Jan 202013
YMCA logo

The Frugality Is Free family is now a YMCA family! We finally signed up for a YMCA family membership! After years of thinking that we could not afford it, after years of researching the costs of local gyms, and then giving up, we finally did it. Today we all made the trip to the local Y, handed in our application, and paid our first monthly fee.

I am excited! The kids are excited! Dad is…..still pondering…does he now have to start exercising too?


YMCA logo

We are a one-car family, which makes it very difficult for us to participate in team sports that meet up several times a week, and unfortunately we are not in close walking-distance to any sports clubs or athletic fields. We used to live right around the corner from an athletic field, and we did the three-times a week soccer thing, but with one car, three kids and a hard-working dad with long and changing working hours, participating in team sports on a structured schedule just does not fit into our family lifestyle.

So, why did we choose the YMCA?

  • In January (until January 25th) our local YMCA waives sign up fees. The sign up fee is usually $125!
  • The monthly YMCA family rate is $72 at our local YMCA! (It may be cheaper at your local YMCA)
  • With a YMCA membership, there are lots of free group exercise classes and aquatic group exercises included.
  • Free pool access every day!
  • Free childcare! (2 hours morning and 2 hours evening)
  • Childwatch for kids ages 6 weeks – 7 years
  • The Spot – A social childcare program for kids ages 8 – 12
  • Free group exercise classes for kids
  • Our local YMCA has a daycare, and they offer free VPK classes for 4 year olds.
  • Free use of the fitness center
  • After four pregnancies Mom is desperate for some structured exercise, child care and some ME time.

After four pregnancies, I will admit that I am in serious need of losing some of the weight that has settled over the years. I have done walking and exercise dvds, but I need something more. The kids do not need to loose weight, but since we all have asthma, exercise is extra beneficial for our health, and the social aspect of the Y programs is another added bonus for the kids.

Now, the big selling point for me was the VPK program. When I found out that our local YMCA had a VPK program I was sold. Our youngest son will be attending VPK (Florida’s free and voluntary pre kindergarten program) this year, and we were planning on enrolling him at our local college, where our middle son went. However, their hours are 1 – 4 p.m., and when our middle son went, I did a lot of walking back and forth between the boys’ schools and our home (up to 6 miles a day). I never really got a lot of intensive cardio exercise though, and when we finally made it home I was too tired, and there were too many things to be done.

So, the thought of being able to exercise, have a babysitter, and finally get fit after four kids, while our youngest son is in school just kept on pulling me back to this shiny advertising from our local Y. Walking home from the YMCA is still a bit of a walk, but it is basically the same that it would be to the other VPK program, and because of the more convenient hours of this VPK program 9 – 12 pm, my husband can drop us off in the morning, after he drops the big boys off at school.  

Did I mention free childcare? I love my boys, and I know I will love my little princess just as much, but after 8 years with no babysitter, I am in serious need of some ME time. Even if it is just an hour of swimming a few times a week, I know that it will make me a better, less stressed-out mother.

So, yes I am excited that we are now a YMCA family, and the kids cannot wait to spend lots of time at the Y.

If you are interested in joining a gym, I can highly recommend checking out your local YMCA. You may be lucky that your local YMCA waives the joining fee in January (The fee-waive promotion ends on January 25th at our local Y). The prices are very reasonable, and you can also apply for financial aid, if you need it.

Are you a member of the YMCA? Do you need a little ME time?

  6 Responses to “We Are A YMCA Family! (No Sign Up Fee In January!?)”

  1. Congrats! Our local YMCA is 45 minutes away, and in a different state. We are looking into getting a family membership to our local KROC center, which is about 20 minutes away.

    • Wow, Bridget 45 minutes away, that sure is a long drive. Even 20 minutes seem crazy for me here in the city, but I do miss living in a less populated area, especially since I grew up on a farm. Is the KROC center kind of like the Y?

      • Yes, the KROC center is very similar (almost identical) to the Y! Even though several things are a little out of the way, we love living in the country and raising our kids here! 🙂

  2. Have fun! Elliott plays basketball at the Y, but I don’t think it would be even close to worth it for my family to get a membership. We try to only go to Minot once or twice a week. I don’t go to the gym nearly as often as I should, but when I do go, I go on base. It’s free, and closer. It doesn’t offer as much stuff, but I don’t think I would use most of the extras anyway, especially with where our family is right now.

    • Carla, it’s cool that Elliott is able to play basketball at the Y. Is there other kids from his class or school on the team? I still think it is expensive with the team sports at our Y, even with a membership. Here it’s $110 per child for the basketball league or $160 for non-members.

      Our 10-year-old son does not do well with team sports, but I think that once our youngest son gets old enough, we will have to sign him up, because he has a whole different level of energy, and he is almost as tall as our soon-to-be 7-year-old. I really want to sign all of our boys up for swimming this summer though, because they are getting to the point, where they need some structured swimming lessons. Until then, at least I can give them one-on-one swimming lessons, since I can now take one boy in the pool at a time, while leaving the other two at the childcare spot.

      I have not been a member of any gym, since before I became a mom (10+ years ago), so it is going to be quite a change. It is a needed change though, and now that my boys are getting bigger, I am so ready to start this new chapter. I am especially thrilled about the babysitting part, because I will admit that with three rambunctious and growing boys in the house, I have reached a point, where I really do need some time to take care of me. At this point, the only “me” time I get is when I go to my prenatal appointments, and my husband is able to watch our three-year-old:)

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