Is a Gym Membership Worth It?

Is a gym membership worth it?

Is a gym membership worth it? We think not for any frugal elf trying to save pennies. Yes exercise is super important to both mental and physical health.  And we need exercise to keep our bodies strong inside and out.  Physical activity can help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  Being active also helps burn calories and not gain weight. But you don’t need a gym membership to get all of those benefits. You can simply workout from home with some basic equipment.

Another bonus of exercise is that it’s good for mental health.  Not only does it help relieve stress, but it also boosts your mood.  You feel good after you exercise!

The most popular place to work out is at the gym.  Gym memberships, however, can be pricey.  You might be spending up to $900 dollars a year just for a gym membership.  Even worse, you may be paying for a membership you don’t even use because you just never seem to be able to make it to the gym.

Stop wasting your money and wondering is a gym membership worth it!  Here are some reasons to ditch your gym membership in favor of buying some inexpensive equipment to exercise at home.

You Can Exercise Anywhere

That’s right, there is nothing that says you have to be at a gym to exercise.  When you go to the gym, you are not only using gas, you have to walk into a crowded gym and hope there is equipment available for you to use.

If you want to go to an exercise class, you have to go to the gym’s schedule and not yours.  How many times have you wanted to do a class that is during the day while you’re at work?

If you exercise on your own, you can exercise anywhere, even at the office.

You Save Time

When you go to the gym, you pack a bag, change at the gym, and then change again when you get home.  You can waist 30 minutes to an hour just traveling and changing.

Start thinking about what you could do with that extra time.  Here are some ideas!

  • Start reading that book you’ve been wanting to read
  • Meditate
  • Spend more time with your partner
  • Spend more time with the kids
  • Sit down, relax and have a glass of wine
  • Call a good friend

Your time is valuable, don’t waste it on traveling to the gym and changing clothes more than you need to.  You could be doing much more meaningful things.

Saves Money

Chances are you’re paying about $50 a month for your gym membership and some gyms cost even more.  It costs extra if you are using a personal trainer and if your gym has a smoothie bar, there goes another $5 to $10.  Although $50 a month may not sound like a lot, that adds up to $600 a year.  Gym membership fees do vary, but even if you spend less, start thinking about what you could be doing with the money you are giving to the gym.

In case you’re stumped about what you could do with some extra cash, here are some tips:

  • Pay down a credit card bill
  • Go for a weekend getaway
  • Take the family to an amusement park
  • Put it in savings for a rainy day
  • Put it in a college fund for the kids

There are lots of things you can do with your gym money!

You Don’t Need Fancy Equipment

To get fit and toned, you don’t need fancy gym equipment.  Weight machines, treadmills and step machines are all great if you are training for professional sports, but for the normal person, you can get results using inexpensive equipment you can buy on your own.

Your body weight is all you need to get fit and toned.  Once you add some inexpensive exercise equipment, you’d be surprised how effective it can be.

Exercise Equipment You Can Use at Home and Get Great Results

Exercising at home is convenient and cheaper than going to the gym.  You can find everything you need online.  Even if you buy several pieces of exercise equipment, you’ll still be spending less than you do at the gym.  Here are some examples of equipment you can buy to help meet your fitness goals at home.

Sunny Health and Fitness Mini Stepper

This little stepper can replace the big stepper at the gym.  It has a built-in hydraulic drive for smooth stepping and resistance bands that help tighten over 20 different muscles.  Exercising with the stepper is low impact, and you can track your steps, time, and calories burned.

It’s only $49 at Amazon.

XTERRA Fitness FB150 Folding Exercise Bike, Silver

If you like cycling, this folding exercise bike can offer you cardio or training for a fraction of the price of a gym membership.  With 8 levels of resistance, you will be able to increase your cardio workout and build leg muscles.

The Xterra bike is on sale right now for only $99 at Amazon.

MANTRA SPORTS Exercise Ball Chair

The Mantra exercise ball has the benefit of several types of workouts.  The ball comes with attachable resistance bands.  It also has a full-size poster that demonstrates a variety of exercises from pilates and yoga to CrossFit that can be done with the ball.

The exercise ball can help you get a full-body workout without specialized equipment.  You’ll burn calories and fat, as well as tone your muscles.  You can take this portable gym anywhere you go, so you can use it when traveling.

The Mantra Sports Exercise Ball Chair is priced between $37.97 and 39.97 depending on size.

Workout DVDs


Think you need a personal trainer?  RIPT90 is a 90-day workout plan.  You get a workout calendar, nutrition guide, and a fitness plan.  The workouts help you burn fat and build muscle as well as build up cardio endurance.  The best part is it’s only $29.99 at Amazon.


PIYO is a cross between pilates and yoga.  The workouts will help you burn fat and lose weight.  It comes with a meal plan and a tape measure to help you track your progress.  A workout calendar is also included to keep you motivated all for $72.80.

So, Is a Gym Membership Worth It? Heck no!

Is a gym membership worth it

Is a Gym Membership Worth it? Why You Want to Work Out at Home

Working out at home has many advantages the gym doesn’t.  Here are some reasons you might want to use inexpensive equipment at home instead of paying for a gym membership. Hopefully these last few reasons will put an end to the question “is a gym membership worth it?”.

Privacy– You don’t have to impress anyone!  You can wear what you want and you don’t even have to comb your hair.  You’ll save money by not buying fancy gym clothes too!

Schedule– If you work out at home, you can fit it into virtually any schedule.  If you can’t work out in the morning, you can do it when you get home.  Work that 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift?  You can use your equipment in the middle of the night.

Germs– If you work out at home, you don’t expose yourself to all those germs floating around on the equipment you use.  Most people don’t sanitize the equipment after they use it and don’t forget about all that sweat!

Take your time- You don’t have to feel pressured to hurry up when you use your own equipment.  Plus, if you don’t want to do an extra hard work out, you can take it easy and go at your own pace.   No one’s judging you!

Better workout- Let’s face it, most gym equipment works with only one muscle group at a time.  Due to equipment availability, you may not be able to work the whole body.  At home, you can work out multiple muscle groups at once with your body weight and a few pieces of home exercise equipment.

Comparisons– You don’t have to compare yourself to that perfect being working out next to you.   You can gain as much muscle as you want or lose weight at your own pace, without feeling you have to look like someone else.  You can be comfortable with who you are and meet the goals you set for yourself, not someone else’s goals that may be impossible to achieve.

So is a gym membership worth it? Nope! Gym memberships are expensive and a waste of money.  You may join the gym with good intentions, but most people don’t go as much as they did when they joined, or they stop going altogether.  The automatic withdrawals make it easy for gyms to get their money, even when you don’t go.

Gyms are making money and you are losing money.  You can work out just as efficiently at home with exercise equipment that is easy to use and economical.  Even if you spend money at an online store like Amazon to buy equipment for your home, you are spending less than you would for a gym membership.  The best part is there is no recurring payment.

So again, is a gym membership worth it? Heck no! What are you waiting for? Make 2020 the year you decide to quit the gym and get fit at home.  Don’t get sucked in by those beautiful people commercials, you can be just as beautiful without the gym.  You’ll be doing yourself, and your bank account, a big favor.  Make 2020 the year you become fit and frugal.

If you’re no longer wonder is a gym membership worth it and you want some other health tips, check out our post on how to cure your anxiety for free.


The Frugal Elf.

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