Author Topic: When did the YMCA get so expensive?  (Read 18272 times)

wildbeast

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When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« on: May 11, 2017, 12:55:45 PM »
I called around to get quotes for membership because I want to take up swimming again and was surprised to find that the YMCA is the most expensive option, as well as the least convenient.  They have a $90 joining fee and the monthly rate is $60.  I have 2 local 24Hour Fitness facilities much closer that have rates at about 50% of the Y.  They both have indoor swimming pools with lots more access.  The Y has lots of water classes in theirs as well as swimming lessons, etc.

I'll be checking out the 24H facilities to see how I like them, but cost wise, the difference is huge.

Anyone have any experience with either facility that made it a good/bad investment?

Cranky

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2017, 01:03:10 PM »
The Y is really nice for families - they have tons of kid stuff. Our Y has outdoor pool facilities in the summer, too.

Honestly, we don't use the Y enough these days, as our kids are grown and we enjoy walking outside more than going to the gym. I should probably concede that we can't justify the cost anymore, and just wait until we can get a Silver Sneakers membership.

But in my area, most of the cheap gyms don't have pools, so I think that's the Y's big attraction for me.

dcozad999

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2017, 02:39:44 PM »
They also have most of their classes during the middle of the day.

I was considering joining for the pool and family atmosphere (I've been a member in the past), but all of the interesting exercise classes take place when I'm at work.

Frankies Girl

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2017, 03:15:51 PM »
The Y runs no joining fee events throughout the year. Ask them if they know when their next one is, but it seems like it is every quarter. I joined in January, and they just finished another during April. There is no contract and you just have to give them 30 days notice for them to cancel your membership.

They also have adjusted fees based off of income. The details should be on their individual site and you can print out the form from there or go in and fill it out. If you are lower income (and folks in FIRE often are), ask about financial assistance. It is a short one page form, and you can show them your tax statement to prove income (they don't take a copy of it at my place, just needed to show them a pdf on my phone verifying my name/address and then showed them the line item of total income MAGI.

I prefer the Y because there is a strong leaning towards older folks and less the grunty/rude body building folks. It's normal people - moms dropping in for some cardio, elderly folks working out of the bikes and chatting around the front area drinking the coffee, some young professionals stopping by on their lunch to hit the weights or swim a few laps. And even the guys and gals that are in the weight section and super ripped aren't as rude as other gyms I've been part of. My husband and I are both noobs at lifting and weight training, I am still working on losing fat so I'm flabby and weak, and we wanted a place where we didn't feel stupid being over in the section trying to figure stuff out. I always felt self-conscious in regular gyms, and don't at the Y for some reason.

At my Y (and the others in the area) the classes are early before work up through noon time, then pick back up for the after work crowd (usually around 6pm to 8 pm). They also run plenty of classes on the weekend. 95% of them are free.

But it sounds like you mainly want to be able to go swim, and the cost factor coupled with the closeness of the other gym may make it more attractive. If they don't make you sign a contract and allow you to pay by card month to month, then I'd likely say they'd work out better for you.

MsPeacock

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2017, 03:20:39 PM »
I belong to the local Y and the family rate is lower than at other gyms, but probably equal to or higher for individuals. The family rate for four people is $80 a month. My gym selection criteria is based primarily on location - the closer to my house and on my usual routes the better. The Y is really the best by far for me, regardless of cost or other options. I've found I don't go to the gym unless it is convenient.

It additionally has an outdoor heated pool that is open all winter which I love love love and mostly have to myself when the weather is bad. Today is 52 and blustery rain and wind and I swam for an hour with only two other people coming to the pool. Additionally there are summer day camps and yoga and free childcare ((when my kids were little) and a daycare facility, and my friends and neighbors. I ❤️ My YMCA. Oh, and I can go to the Y in other places when I travel.

Like Frankie's Girl I appreciate the YMCA atmosphere. No one takes themselves too seriously there.  My location has tons of early and late classes and weekend classes.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 03:23:08 PM by MsPeacock »

soccerluvof4

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2017, 03:27:12 PM »
For a larger family like us (2 adults 4 kids) the Y is by far the best bet. They offer the most for ALL ages and alot of other clubs have restrictions for ages when you can join etc... Plu as others said I like the fact they have everything and and its family orientated. We pay 85$ a month here where we live

sequoia

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2017, 03:39:14 PM »
We just joined a new YMCA in the beginning of the year. Kinda expensive at $83/month for the family but it is close, and it has indoor swimming pools. We are there all the time, it is like our second home, so I think it is worth it. It was warmer in the winter than our house and it has free wifi, so I am good spending time over there lol

I do not believe there was a joining fee for us - wife registered us, but I am 99% positive about no joining fee.

wildbeast

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2017, 03:48:09 PM »
See, $83 a month for a family of 4 (or 6!) is a good deal.  $60 for 1 person is not.  Maybe that's the issue - the Y is geared towards family pricing, rather than individual.  We don't qualify for the low income pricing as DH is still working.  I did like the general vibe and laid back feel, but not sure if I'm willing to pay double the monthly fee for it.  And drive further - not a lot maybe 4-5 miles - but the other 2 gyms are walking distance, maybe 1 mile. 

SheepDog

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2017, 03:58:29 PM »
My wife and I go to our YMCA at least 4-5 times a week.  They have a pool, hot tube, sauna, huge basketball court, lots of nice workout equipment and free weights, and the best part is all the free fitness classes they offer.  They also have free childcare while you workout.

All for just $60 a month for a couple.  And when my wife starts teaching classes there in a few weeks, our membership will get cut in half and she will get paid to be there!

Can't beat that.

wildbeast

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2017, 04:09:53 PM »
Our $60/mo (or one person) Y has a 3-lane lap indoor pool but no sauna or hot tub.  And the facility is not very big.  I guess the high pricing here is due to it being in a HCOL area. 

chasesfish

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2017, 04:15:48 PM »
I thought the same thing when I moved to Dallas and toured the Y.....

I thought "what in the world, this is a not for profit"

SheepDog

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2017, 05:13:47 PM »
My friends go to a YMCA about 40mi away.  It is the Hilton of Y's.  They have the regular $60 membership, then they have the premium membership for like $170 per family.  You get all sorts of dumb shit like free shaving cream and razors in the locker room, fresh steamed towels, access to a special co-ed sauna so you can get steamy with both genders (pun intended), and a bunch of other crap. 

mm1970

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2017, 09:36:29 AM »
See, $83 a month for a family of 4 (or 6!) is a good deal.  $60 for 1 person is not.  Maybe that's the issue - the Y is geared towards family pricing, rather than individual.  We don't qualify for the low income pricing as DH is still working.  I did like the general vibe and laid back feel, but not sure if I'm willing to pay double the monthly fee for it.  And drive further - not a lot maybe 4-5 miles - but the other 2 gyms are walking distance, maybe 1 mile.
I think ours is similar.  $105 for a family of 4.  $65 for a single.

It's definitely geared towards families, because they have free child care.  They also have swim lessons and sports leagues, which are extra.
It's also geared towards older people.  People on fixed incomes get a discount.  So people who don't pay the discount subsidize it.
The summer camps are fantastic.

For me it's the pool.  Places with pools are expensive.  There aren't that many in town.

There's 24 hour fitness, which is cheap, but has a 2-lane, 12.5 yard long pool.  I gave up.

The other gyms with pools - there are 3-4 of them in town (along with other "swim clubs").
- all of them are outdoor pools.  Which is fine in So Cal, mostly.
- The monthly rate for a single person ranges from $80-$140.

DTaggart

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2017, 09:43:55 AM »
My husband recently dropped the Y and moved to 24 Hour Fitness because its cheaper. The Y was cool when he first started (his first time using a gym of any kind) because they had a free program to show him how to use the equipment and set up a training plan for him. But now that he has a good idea of what he's doing, the added cost is not worth it.

Cranky

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2017, 11:50:31 AM »
When you join the Y, you can go to other Ys when you travel, too, which is a nice benefit!

Our Y does have a really good art department, and I have to admit we've probably taken more art classes than exercise classes.

kimmarg

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2017, 11:58:49 AM »
They also have most of their classes during the middle of the day.

I was considering joining for the pool and family atmosphere (I've been a member in the past), but all of the interesting exercise classes take place when I'm at work.

I LOVED the Y for this reason when we lived close. I don't work 9-5 so I like classes at other times. Also where I live the Y is the only option with a pool. We moved further away and dropped the membership.

wildbeast

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Re: When did the YMCA get so expensive?
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2017, 12:21:17 PM »
They also have most of their classes during the middle of the day.

I was considering joining for the pool and family atmosphere (I've been a member in the past), but all of the interesting exercise classes take place when I'm at work.

I LOVED the Y for this reason when we lived close. I don't work 9-5 so I like classes at other times. Also where I live the Y is the only option with a pool. We moved further away and dropped the membership.

Our Y doesn't have classes during the day - the place is pretty much deserted, which I like for the pool.  I would attend exercise classes if they had them during the day though.  Most of them are very early or in the evening. 

I really wish they would offer a limited use membership or something.  It feels like I'm being penalized for getting a single membership.  I'm hoping the 24H pools will be nice.  If I was motivated, I could walk to the gym, swim, and walk home for a good low-impact workout.  Both of the 24H gyms are about a mile from my house.