How Much Would You Pay for a Gym Membership?
Monday, May 14th, 2012
I have a love – hate relationship with my gym membership.
I love the gym itself. It’s clean. There isn’t a bunch of hair in the showers, people wipe down machines when they finish, and childcare offers actual classes like Zumba for Kids and Music and Motion for parents with kids throughout the day. It’s a drive, but once I get there I always am glad I am a member. And I love the yoga classes they offer.
I don't love the time of the month when the bill rolls around.
It’s not the cheapest gym in town. I pay for that great childcare area, but it feels like a necessity. When we first moved here I paid for membership at another gym and the childcare was horrid. So horrid, in fact, that one day the childcare worker was on the phone when I dropped my daughter off, and when I returned, she was seated in the same rocking chair still chatting while my daughter sat on the floor, alone, with some blocks. I complained and cancelled the next day.
I need a gym membership because my husband travels, and when he’s out of town and I want to work out, I can’t do it unless I have a safe place to put my kids. A babysitter would cost an arm and a leg for three times a week, so the gym is actually cheaper than hiring someone to come to the house so I can run a few times. And my girls are at that age where they are too big to put in strollers but still too small to really go out with me for a 3.5 mile bike ride while I run. (I know; I've tried!) Of course, they aren't old enough to stay home on their own, which brings me back to the gym.
And the fact that it’s not cheap.
An article in the Sunday paper from Jacksonville, Florida talked about new gyms charging just $10 per month with no extra fees and no yearly contracts. My heart leaped! What a great idea! Bare bones gyms, where you go in, use machines, and go home. Of course, this doesn’t include childcare, and they don’t have pools, as ours does. Still, $10 a month I can imagine paying for the use of a treadmill. These gyms added on extras, like classes, for an additional ten or twenty per month. All in all, still around $30 per month to get in a workout.
Next year gym childcare options won’t make as much of a difference for me, because both kids will be in school full-time. I can run and get work done while they are in school, even when husband travels. Now, though, I need a clean gym with childcare, and in our small town the costlier gym to which I already belong appears to be the best option.
How much would you pay for a gym membership each month – one that included great childcare – if, without it, you wouldn’t get a workout in? Or would you skip the workouts or do something as an alternative, like workout at home?