The Case For Dumping Our Gym Membership

My wife and I have been paying $155 a month for a gym membership for years. I can count with my fingers how many times a year I don’t work out. I’ve also been a big advocate that it’s easier to make exercising part of your lifestyle if it’s an event. For these reasons I’ve thought the high cost of my full priced gym membership was worth it. That changed last week.

I used to go to spin classes all the time, but the class times just don’t line up with my availability. So, last week I bought a spinning bike and set up a home spinning studio in my basement for cross training. I hooked my laptop to the television and created a play list of free spin classes from YouTube. I’ve hopped on that bike every day for the last week, and loved every minute of it.

My gym is rich with amenities including a hot tub, pool, sauna, steam room, racquetball, basketball, group fitness classes, and every cardio and strength training machine known to man. But except for a very infrequent trip to the hot tub, I always use the same narrow slice of equipment.

I did an analysis of what I use, and what I could do to maintain access to similar exercise methods and what the cost would be.


I’m a runner, so I spend a lot of time on a treadmill. I also like to run outside. In the warmer months of the year, I spend most of my time on outside trails. I’m currently searching for a high quality used treadmill. I’m targeting to spend about $1000.

Cross Training

My body requires days off from running, and it’s nice to inject variety into your cardio training. I have a set of roller blades for good weather days, and as mentioned I just bought a spinning bike. The roller blades I’ve owned for years, the spinning bike cost me $600.

Strength Training

My strength training goals are simply to build and maintain healthy muscle tone, not to be a body builder. I can do this minimal weight equipment including a set of dumbbells, a bench and a few other things for $400 (just so my total comes out to a nice round number).

When Do I Start Saving Money?

My home gym of a treadmill ($1000), spin bike ($600) and strength training equipment ($400) is projected to cost about $2000.

My gym membership costs $155 a month, but that’s not the only cost. A round trip to and from my gym is 16 miles, 112 miles a week, or 448 miles per month. If my van gets 20mpg, that’s roughly 22.5 gallons of gas each month. Currently gas is about $2 per gallon where I live, so that’s an additional $45 spent on my gym membership.

$155 membership dues + $45 in gas per month = $200 total cost of gym membership per month.

My home gym would pay for itself in $2000 / $200 = 10 months. After that, I’d have $200 extra in my pocket each and every month.

Gym memberships provide access to high quality equipment that one could never assemble in their own home. But looking at what my wife and I actually use at the gym, and utilizing our basement (used to be our kids toy room when they were young) we can buy what we really need, and save a significant amount of money.

How about you, EOD Nation, are you a former gym goer that decided to workout at home to save money?

About Travis

2 Responses to “The Case For Dumping Our Gym Membership”

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  1. Sassy Mamaw says:

    It’s a good move, Travis. I did it years ago when I found I was spending half my time at the gym on the treadmill. I bought myself a treadmill and never looked back. Recently, I have developed arthritis in my knee, so when my treadmill bit the dust, I got myself a recumbent exercise bike. In a few years when I retire, I will hae more time on my hands, and I might get a gym membership then.

    • Travis says:

      People tend to develop routines at the gym, and tend to use the same pieces of equipment over and over. My wife is in the same boat, in that all she used at the gym is the treadmill. I would use the treadmill, a bike, and weights. That means for the full service gym we belonged to, we weren’t using the vast majority of the facilities (basketball, racquetball, pool, stair climbers, etc, etc), but we were paying for access to them all! Our home gym has everything we use, without a monthly bill. Good to hear from you!

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