessions, depending on the location.

Bargain Community Gym: YMCA

SmartAsset: The Best Gyms for Your Wallet

YMCA’s fitness centers are oldies, but goodies. Their membership rates can depend on the age of the participant, with no down payment, and can vary quite a bit based on where you live. An example is a YMCA in Pennsylvania which costs $35 per month for young adults aged 18 to 25, youths under 18 are $30 per month, and 26+ are $56 per month. If you’re 65 or older, your rate will be $43 a month.

YMCA is one of the only facilities to offer extremely inexpensive day trip trials. Its flexibility, simple schedule and inexpensive classes have helped them land on this list. There are also typically some discounts for entire families that are signing up together.

Bottom Line

The right gym for you will depend on a number of factors from where you live to what you’re looking for in a gym. Gym expenses can add up over time, so make sure that the membership you’re paying for is a worthwhile investment for your needs. Shop multiple gyms in your area to find the best deal, and look out for discounts around New Year’s and other holidays that could lower your expenses initially or throughout your first year of membership.

Tips for Managing Your Budget

  • Your gym subscription should hold a place in your budget plan, just like any other cost. If you’re looking to optimize your budget and build a long-term financial plan, consider working with a financial advisor. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Having a stout budget in place is integral to maintaining the health of your financial life. As you write up your budget, be sure to account for all of your costs, including bills, groceries, gas, gym subscriptions and more. To get started building your budget, stop by SmartAsset’s budget calculator.

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