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10 Tips To Cut Down Your Gym Costs

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Working toward a goal this year requires planning. For those who vowed to lose weight or get fit, finding a gym is likely at the top of the to-do list. Luckily, January is the busiest time for health clubs experiencing an uptick in membership sign-ups, which means you can find a number of deals around town. Before you jump at the first offer though, consider these tips to help you save even more on gym costs.

1. Max Out Trials
Before you sign up, make sure the gym is a good fit for you. Evaluate classes and instructors and take note of crowds and availability of equipment during the time you plan to use the facility. Most health clubs offer a free week so take advantage of as many complimentary memberships as you can. While sales associates will pressure you to commit after your first day there by offering a limited-time discount, don’t fall for the trap. Ultimately, you’ll lose money by taking the deal if you realize that the gym isn’t right for you. Stick with the free trial until you’re ready to commit, or move on if the facility doesn’t meet your needs.

2. Practice Haggling
Signing up for gym is very much like buying a car. Membership associates have quotas to meet and often use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to commit for the long haul. While the new year often brings lots of new member deals, nothing is set in stone and there’s always room for a better deal. While scoring a lower monthly rate and waiving the initiation fee should be your primary negotiating priorities, there are other ways to add value to your membership. Ask the associate for the first month free, more guest passes, extra personal training sessions, free towels, complimentary childcare and discounts on spa packages (if offered).

3. Punch It
Paying a flat monthly fee typically works out to less money per visit than a punch pass. However, a recent study by Berkley found members who choose a contract with a monthly fee over a 10-visit pass paid $600 more annually. So if you don’t have time to hit the gym everyday or you prefer to be active outdoors, paying per visit may offer a better value and will also save you potential early-termination fees if you want to cancel the membership before the contract is up.

4. Resist the Commitment
You can get a lower monthly rate when committing to a two-year contract, but you’ll pay more overtime if you don’t use it or want to switch facilities. While you’d like to become a fitness devotee overnight, creating new healthy habits takes time. Before you sign up for a year, try the membership on a month-to-month basis. This way you can determine if the health club meets your fitness needs and if you will actually use it on a regularly basis.

5. Stretch the Definition of Family
Many health clubs provide family membership deals that aren’t limited to blood relatives. This means you can sign up with a few friends to benefit from the discounted offer. Find trustworthy friends and designate one individual to make the monthly payment and come up with a reimbursement plan that works for everyone. Whether each person sends the payee a check, transfers money via Paypal or sends one lump sum for the year, work this out ahead of time. It will help you avoid any rifts in friendship that may occur due to financial issues.

6. Track Coupons & Daily Deals
Before you sign a gym contract or enroll in a new fitness studio, look for deals online. CouponSherpa.com offer coupons and free passes for health clubs including 24Hour Fitness, while daily deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial provide deep discounts of up to 70-percent on local memberships and personal training. You can jump around from gym to studio to bootcamp by taking advantage of new monthly offers. For example, you can get a three-month membership to Studio City Fitness Gym in Los Angeles for just $48, compared to the standard $149.

7. Review Warehouse Clubs
Warehouse clubs typically offers deals on local gym memberships. You usually have to spend more upfront and buy a one-year or two-year membership, but for those who go to a health club regularly, this is a great way to save money in the long run. For example, Costco features a Gym Membership and Wellness page with deals like $369.99 for a two-year all-club membership to 24-Hour fitness. That comes to approximately $15 per month with unlimited use of this national chain of gyms.

8. Don’t Limit Yourself
In recent years, speciality fitness studios that focus on one type of activity like Pilates, indoor cycling and yoga have popped up everywhere. While these facilities undoubtedly offer great classes, the exercise is limited. As experts explain, changing your workout every three to four weeks shocks your body and muscles to work harder. Those who stick to the same routine will see less results over time. Don’t limit your options by signing up to a speciality studio if your budget is tight. Look for a gym that offers a variety of group classes, including the workout you enjoy most, plus cardio and weight-lifting equipment.

9. Train One-on-One for Less
For newbies, personal training is a great way to get acquainted with a gym and the equipment, plus learn exercise moves based on individual goals. However, one-on-one sessions are pricey. One way to keep fees down is to split the cost of sessions with a friend at the same fitness level. Some trainers may even be willing to meet outside of the facility for a less expensive session. Otherwise, turn to your mobile device for motivation via such apps as Digifit iCardio, which tracks heart rate so you know how hard to push yourself, or GAINFitness, which designs a routine based on equipment you own and sends push notifications if you miss a workout session.

10. Build Your Own Gym
Recent stats show that 67% of people who sign up for a membership don’t use it. Considering the average monthly fee is $58, you could potentially waste up to $700 a year or more! You may be better off building an at-home gym to use in the morning before work or in the evening while watching your favorite shows. Though this costs more upfront, you’ll end up saving money in the long run. Plus, you don’t have to buy everything at once. Start with dumbbells and a mat and tap into free workout videos online to get tips and ideas on new moves.

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized shopping expert for Kinoli Inc., who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. For more information, visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

Finance

Here’s Why You Should Consider Leasing Your Next Vehicle

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It’s easy to get sticker shock when shopping for a new car or truck, as they’ve gotten REALLY expensive in recent years. To combat this, lenders have started offering longer duration loans to keep people’s monthly payments down, with some as long as 84-months!

Do you really want to be stuck paying off your car for 7 years? Unless you plan on owning this car for the rest of your life and driving it into the ground, the answer is probably “No”.

So what’s the alternative if you absolutely must get a new car? Leasing.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “I don’t want to have a never-ending car payment..” Sure, that’s one way to look at it, but here’s another way to look at it. With leasing, you’re basically getting into a new vehicle every 2-3 years, you can afford to drive a nicer (higher-priced) car than you might otherwise be able to afford, and the car will be covered under warranty should anything go wrong. And at the end, you just drop off the car at the dealer.

Leasing often gets a bad rep, but depending on your situation, it might just be the best option for you. If you’re someone who drives less than 15,000 miles a year, typically holds onto a car for 3 years or less, wants the latest and greatest in technology, and doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of selling or trading in your old car, leasing makes total sense.

On the flip side, when you’re leasing a car, you’ve got some limitations that you have to keep in mind. Mileage is perhaps the most important. Most lease contracts allow for between 12K-15K miles per year. Go over that, and you will have to pay an excess mileage penalty, which could range from $0.10-$0.50 for every additional mile. As one of my friends learned the hard way, that can get real expensive in a hurry.

In addition, you need to bring back the car in “as it left the showroom” condition, minus usual wear and tear. So if you’re someone that plans on heavily modifying their vehicle (body kit, lowering springs, upgraded turbo, etc), you’re better off buying the car outright.

So there you have it. In the end, the buying vs leasing debate really comes down to your wants and needs. If you like getting into a new car every few years, wants a lower monthly payment, and don’t mind the mileage restrictions, leasing is a great option. But if you are someone who would much rather own a car outright, without any restrictions on what they can and can’t do, then buying is probably a better fit for you.

Either way, make sure that you do your proper due diligence before signing on the dotted line, as accepting the wrong deal can end up costing you big time. Click here for more information about your various contract hire and leasing options.

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Finance

Dealing With Large Age Differences In The Workplace

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Millennials get a lot of heat from other people in the workplace (they are lazy, entitled, won’t get off their phones, dress funny, etc), and there’s no question that it’s often difficult getting Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials and Gen Zers to work together and get on the same page.

Aside from working with recruitment agencies to help you find the best candidates for the job, you can employ the strategies below to improve the relations among these diverse groups.

Look Past Age

Avoid making biased judgments based on an employee’s age. The fact is you are dealing with individuals, not generational stereotypes. When it comes to managing a multigenerational team, it’s best to deal with each member based on his or her unique strengths, abilities and goals. When you focus on individuality, age becomes less relevant.

Encourage Mentorship

Each generation is an asset to the company culture because these groups can learn from one another. For instance, Baby Boomers have years of career and life experience that can help Millennials excel professionally and personally. Likewise, tech-savvy Gen Zers can assist older workers with staying up to speed on the latest gadgets. This type of interaction helps to:

  • Nurture teamwork
  • Stimulate collaboration
  • Develop mutual respect

One of the benefits of working with finance headhunters Los Angeles is their ability to recruit candidates who can fit easily into a multigenerational work setting.

Open The Lines Of Communication

There’s no question that generational differences are real. For example, Millennials are team-oriented while Generation Xers tend to question authority. This diverse workstyle can clash, causing stress, tension and conflict. Hold a brief staff meeting acknowledging and explaining these different characteristics.

Addressing problems quickly can prevent toxicity in the workplace. Also, encourage them to focus on their commonalities. Who knows? The 22-year old staffer may enjoy gardening as much as her 60-year old co-worker does.

Like it or not, multigenerational companies are the norm in today’s business world. While this form of diversity poses its own challenges in the workplace, these issues can be resolved with unbiased judgments, cross-generational mentorship and open dialogue. So don’t stress about it, and contact Beacon Resources at 1-844-500-8100 to match you with the top finance and accounting candidates from any generation.

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Finance

Why Your Business Needs a Tax ID Number

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Anyone who has ever filed taxes before knows that the amount of information needed to complete the forms can be staggering. This is especially true for small business owners, who will need to supply a variety of documents and figures in order to successfully file. One of the most important things that you will need to provide as an entrepreneur and business owner is a tax ID number. This helps the IRS identify you and follow your business. If you don’t have one yet, keep reading to find out how you can apply for a federal tax ID number and be ready when tax time rolls around.

Federal Tax ID Number Application

In order to obtain a federal tax ID number, you must complete a federal tax ID number application. This lets the IRS know that you are in need of a number in order to file your taxes correctly, and they will begin looking through your application as soon as they receive it. The process should be an overly long one, and before long you will have the federal tax ID number that you need in order to stay compliant with the IRS.

Get Tax ID Online

Are you wary about the time involved to complete the federal tax ID number application? It’s understandable to be concerned about how much time you might have to spend filling out paperwork. In reality, however, you can often fill out the application and get your tax ID online! That means that you can apply when the time is convenient for you and not have to worry about mailing or faxing in hard copies of your application. Complete the federal tax ID number application today and get your tax ID online!

Apply online for an IRS EIN/Tax ID Number at irs-ein-tax-id.com.

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