Bessie Hassan | Mar 07, 2017
We’re three months into the new year and typically, at this point, most people give up on their resolutions, particularly ones to get fit, join a gym and stay healthy. “New year, new me” doesn’t really hold as much weight once the excitement of January passes. For starters, exercise is tiring! But also, in reality, gym memberships can be pretty expensive. So here are some top tips for cutting back your exercise costs:
Ask for a discount or benefit
Often gyms will provide a discount if you meet certain criteria. If you assist in referring or signing up a certain amount of people, your gym may knock off a percentage of your membership fee. Similarly, if a few members of your family are at the same gym as you, you may be able to ask for a family discount. Concession discounts are often available too, especially if you’re a student or senior.
Keep your eyes open for deals
Often gyms will run promotions during key times of the year. Around the new year is always a big one, as well as times like Easter, the end of the financial year and Christmas. These deals may provide you with a certain number of weeks membership for free in exchange for referring a friend. Alternatively you might receive a certain percentage off your membership fee. These deals are a great way to cut back on costs, as long as you jump on them when they’re first announced.
Don’t sign up for things you don’t need
When you’re first looking into getting a gym membership, make sure you look for things that you know you’ll actually use. It’s extremely unlikely that if you hate swimming, you are going to use the gym’s pool. Usually if a gym is extremely well-equipped, it costs more to go there. Benefits such as saunas, exercise classes, pools and various elaborate machines may not be necessary for you and your health habits. If you think you probably aren’t likely to utilise these resources, consider taking out a membership at a gym that offers less (and most likely costs less too).
Reap the benefits
In some cases, you can claim gym memberships on private health insurance. And, depending on your level of cover, you should typically be able to access rebates for other healthy activities such as yoga, zumba or pilates. For example, all CBHS extras policies include a Wellness Benefit that covers gym memberships. There is a combined annual limit of $115, with a $100 sub-limit for personal trainers. In order to claim your gym membership on your health insurance policy, you typically need a referral from your GP or a health professional and receipts from your membership, personal trainer or fitness class. Check out how to claim to ensure you’re getting the best possible value from your policy.
Avoid contract traps
Steer clear of lock-in contracts. These typically prevent you from being able to exit your payment scheme when you need or want to. In cases where you’d want to leave or pause your gym membership (such as if you were going overseas), you may not be allowed to. Generally, lock-in contracts will only allow for pausing or cancellation upon the presentation of a medical certificate and in the case of serious illness or injury.
Not only this, but you might not need it! It’s so difficult to know how useful you will find your gym membership in the year ahead. Your circumstances could change at any time and you may find yourself trying to get out of a contract from which you can’t escape.
With all of these tips, you should be on your way to cutting back on fitness costs in no time! Good luck and enjoy your workout.
This article has been provided by Bessie Hassan, an Insurance Expert at finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website.
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