In an article published by CNBC, they estimate that a gym membership will cost one individual $800 in one year between start-up fees, equipment maintenance fees, and monthly dues. For a family membership, the cost is much higher. More costs come into play when you’re driving back and forth to your local gym.

And sadly, economists and authors Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt estimate gym goers attend their gym 70% less often than they intended when they signed up. That’s nearly $560 down the drain! While exercise is good for you, efficient budgeting habits are also equally as important. If you’re looking for ways to ditch your gym membership and put that money to better use, you may find a home gym to be a more practical option. Here’s how you get started.

ONE: Determine your space

Figure out your spacing options for a home gym. You can typically use a spare room, space in the garage, or even a detached garage! A dedicated space for gym equipment that’s out of the way of your everyday living is ideal. Once you know where your home gym is going to go, you can figure out what kinds of equipment will work for that space.

TWO: Shop around

Shopping for home gym equipment can be fun and stressful at the same time. There are so many types of equipment and so many companies that offer excellent tools for working out at home! Consider the equipment you gravitate towards when you are at the gym. Also, consider your fitness goals and make sure the equipment you have in mind will help you reach those. If you’re focused more on building muscle, devote more of your home gym to weights, squat racks, and other equipment of that kind. If you’re looking to spend time doing more cardio, devote more of your home gym space to a trusty treadmill, rower, or elliptical.

THREE: Set a budget

Now that you’ve gotten a good idea of what’s out there, figure out your price point. Gym equipment adds up fast. Your largest expense will be heavy machines like treadmills or squat racks. Weighted plates, barbells, and kettlebells are pricey but they can be purchased a few at a time. Focus your budget on the machinery that’s going to get the most use and provide the most benefit. Home gyms benefit from special flooring protection. Add treadmill mats and other floor protecting necessities into your budget. The most commonly used pieces of home gym equipment include:

  • Dumbbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Yoga Mat
  • Bench/Squat Rack
  • TV or computer monitor for watching workout videos
  • Music
  • Treadmill
  • Elliptical
  • Stationary Bike
  • Cable Machine
  • Resistance Bands

FOUR: Look for discounts

Gyms go out of business all the time. You can usually snag old gym equipment for a great price so keep an eye out! Major equipment manufacturers have sales nearly every holiday weekend. The biggest opportunity for discounted gym equipment can be expected on Black Friday and at the beginning of the new year. There are also websites, like NordicTrack Promo Codes, dedicated to providing discount coupons for popular fitness brands and equipment. Other places to find used equipment:

  • Craigslist
  • OfferUp
  • Letgo
  • eBay

FIVE: Purchase equipment

You’re going to see a lot of options for financing gym equipment. Most companies offer third-party financing options with zero dollars down and zero interest if you pay the equipment off before a certain deadline. But beware! The monthly payment they require is usually not enough to pay the equipment off before the deadline. You’ll need to make larger payments than the minimum to make your deadline. If the deadline passes and you still owe money on your equipment, it’s not uncommon to have to pay interest on the full purchase amount.

SIX: Build your gym space

This one’s a no-brainer. But just in case you haven’t thought it through, most cardio machines come unassembled. You’ll want to plan on having an extra set of hands around to put this equipment together. If possible, assemble your equipment in your designated gym space. Hauling heavy equipment around after its assembled might not be an option depending on what you have ordered.

SEVEN: Cancel your membership

Cancel your membership last. If you cancel your membership before your home gym is ready to be used, you run the risk of getting lazy! Keeping up your regular workout schedule is going to be key in transitioning to a home gym. For some, determination and commitment to exercise wanes when we no longer have a local gym to go to.

Author's Bio: 

Kevin Jones has mastered a busy lifestyle with work and fitness combined with family life. He writes offering solutions for personal fitness and time management as well as keeping families fit together by utilizing activities and diet.