Why I’m Still Paying for my Gym

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about 4 things I wouldn’t do to save money. You can add another one to the list today. I’m not willing to give up my gym membership to save money and help myself get out of debt faster. I love working out at my gym and though it’s kind of expensive at $80/month, I usually feel like I’m getting my money’s worth by going at least 3 times each week.

Like I said “usually” I get my money’s worth. Lately I have not. Last night was my first night back in the gym and I can tell you taking 18 days off from working out was painful. Literally. And yet, I loved it!

It was great to be back and get my sweat on! With that said, here are just a few reasons why I am going to continue to pay for my gym membership even though I know I could get out of debt much sooner if I wasn’t paying for an expensive gym.

Motivation and Inspiration

For me, my gym membership is worth it because it keeps me motivated to workout. Yes, you can workout without having a gym membership, by following workout videos, running outside,etc.But I’m the kind of person that needs others to keep me accountable (which is why I started a blog). Knowing that my gym’s trainers will call or text me if I miss my usual workout sessions keeps me motivated to keep going.

There are also a lot of members of my gym that are highly inspirational to me. There are members of all ages, backgrounds, from all professions, and at all fitness levels. There’s always someone to look up to and aspire to be like. This also helps keep me going back.

It’s a Community

Everyone at my gym is very encouraging. We have several social events at the gym throughout the year that may, or may not, have anything to do with working out. We enjoy each other’s company even when we’re not working out.

In case you’re wondering, my gym is a Crossfit gym and it is very community oriented. All workouts are class workouts. Some are partner workouts and others you suffer through alone, but at the end everyone is encouraging to the members who are still working. There’s no one who’s discouraging to those of us who are not as fast, as fit, or as strong. Everyone wants to get a good workout and improve, and we all work to help each other improve too. We celebrate each other’s successes and help support each other’s failures and setbacks, including things like cancer diagnoses and any injuries that may occur.

Fuels my Competitive Nature

I’m a very competitive person and because there are plenty of members at my gym at all fitness levels, there’s always someone for me to aspire to be like and work to beat. I know lots of people, including some of our trainers, say you shouldn’t compare yourself to others but I just can’t help myself. I have to win!


I work harder if I have someone to work with or to work toward beating. 🙂 That’s just how I am.

It’s About Health

The most important reason I keep going to my gym is because it keeps me working toward bettering my health. That’s never a bad thing and it’s worth the cost in my opinion.

Do you pay for a gym membership? Why or why not?

About Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. Back before we had kids and u was training for a marathon, u did pay for a membership. I enjoyed doing cross training that kept me in shape but did not have me weight bear (swimming, rowing, etc).

    I don’t pay anymore, but money is too tight and do is time. But the winter is extreme enough here that if consider joining a gym just to have a different treadmill to run on 😉

    • At least your realistic about it. A lot of people I know pay for a gym membership, but never go. Admitting that you’d hardly go due to time restraints is a good step in the right direction.

  2. Awesome post Kayla. I couldn’t agree more. I am a new visitor to your site and will definitely be sharing my current debt situation with you. In fact, I’ll be writing about it in my blog post today and then I’ll be seeking help!

  3. I have religiously had (and used) a gym membership since college. It is not something I can go without, even when I am not using it as much as I’d like. As soon as I get rid of it, I know I’ll regret it. There is an element of guilt associated with having a gym membership. I feel obligated to use it if I am paying for it.

    I am in the market for a new membership, though. A couple’s membership for my husband and I is a bit pricey at my current gym. My goal is to find a new gym for half the price. The key is finding one that has similar amenities.

    Lastly, most insurance companies offer reimbursements for wellness! We get $800 a year back! Everyone should look into this 🙂

    Thanks Cat & Kayla

  4. I love my gym membership too…..and as long as it fits in our budget I’ll pay for it. if we needed to cut expenses, it would be one of the first things to go….although I think I ‘d first look for a cheaper gym. My biggest sticking point is that we have a family membership, and I’m basically the only one that goes.

    • Maybe you can switch to an individual membership to save some cash? I bet as soon as you did though your family members would miraculously want to go to the gym again 😉 That’s how it’d work in my family anyhow, haha!

  5. I think this is a healthy way to spend your money. I remember almost cancelling my gym membership because ever since I moved to my new job I was so unmotivated and rarely would use it. Plus, the locations didn’t really make sense to my long commute. But, they actually offered me a lowered rate. It never hurts to ask =)

  6. I love working out and got certified to teach group exercise when I was in college. I started teaching there, and then taught at several gyms when I moved back home. Great way to get a free membership and be forced to work out! Haha. Unfortunately… Around the time I got married my certification expired and I stopped going to the gym altogether… Yep, I gained a bunch of weight and “couldn’t justify” spending the money to renew the certification or get a gym membership. Plus I like spending all my free time with my husband 🙂 but since we’re about to be apart for a few months, getting a gym membership is my first priority. Budget might be tight, but this is important!

    • I agree, it is super important to take care of yourself. A gym membership (as long as you use it) is a great way to invest in your health. 🙂

  7. Gym memberships are always the first thing I look at when working on someone’s budget. If they use it, great. But if not, then it definitely has to go. I am a workout fiend so I do have a gym membership, because as you said, a coach makes you work harder. Being healthy is a core value of mine and it’s definitely an area that I am willing to invest in.

  8. I lost my job in mid-September and at first I was going to not go (because of the cost, which is $150 per month) but then decided it would be better to continue to go. I really like to go and even though it’s a lot of money I think it was the right decision.

    • As long as you can still afford it and you use it regularly (to get your money’s worth), it’s not a bad thing to continue paying for (in my opinion at least).

  9. I recently started working at a gym (in the daycare) and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get a free membership at my 3-month mark (if I haven’t found a better, full time job by then, that is). If I do get a new, better paying job, I plan to get a membership. The cost is only $45/month for the one that I like, so as long as I go once a week, I’m getting my money’s worth. I know that I can go for a walk or run outside, but I don’t. Going to the gym is somehow different in my mind. Maybe because it’s something you can actually write in your day planner? Or because it does involve leaving the house? I don’t know what it is, but I am so much healthier when I have a gym membership than when I don’t. I can’t wait to have one again.

    • I understand what you mean. I could say I’d workout if I went to a cheaper gym that didn’t have classes, or that I could “workout” for free but I know that I won’t because I don’t enjoy it and there’s nothing to help hold me accountable. The reason I keep going to my expensive gym is that I enjoy having people there to push me to do better and show up 🙂

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