How to Save $162 a Month
How to do it: Now's a pretty good time to join a gym. "Initiation fees have gone down from an average of $121 in 2008 to $99 in 2011," says Meredith Poppler, vice president of industry growth for the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Membership rates in the United States are now averaging about $55 per month, but if your rate is higher than you'd like, consider joining a gym such as Planet Fitness or Blink Fitness, a new, lower-cost offshoot of the popular Equinox Chain. Planet Fitness is currently nationwide, while Blink Fitness exists only in the New York metro area but has plans to expand across the country. Both gyms contain between 75 and 150 pieces of cardio equipment, plus strength equipment for the upper and lower body. Membership costs $10 to $20 per month. They keep rates low by eschewing aerobics and yoga classes, swimming pools and childcare.