Exercise is one of those line items that is easy to eliminate, and is often one of the first to go. It’s estimated that over 65% of gym memberships go unused. That’s a lot of people throwing money away every month, and trust me, I’ve been one of them. It’s one thing to buy access to a gym, and another to actually drag yourself there consistently. What can be seem like a great deal usually ends up to be wasted cash.
At my previous job, I had a work colleague who would consistently leave after work to head to a fitness class. Meanwhile, I kept promising myself that I would take the elevator ride five stories in my building to go to the gym. After months of this, I agreed to try a Barre class with her. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done. From then on, I knew that only way I would get in shape would be to invest in classes just like that one.
For full disclosure, I was lucky enough to start a new job at an awesome tech company last fall. As part of the employee benefits, I get an annual budget for fitness expenses (amazing, I know). Being my frugal self, I wanted to use up my 2016 budget before the end of the year, so I gifted myself the entire budget in the form of a ClassPass gift card. I had used up my free trial on those butt-kicking Barre classes.
How ClassPass works
ClassPass is a fitness app that lets you book classes in local fitness studios for a set monthly fee. Based on your plan, you’ll either get access to 3, 5, or 10 classes per month. The actual cost per class works out to be much cheaper than buying the class from your studio directly, even in bulk. The business model is along the same lines as Groupon: The studios that partner with ClassPass are hoping you’ll try their studio and eventually become a direct paying customer.
Since it’s so cheap, there is more than just one catch. You can only use ClassPass at participating fitness studios and in participating locations. The studios can also pick and choose which classes they list, so you can’t get attached to a specific timeslot or instructor. The studios can also limit the number of ClassPass participants in each class, meaning you won’t always be able to take class with your bestie. Oh, and there’s a fee for cancelling your class with less than 12 hours notice ― or skipping entirely. Finally, you’re outta luck if you don’t use up all of the monthly classes on your plan.
How it can save you money
If you’re someone who’s on top of your scheduling, you can work around all of the caveats to get super cheap fitness classes through ClassPass. I’m diligent about booking up my classes and putting them in my calendar (including my work calendar, so no one books me for a late meeting). If I’m feeling like I might flake on a class the night before, I’ll go ahead and cancel it early to save myself the charge. Heck, it’s probably still going to be available if I wake up ambitious! To be honest, I’m a lazy and frugal person. The cancellation fee is the only thing that actually gets me off the couch and into class!
Want to see if ClassPass can save you money on fitness classes? Use my link to get $30 off your free month (depending where you live, that’s basically three classes for free).