(This is cross-posted at BlogHer.)
I had a private kettlebell lesson back in September, which set me back $80 for one hour. The BOSU I purchased was another $80, and that was after using a coupon. The krav maga class was $20. My bicycle cost over $500 (not including the price of the helmet or the bike rack for my car). My gym membership is $65 per month, minus the $25 subsidy I get from my employer (hooray for good benefits at work!). In other words, there are a lot of fitness options out there which are far from cheap.
Not only that, if I’d wanted to sign up for group kettlebell or krav maga on a longer-term basis than just a random class here and there, it would mean committing to a monthly fee. In the DC metropolitan area where I live, both of these classes would be close to (if not more than) several hundred dollars each per month. It’s the same thing with something like CrossFit — that’s over $200 per month, too.
My roommate is thinking about joining L.A. Boxing, which has a location in Old Town Alexandria not far from where we live. The cost for that facility is $75 a month with a one-year commitment. That’s the thing with most/all of the gyms I’ve ever seen — they all have contracts. If you’re away for a few weeks, or even a month at a time, you don’t get reimbursed for what you don’t use.
Why do so many of us pay such big bucks? Because we can. Because we’re interested, it’s fun, and we have the disposable income. I make a comfortable salary, I have no debt, I live in an area with a huge variety of fitness options, and I could afford to pay for at least one of the aforementioned classes without having to cut back on my regular spending in any way. I’ve chosen not to simply because I’m frugal, and right now I don’t think the fee would justify the number of times I’d attend the class in a typical month.
I understand that people who conduct the training for these classes have to be paid for their time, and the facilities where they take place have to pay their bills and also make a profit. But the cost makes me think of all the people out there who would like to learn a new skill, but aren’t able to do so because they can’t afford it. For a lot of people, it’s a prohibitively high expense.
Everyone knows the economy isn’t doing so great right now. Are fitness expenses one of the things you’re cutting back on? Have you ever added up the amount of money you spend on fitness equipment, clothing, classes and memberships?