Memberships: Use them, or lose them

I’ve been paying monthly gym fees for years. And years. I probably could have bought my own pool by now. OK, maybe not – but it feels like it sometimes.

Some months I swim a lot. And then there are months where I… um, don’t go at all. The bummer about memberships is that you pay whether you use the service or not. So this month I gave myself an ultimatum – use my gym membership, or lose it.

I decided that 10 visits a month is a reasonable goal.

Swimmer with tally marks

Sounds simple, but 10 visits is much more than I’ve been doing in the past. To meet this lofty goal, I’m doing a couple things:

  • I have a white card on my fridge to track my visits (goals that I don’t track are forgotten).
  • I set up a regular time to swim (2 pm) and blocked it out on my calendar.

I’m happy to report that the regular calendar appointment and the card on my fridge are helping me reach my goal. I feel much better about my gym membership now that I’m using it.

What memberships or subscriptions do you have? Are you getting your money’s worth?

Any time is a good time to reevaluate memberships and pull the plug on the ones you’re not using.

My 365 photo blog post for today:



  1. I like that you mentioned setting time aside just for swimming paired with a set number of times per month. Thanks for sharing. This might be a way to get my own exercise routine on track. (It’s currently derailed and non existent!) You could also consider a pool that lets you pay for each use if that’s more financially feasible.

    • Scheduling a regular time has really helped me exercise more. If it’s in my schedule it gets done – vs delayed or blown off (too busy to workout…). I might switch to a pay-each-swim pool someday as it would be cheaper. Right now my membership pool is close to my home which is nice.

  2. Well, I don’t, but my husband does. Somehow, barking at him about it helped–he pays $30 a month for a gym membership he does not use. After saying something about throwing money away, he started going again. For the first time, nagging worked! :P

  3. I don’t have any but my husband does to a golf course..he uses it at least twice a week, if he didn’t we would cancel.

  4. I think we’re kindred spirits! I really enjoy your writing style, and of course your subject matter is so interesting. Isn’t it great that being frugal is becoming so cool? I’d love it if you’d check out my blog, I’m looking forward to reading more of your insights! Mary

  5. Hi.
    I like that you chose to set yourself a goal. Measurable goals are always easier to adhere to. Also good recommendations to adhere to gym exercise is to gym with a partner or join a class.


  6. Better still…with the sun staying out longer now, its nice to get out the gym and exercise outdoors.


  7. google reader recommended I check out your blog
    so far, so good!
    We used to have gym memberships and never used them much. The most I used it was to get in shape for our wedding over two years ago. We canceled early this year. They were $30 and $18 per month. Our treadmill will be delivered on Friday.

    I like exercising outdoors and am more like to just lace up and go for a walk. However, we have four seasons and I hate the cold. We paid just under a $950. I think it’s money well spent if we use it a few times a week for the next few years. The amount we spent on the gym could have built an at-home gym with everything but the pool.

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