One of the ways I’ve wasted money is with gym memberships. I’ve belonged to about half a dozen different gyms over the years and it all ended the same way.
I’d go for a month or two and then gradually stop.
Meanwhile, the monthly fee would be drafted from my account until the required period was met. I know I’m not the only one.
One of my friends renews his membership every year because it’s so cheap yet he never goes. This has gone on for years (so is it really cheap?).
Gym Membership Alternatives
Here are some ways you can exercise at your convenience without paying a monthly fee.
1. Home Gym: Invest in your favorite gym equipment and work out at home. You can buy pre-owned equipment for a good price on Craigslist. Putting a TV in the workout area might keep your interest while getting exercise at the same time plus there’s no travel time.
2. Day Passes: If you are a sporadic gym rat, then you should think about buying day passes. It seems expensive paying per visit, but be realistic. If you go a handful of times per month, it’s cheaper to pay per visit.
Some gyms or fitness businesses offer value packs to save more. Instead of paying a monthly fee to go to the occasional yoga or dance classes at the gym, pay for each class at a dance or yoga studio. You’ll probably have a better experience too.
3. Community Centers: The community we live in has a center which includes tennis courts, a basketball court, two pools and a small gym. We pay for this in our homeowner’s assessment whether it’s used or not.
Take advantage of the exercise options you pay for already with your home or apartment or make friends with someone who does.
4. City Recreation Centers: Many cities have gyms, pools, tennis courts, basketball courts and more options for exercise. Take advantage of the free or low-cost offerings available to you. For the services with fees, there may be waivers for low-income residents.
5. Schools: Check the exercise options available at your local educational institutions. University and colleges may offer access to the recreational facilities for alumni or community members. Our local community college offers low-cost classes as part of the no-credit adult education program.
The local school system also offers adult education offerings. A couple of years ago I signed up for a 10 week series of yoga classes for free. (Don’t ask me if I went.)
Thoughts on Gym Memberships
Gym memberships can be a great deal for those that use them. For irregular exercisers, try one of these alternative ways to exercise and save money.
Traveling this summer? If you’re getting a rental car, learn how you can decide if you need to pick up insurance coverage from them.
One of my pet peeves when traveling is the hard sell for insurance products at the rental car counter sometimes.
Often my negative response is countered with the reasons I should buy it; even though I already declined. There’s a reason for that.
Insurance is a profitable product. Collecting $9 or more a day for coverage that the vast majority of renters will never use generates a great deal of revenue. But is there a hard and fast rule about rental car insurance?
No to Rental Car Insurance
You may already have rental car coverage and not realize. it. Many credit card companies include this feature so be sure to check out the benefits of your card and use it when picking up the vehicle.
Organization memberships often offer travel benefits including coverage for rental car damage. My AARP membership has a maximum cap on damages if I decline the offered coverage.
Another reason to turn down additional insurance at the counter is that your own insurance plan may already provide coverage. Many comprehensive policies extend to cars you’ve rented.
Yes to Rental Car Insurance
Times when you should strongly consider signing up for the optional coverage is if you don’t have insurance through any other means.
Let’s say you don’t own a car or belong to any organizations that provides this benefit. It’s better to pay the daily fee than risk being on the hook to replace a fairly new car.
A time when even I consider rental car insurance is when renting in foreign countries. Like health insurance, your car insurance policy probably doesn’t provide coverage out of the country.
Conversely, the other country may not recognize your coverage provider. Most Southern Californians are used to buying Mexican insurance as part of their car trip across the border.
If you have an accident without this policy, it’s directly to jail until you can come up with the money to pay damages.
Thoughts on Rental Car Insurance
Before your next trip involving a rental car, do some research. Read your insurance policy and/or check with your agent on existing coverage.
Find out if your credit card or any memberships offer protection. If you’re going out of country, understand the local laws regarding driving and insurance.
By preparing, you can make an informed decision and be confident when you answer the question about optional insurance. Do you have any rental car tips?