- Ask The Readers: Evaluating a Gym MembershipPosted on Monday, November 17th, 2008 in Health – Views: (1638)A few years back, I had a gym membership. I always wanted a place where I can go and lift some weights do a little treadmiling… you know the stuff that I don’t nearly write often enough over at Lazy Man and Health. When my wife and I moved into my current apartment complex I noticed that they had a free gym. It’s not great, but it has 3 cardio machines and a couple of weight stations.
- Matt Furey: 101 Ways To Magnetize MoneyPosted on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 in Book Review – Views: (1120)Publishers send me books all the time. When I decide to read a book, I earn my Lazy Man moniker by choosing the thinnest book in my pile. Today that book is Matt Furey’s 101 Ways To Magnetize Money a book that you may be able to through in about 60-90 minutes.The first few tips are about putting your mind in the right frame of mind – the power of positive thinking. I think you take it a little too far by leaving reminders like index cards around the house as suggested, but who am I to say.
- Save Money and the Enviroment at the Same Time?Posted on Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 in Health – Views: (875)As I write this, it’s Friday night and since I tend not to have a life, I just finished watching Nightline. One of the more interesting segments was about how a group of moms limit their waste to one canof garbage a year. Specifically they had the moms from Enviromom on the show. They admitted that one can of garbage a year is a little aggressive for a beginner, but that one can a month is possible.
- Five Thoughts To My Future Children…Posted on Thursday, November 13th, 2008 in Deep Thoughts – Views: (796)I got the latest edition of Money Magazine yesterday, and Pat Regnier in his The Bottom Line column used the letter to his children as a literary device. It’s not unique (I’ve even written a letter to my high school self in the past), but nonetheless, I thought the idea was worth stealing flattering Mr. Regnier with my own letter to my own children. [Note: I probably wouldn’t use bullets and bolding in a real letter to my children, but I think you’ll find it easier to read.
- Our Early Retirement Plan: Introduction (Part 0)Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2008 in Retirement – Views: (785)I thought I’d switch things up this week and write about our retirement plan for the future. It’s going to be detailed, so I’ll have an article one day each week. I need to get a few things out of the way:Retirement planning at age 32 is a shot in the dark – Unless you really have tons of money it’s hard to plot a course for where you might be in 10 years. You think you have a plan and something could speed up the target date or slow it down right in a hurry.
- Oils Well That Ends WellPosted on Friday, November 21st, 2008 in Investing – Views: (782)I’ve been really surprised that the Dow Jones industrial average continues to drop. The last time it dropped to 8,200 I thought it would be the last chance at those prices. As I write this, the mark is at 7,500 and some indications seem to say that it could go even lower. Despite that, we’ve been buying some index funds with our Zecco account. Specifically we’ve been picking up Vanguard Total Index (VTI) and Vanguard All-World Ex-US (VEU).
A few years back, I had a gym membership. I always wanted a place where I can go and lift some weights do a little treadmiling… you know the stuff that I don’t nearly write often enough over at Lazy Man and Health. When my wife and I moved into my current apartment complex I noticed that they had a free gym. It’s not great, but it has 3 cardio machines and a couple of weight stations.
I always considered that gym I currently have a great value until this past weekend when my wife coerced me to go to her gym. She wanted me to try her Body Pump class (read my Body Pump review). It was probably the best workout I’ve had in months. (My body isn’t shy about reminding me of that with every move I make).
The experience got me thinking, “What are the advantages and disadvantages of paying for a gym over the free one I have?” I made up these two lists. Maybe you can tell me if I missed something.
Pros of a Gym Membership
- Forced Workouts – If I’m paying for a gym, I’m going to want to get my money’s worth
- Superior Equipment – I like elliptical trainers (low impact), but that’s not an option at my free gym. Everything is upgraded.
- Free of Distractions – When go to my close gym, I sometimes have a idea that I get too excited about. Sure I can bring a pen and paper and write it down, but the excitement of the idea is often greater than the excitement of the workout. If I’m at the paid membership, I’m far enough away to not to be tempted to come back.
- Classes – I really think the Body Pump class could put me in good shape. As my wife says, it’s a lot like a personal trainer. Once you are there, you are going to do the workout.
- Motivation – There are always a few people in tremendous shape at the gym. That reminder to see what I’m working towards is a bonus.
Cons of a Gym Membership
- Cost – I don’t need to explain this one…
- Potential Commitment – I don’t know if the gym is going to work out for me, but memberships often make you commit for a long term before you’ve had a month or two see if you are going to stick to it.
- Inconvenience – This is the tang to the “free of distractions” above… I can get to my gym in about 3 minutes. I could do so circuit training and get a decent exercise in around 20 minutes. I would mention that going to the gym in the winter would be a hassle, but with mild winters in Northern California, it really isn’t that bad. It’s not like it was in Boston where there are days you just don’t leave the house if you don’t have to.
In the end, I think this is going to be a tough personal choice to make. It’s hard to say what the right move is – it depends on pricing. If the gym is $100/mo., I don’t think it’s going to be worth it to me. If it’s $10/mo., it’s a no-brainer. My wife pays $29/mo., but I’m not sure they’d extend the same rate to me as she’s been there for two years. On the other hand, perhaps I benefit from a family plan and get a good deal. I’ll have to look in to details and see if the devil is in there.