Fitness & Beauty

4 Ways Your Gym Membership Could be Costing You Even More Money Than You Think

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Joanne Poh

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Tarzan had abs without the use of a gym, but as Singaporeans who spend most of our time sitting in front of computers rather than swinging from tree to tree, we have to put in a little effort to maintain our health. For many people, that means joining a gym.

Now, you don’t need to tell us that gym memberships are pretty expensive, especially if you’re looking for one that has a branch close to your office at Raffles Place, where you’re looking at paying $100 a month or more. But that’s not all. Signing up for a membership at a fancy gym might cost you in other ways, too, such as the following.

 

Spending on fancy workout clothes

If your main form of exercise is to check into a ClubFitt gym close to your HDB estate or just run a few rounds around the neighbourhood, you’re probably going to be okay with wearing your old secondary school PE tshirt and FBT shorts to a work-out.

But if you’re working out at a fancy gym in the CBD where you can spot women running on the treadmill with fake eyelashes on and all the men look like New Urban Male models, you too might feel the urge to buy fancy workout clothes.

Before you know it, you’re showing up for a workout in $100 yoga tights and wearing a souped up fitness tracker around your wrist.

 

Failing to go to the gym regularly

The saddest thing a gym member can do is to not use the gym, or to use it so infrequently he or she ends up paying $50 to $100 for a single workout.

How matter how beautiful the view of Marina Bay is from the treadmill, it’s not worth the money if you don’t use the gym regularly enough to make it worth the $100+ you pay each month. Going once or twice a month does not cut it.

Each month, count the number of times you used the gym and divide it by the monthly fee to see how much you’re paying per session. Then remind yourself that the ClubFitt gyms cost only $2.50 entry.

 

Not cancelling or selling your membership when you no longer use it

Your gym is going to try to keep you as a member for as long as possible—if they had their way, you’d be a member till you died or they closed down. So quitting the gym is usually more complex than simply calling them and saying you’ve had it.

Some gyms will make you come down personally to pay a termination fee if you leave. Others will force you to notify them in writing at least one or two months before, meaning you’ll have to continue paying your fees in the meantime. And finally, there are some big chains that will insist you’re not even allowed to quit because you signed a contract.

If you signed a contract and paid one or two years’ worth of fees upfront, you can pretty much forget about getting that money back. In that case, you should probably try to sell the remainder of your membership to someone. Yes, it’s annoying to have to do so, but if you no longer use the gym it sure beats holding on to it.

All these make many Singaporeans very reluctant to quit. Some even wait many months for their contracts to come to an end, even though they’ve pretty much given up on working out.

 

Paying for extra classes and services

So, you think the monthly fee you pay for your membership is the only cash you’ll be forking out? Think again. Most gyms have extra services or classes available for a fee, which can increase your spending quite quickly.

Most gyms have personal trainers who’ll promise to whip you into shape at an expensive hourly fee.

Then there are the workshops that you can’t gain access to simply by virtue of your membership. No, you’ll have to pay extra for those.

You may think that workshop only costs $70 extra, and one session with your personal trainer costs only $50. It’s easy to forget you’re already spending $100+ a month on your gym membership. Add up all these costs and then ask yourself—are you really willing to spend friggin’ $400 a month to lose that gut? Sure, it’s not pretty, but you can get rid of it for free with a combination of YouTube and willpower.

Have you spent or wasted money on any of the above? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.