Brits waste £37m on unused gym memberships Consumers squandering almost £500 a year

19 January 2011

Gym memberships wasted

Brits are wasting £37m a year on unused gym memberships

Have you promised yourself that you’re going to take exercise more seriously but never followed through with it? If so, you're wasting hundreds of pounds a year. 

According to research by online accountants Crunch.co.uk, Brits are wasting £37million a year on gym memberships, exercise and slimming classes they never attend. Having surveyed 3,000 adults, it was revealed that almost £500 a year is wasted on unused gym equipment items and memberships.

Forgotten direct debits continue to deduct cash months after people have ditched the treadmill, leaving the average adult losing out on £303 a year. On top of that, another £158 is spent on unused sports equipment.

Gym resolutions don’t stick

Although research conducted by Gocompare.com revealed that the top priority for the New Year was to lose weight, 77% of consumers admitted to Crunch.co.uk they weren’t following through on their resolutions.

Darren Fell, of Crunch.co.uk, said: ‘Although officially being out of the recession, things are still extremely difficult for many Britons so it's crucial to save money by not buying things we don't really need or want.

‘And a large percentage of people end up feeling angry with themselves if they spend money on something they don't end up using.’

How to save on gym membership

1. Cancel unused memberships

According to research by Sainsbury’s, the average gym costs £442 a year, but millions fail to use memberships they are paying for every month. It's estimated that people typically stop using their gym membership after 18 months, with around £200 million wasted every year on unused memberships. If you don't use yours but you still pay for it, cancel it.

2. Consider cheaper gyms

If you do use it but you're concerned about the cost, there are cheaper options available such as local council and university gyms, with monthly deals from around £28, and no-frills gyms, such as Pure and Factory, have monthly deals starting from £17 and £25 respectively. 

3. Check your employment packages

Check with your employer if they offer gym benefit packages or if your company can get a discount for a group of employees if you subscribe together. 

4. Find a partner

You are more likely to stick to a healthy workout routine if you’re doing it with someone. Find a friend who is interested in sports or needs to lose weight and encourage each other.

5. Adopt healthy habits

If you’re not going to stick to the gym routine, try adopting healthy lifestyle habits that are free of charge. For example, jog or run around the park, take the stairs and decrease the amount of sugar in your coffee or tea.

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.