Here's Why Gym Memberships Are A Waste Of Money

A common New Year's resolution is to lose weight and get in shape, and a common way people do that is getting a gym membership. But that may not be the best use of your cash. The Planet Money podcast found that gym business plans are actually designed for not everyone to go, explaining, "Gyms need their members not to come, but they can't just lock the doors. They can't tell people not to show up. So they have to rely on consumer psychology to get you excited enough that you'll sign up for a gym membership but not so excited that you'll get up an hour early to do some crunches before work."

So as pumped as you might be when you sign up, that motivation may be quick to wane. Without a full commitment to a change in lifestyle, it can be easy to come up with excuses and reasons to not go to the gym that outweigh the literal cost of your membership. Paying for the membership may not be enough motivation to get you through the gym doors (via WiseBread).

Going to the gym could contribute to weight gain

Going to the gym and working out more can also, somewhat conversely, contribute to weight gain or at the least, keep you from shedding the pounds as quickly as you would like. The New York Times reported that if you are exercising more, there's a double whammy you may not realize: you'll eat more and may be more sedentary when you're not working out. And if you are going but you log the same workout every time, day after day and week after week, according to Women's Health Magazine, your body will get used to the new level of exercise and you'll burn fewer calories.

If you decide to leave, a lot of gyms also have annual contracts that you have to sign, complete with fine print, that aren't designed to make it easy for you to give up your membership and some could even come with a price tag for leaving (via Men's Journal).

That doesn't mean you should throw in the towel on exercising all together since there are obvious benefits, but consider at home workouts as a way to save money.