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The True Cost of Joining a Gym

January 2nd, 2007 at 10:52 pm

Every January, people surge to the local gyms, determined to get a jump on their vows to get in shape for the new year. Gym memberships spike sharply in January, bolstered by the legions who are out to lose those holiday pounds (and then some). As I was stopping by the pharmacy last night, I glanced across the shopping plaza at local NYSC, and my eyes were immediately drawn to the big banner which read, "JOIN NOW FOR $20.07*!!!"

"WOW that is a phenomenal deal!" was my first reaction. But what was the catch? I went home to dig around some more on the internet and boy was I surprised to learn the true cost to joining the local NYSC:

$20.07 is just the cost of "joining." Remember that little asterik? The very, very fine print revealled, "Monthly charges and $49 processing fee also apply." Hmm, so it costs only $20 to say you'll become a member (isn't talk supposed to be cheap?) but then $49 to sign and push around papers? And what about those monthly charges? Not too surprising, the NYSC website did NOT have an easy-access page that listed monthly fees, but after a Google search, I finally discovered it to be $89/month.

So, in total:
$20.07 + $49 + (89*12) = $1137.07 for a 1yr gym membership! And who knows what other hidden fees lurk within? Locker rental, personal trainer or dietician fees, daycare, not to mention the penalty fee should you decide to break the contract.

$20.07? I think I'll run clear of that "deal."

2 Responses to “The True Cost of Joining a Gym”

  1. janH Says:

    I've also heard of towel fees. That's why I thought of getting something for home. It could pay for itself in no time if you count gym costs. I priced the YMCA here also.

  2. baselle Says:

    Yep, the fees sure can be deceptive. Also, gyms tend to be like airlines - so many special deals exist in conjunction with when you join, whether you have a workplace deal (that's how I got in). If you ask 10 gym rats what they pay, you'll get 10 prices. But I made the choice of going to a gym, and I declare it frugal because I use the heck out of it!

    A gym will also try to sell you the vitamins, supplements, bars, and other incidentals...and those make any towel fee look extremely cheap. And then you have parking if your gym doesn't really have a parking lot. Another good reason that if you really really want to join a gym, you should tour it first.

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