Money, Work Out

Why I Have a Gym Membership {money monday}

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I’ve been reading personal finance blogs for about four years now and one of the big things many of them talk about is creating a home gym to cut down on the fees you’d encounter with a gym membership. Since I moved down south, I’ve had a gym membership, even though it’s very pricey at 8% of my monthly income. I’d talked a lot about wanting to switch to a more affordable gym, and I got questions about why I wouldn’t just ditch the gym altogether and create a home workout environment. I would someday love the convenience and value of a home gym, but right now it’s not practical for me. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Motivation: part of what really got me going into a routine in the first place was the fact that if I didn’t get in the gym, I was just losing out on $78 every month. If I had a home gym, it would be so easy to push it off – I’ll work out later, I’ll work out extra long tomorrow – etc. I know that’s true because I have some yoga equipment for home workouts and I’ve used it twice since I bought it. The act of having to get out of the house to go work out really helps me plan it into my day.
  • Safety: While I would love to be one of the runners I see out on my drives to work, I just don’t feel safe enough going on a solo run. My city has recently been plagued with some abductions and murders and while I know that the chances of it happening to me are very slim, I’m more than a little jumpy and cautious after being in the wrong place at the wrong time once already.
  • Group Classes: This summer I’ve been maximizing my time in group classes, averaging 4-5 every week between restorative yoga, Zumba, and Les Mills classes. While I could buy Les Mills or Zumba DVDs to do at home, it’s much more fun to be in dance classes, and the amount I’d have to invest into the props used for restorative (not to mention I’d have no idea what to do without an instructor) would probably be at least two months worth of gym fees. It’s also like having a personal instructor without the added cost – the teachers I take from are happy to make modifications to ensure I’m still getting a full and effective workout. Were I to try it on my own I’d probably hurt myself or make it overly easy.
  • Moving: This is honestly the biggest reason I don’t have a home gym. In the last year, in 365 days, I’ve moved four times. The idea of moving around more DVD’s or hand weights or anything else on top of the other things that come with me when I move makes me want to die a little bit. And since part of moving around has included downsizing with every move, it hasn’t made sense to invest in things that I’d have to purge out anyway.
  • Space: my last move saw me go from a two-bedroom apartment with one roommate where I had a moderate amount of living space to a three-bedroom apartment where the only space that I really have is my 10×10 bedroom. Definitely no room for anything but my yoga mat and foam roller.
  • Machines: I really love working out on machines. Weight machines, ellipticals, even the Technogym stretch things are great to me. I’d never be able to find a place for these in an apartment, let alone afford to purchase even one or two of my favorites.

Do you work out at home, in the gym, or a combo of both? Why?