As I’ve mentioned before, we moved in August ’11. At that time I was a member at an athletic club costing $98/mo. I hadn’t been a member very long and, despite the reasonable dues, the value was definitely questionable for me. I was going to yoga class each Friday and that was about it – making each class a pricey $24.50.
Once we moved, the club was too far away for me to reasonably consider even going once/week. I cancelled the membership, determined to find a facility close to the new house. But, the private clubs nearby were WAY more expensive than the one I had been going to.
So, I looked into municipal rec centers nearby. I discovered one that was about 10 mins away and went to check it out. It was GREAT! A membership card cost $5 for two (or is it three?) years and, once a member, you can buy 15 or 30 count punch passes. I buy the 15 count ones. You’ll see why in a minute.
Unfortunately, we don’t qualify for the resident rate of $59 for 15 passes, as our house isn’t quite in the district. Instead, it costs $85 ($150 for 30). This gives you access to the indoor pool, weight rooms, drop in classes, gym and locker rooms. Sign up classes are also available at an extra cost, but I’ve found the drop in classes to be perfectly acceptable. At $85, each visit costs $5.66.
But it gets even better! I just discovered that our local Entertainment Book gives a 10% discount at the rec center. You can download a coupon every month. So, my pass now costs $76.50 and each visit costs $5.10.
But it gets even better! The city we live in has a recreation reimbursement program. Each household is eligible for a maximum $500 annual reimbursement when participating in qualifying activities (and the rec center punch passes are qualifying). The amount of reimbursement is 50 percent of the cost incurred by the resident; however, reimbursement costs shall not exceed a maximum of $50.00 per single activity, per resident, per month.
You can do the math, but this is why I get the 15-punch pass vs. a 30-punch pass – it increases the reimbursement amount. Once reimbursed by the city (in January and you HAVE to submit all your paperwork by the 15th) each 15 punch pass has cost me $38.25 or $2.55 per visit.
If I was only going to yoga once/week, like before, I would only have to buy 3-4 punch passes/year and my annual cost would have gone from 12 x $98 = $1,176 to 3.5 x $38.55 = $134. But, I’m enjoying the facility so much, I now go to yoga most Mondays, swim laps most Tuesdays and/or Thursdays, and am planning to try out their Sunrise Core and Stretch class on Fridays. I will probably end up buying 8-9 punch passes for an annual cost (once reimbursed by the city) of around $325.
I’m saving a ton of money AND getting in better shape! And, of course, I pay using my MileagePlus card to get miles. 😉